Friday, April 10, 2009

The Ghost of Holidays Future

Breton boy on the beach
Et avec Mama
On the white cliffs
Seaside sweater

The court of King Louis - as his retinue was known back when he actually had a retinue, i.e. pre-DC - decamped to his summer residence at the seaside this week in the latest of my many unpacking avoidance strategies. (His summer residence being Grandma Penny's house, which is smack bang on the seafront overlooking France. On a clear day at least.) Daddy J was briefly in attendance before he headed back to town for his first string of night shifts since getting back to Today. (Unlike me, he gets paid for his.) 

It was odd being at the beach the week before Easter because the place was swamped with visitors. And by visitors, I mean holidaying families with two or more kids in tow. And by odd, I mean that I find seeing parents with older children like seeing the Ghost of Holidays Future. Or Anything Future, come to think of it. It's one thing to get (kind of) used to looking after a baby, but I struggle to imagine life with an actual child. You know, one of those mini people who can walk, talk and think for themselves. (Not that Louis can't think for himself: he makes his views on certain subjects, like sleeping alone in his crib perfectly clear.) 

Will those Mums and Dads flying kites and eating soggy sandwiches with their assembled brood be DJ and me in years to come? And does that mean British seaside holidays are all we can aspire to from now on? And most pressingly: what on earth do you do with older kids while on said holidays? I've got fairly good at pretending to play with Louis while really I'm doing something else - you can bash a xylophone and shake a maraca while reading the paper if you try hard enough - but I can't imagine that going down particularly well with your average four year old. 

I stare at the Mums that I see on the beach with their children and wonder if they're not just a bit bored. What do they talk about? Don't they find hanging out with children all day just a bit, well, childish? Given the speed with which the last ten months has flashed by, I guess I'll get to find out soon enough. 

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