‘We need a nice break’ they said. ‘It’ll do us good to get away and relax’ they said. I’m stumped as to why we’d ever think we’d relax with a toddler, but off we went for 11 nights in Tenerife, our 22 month old and my mum in tow.
So as infants don’t get their own seat on the flight, I had the absolute pleasure of a 28 pound toddler on my lap for four hours with the occasional five minute break while Mama bribed him with chocolate and Peppa Pig books. We Googled like crazy beforehand “top tips for taking your toddler abroad”, “how to keep toddler happy on plane”, “best toys to occupy toddler on plane”. The last one resulted in us nearly missing our flight because Mama had her Play Doh confiscated while she argued “well they recommended it on Mums’ Net!” M was also sick on landing so that was a gorgeous start.
We stayed all-inclusive at the Be Live Family Costa Los Gigantes and it was amazing for M to have free reign; all the open space, food, gorgeous weather and activities was a perfect mix for a two-year old.
It took a few days for him to adjust to the big change, though. He was going to bed much later than he does at home and although we tried to limit his sugary snacks he was never gonna resist unlimited ice cream and slushies. He was in E-number heaven. My fault because it meant I had a bit more sunbathing time if he was busy eating.
He was a total shit for the first few days and smashed mine and his dad’s phones to bits on separate occasions and made me cry. This was NOT a relaxing break.
We dreamt of sunbathing by the pool while M napped peacefully in his pram, before splashing happily in the pool together. In reality, we had to do laps of the hotel complex in the blistering heat pushing him in his pram to get him to sleep and he refused to get in the water for most of the holiday. He wouldn’t go to sleep for Mama at bedtime so no chance us me and Mr LHBL making the most of the all-inclusive cocktails either – we were in bed for 10!
It’s easy to feel cut off if you go AI so we tried to get out and about and took a whale-spotting boat ride, which we really loved. M wasn’t too bothered, he was too busy playing with his Peppa Pig balloon that he got given on his way there. It was wasted on him but he was free anyway and we loved it.
We also took a trip to Siam Park waterpark where M burnt his feet because I totally didn’t think to put suncream in the little gaps of his jelly sandals. I wouldn’t recommend going there as a family of three as you’re very limited having a little one who can’t go on much. But we had our babysitter, Mama, so we were fine and would definitely go back.
He did calm down as he got used to his new surroundings and it was so, so lovely seeing him enjoy himself, dancing with the big kids at the mini disco and sharing toys in the baby pool. Or not sharing in his case.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of family life, we’re like passing ships sometimes so it really did us good to spend some quality time together. Although next time he’ll be spending a few days in the kids’ club.