Malaga in May

Here we are, in Malaga, Spain, on HO – LI – DAY. I stress the word holiday as we have to regularly remind ourselves that it is indeed a holiday. This is because we have come to Malaga with two small goblins: a nearly-5 year old one who keeps sulking and testing his daddy’s anger management skills, and a 17 month old one who has a filthy cold and is also teething and waking up all night every night. We are in a place of potential idyll; we have our own little flat that gives onto a garden and a pool with grandparents just above us in the big house regularly conjuring up delicious meals and cups of tea, we are five minutes from the beach and the fish restaurants, ten minutes from Malaga town centre, it has been warm and sunny (erm, except for today which makes me realise I have brought very little in the way of warmish clothes for any of us and by this evening we will all be wearing towels wrapped around us), there are tons of toys, kids books, bikes, trikes and an inflatable whale for the pool, all to keep the goblins busy. Which sometimes works… for about ten minutes. And the rest of the time we are constantly rushing around them, just like at home, except here even more so because of the pool and the Seven Thousand Stone Steps. Every now and then Tommy will be absorbed in an activity ( games, thanks Granny) while Leonie is having her nap, so in a heady, euphoric moment of freedom, I jump in the pool and swim as many lengths as is physically possible before anyone needs me to find their armbands, feed them a chocolate biscuit or wipe their bottom. Yesterday I nearly passed out in the pool as a) I had just blown up the huge inflatable whale with my own lung power, b) I had drunk too much coffee, and c) the water is cold when you leap in, lovely after 3 lengths and then you go blue 20 minutes later.
We have played on the beach (warm days), seen a dinosaur exhibition (rainy day), collected shells and pebbles (windy day), eaten fish at a restaurant at the seaside (children unusually quiet day), been to the most amazing, beautiful zoo I have ever seen (children hypercrazyexcited day) and done a lot of playing in the garden and the pool, post-fishing-pine-needles-out-of-aforementioned-pool. L’Homme and I even got to go out one evening for a walk along the seafront and have a meal together. We felt like a couple. It was a strange, unfamiliar feeling. The last time we did that was 2 years ago, here in Malaga, while Granny listened out for any Tommy awakenings and I carried Leonie in my newly-pregnant belly. The time before that was before we had kids. This means that we go out as a couple on average once every two and a half years. Hmmm. Not good statistics. No wonder we don’t get on as well as we did pre-kids. But we will get there. I think. I hope. Our evening out made us realise that we need to spend time together just the two of us FAR more often. L’Homme might stop seeing me as a Giant Monster Mother Superior (without the nun bit, just the superior bit) and I might stop thinking he’s an Overgrown Teenaged Temper-Grump. We have also realised (today; we’re flying back to France tomorrow) that a week here is too damn short. It takes a couple of days for everyone to find their bearings and for the kids to calm down and stop out-shouting each other, a day or two of enjoying ourselves and then all of a sudden we’re going. So next time, we’ll try and come for ten days (Granny & Grandad BEWARE).
Another thing we have learned is the Count-To-Five Technique. ie. when children/partner/failed technology/sandy bikini bottoms piss you off, instead of reacting and shouting, huffing and puffing, you count to five (in L’Homme’s case twenty-five because he counts fast when he’s angry) and by the time you’ve finished you’re not very pissed-off anymore. You have diffused your anger extremely efficiently and you deal with the situation far more calmly and often with a sense of humour. This has already transformed both of us and thus the general atmosphere. Aaaaaaahhhhh. Now that feels like a REAL holiday.

Léonie’s summer look: armbands ALL DAY EVERY DAY no matter whether you’re near water or not, plastic red jelly shoes, sun hat, t-shirt, strictly no pants.

Competition: Spot the Toddler


3 thoughts on “Malaga in May

  1. Oh Lord, that’s us in 2 weeks time….am DREADING the steps and pool. Ah well, as long as the sun shines. Well done for going out with L’Homme – twice in 3 years…WOO HOO!!!!!! xx

    • You know what, after the first day when they are constantly drawn to the pool, they get used to it and don’t keep going over there. Plus Léonie loves wearing armbands so she just wore them all day – a FAB idea. As for the steps, just scatter all the toys across the garden and they will play down there for hours without the thought crossing their mind of going up to the big house.

    • Note for Sister1, coming here in 10 days: The day after Clare & co. left a handrail was installed on each of the two sets of steps between the main house and the garden!!!

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