Joseph Kelly, EB Blogger

Joseph Kelly, EB Blogger

After three weeks on holiday I have discovered the flaw in the whole holiday caper – everyone wants to relax. Except of course for the kids, who are keen to party like its 1999. So with various grandparents and uncles and aunties so intent on relaxing, who is going to look after the over excited kids? As it turns out it’s the people who need the break the most – mum and dad.

For a range of reasons (not least of which was the arrival of baby Rita), 2009 turned out to be a hectic year for me and Susie. The busier things got the more I dreamed about the Christmas break. The one mental image that helped me drag myself out of bed and off to work each day was of me lying in a hammock, a gentle breeze teasing my hair while the cool condensation from my cocktail glass ran down my fingers. The sound track to this image was of waves breaking on a nearby shore while the trannie kept me up to date with the scores of the Boxing Day test. Perfect.

And at the end of it all I can only say one thing – it’s great to be back at work. 

So this year we set off to a house not a stone’s throw from the beach. At the top of our street was my brother John and his four kids, at the bottom of the street was my sister Paulette with her two and just around the corner was nanna’s beach-side flat. As far as I was concerned the scene was set for some serious beach action followed by lazy afternoons in the hammock. My dreams were fast approaching reality.

As soon as we arrived at the beach house I threw my suitcase open, grabbed my bathers and a towel and attempted a hasty get-away to the beach. Before I could even get out of the bedroom, Susie shut the door and told me in no uncertain terms I was not going to the beach without her. A scheme was hatched to drop Maisie and Frances at John’s house for a quick play session while Susie and I introduced Rita to the surf. We were congratulating ourselves on having created such a master plan when there was a knock at the front door. John’s eldest two had come to pay us a visit. “Mum and Dad have gone to the beach” John’s eldest cheerfully reported. I immediately remembered that ‘cunning’ is a well known Kelly family trait.

As it became clear that John was not going to fall for any ‘babysitting disguised as bonding’ plans Susie and I could hatch, we turned our attention to Aunty Paulette. This proved difficult because Paulette, long used to the types of plans hatched by her brothers, was a constantly moving target. Between trips to the beach, post-Christmas sales and countless rounds of mini-golf, Paulette surprisingly didn’t have time for our two hyperactive and hyper-bored kids. It was time to rope in the UN (unoccupied nanna) for Operation Enduring Freedom.

As was seen in the conflict is Bosnia, there are limits to what the UN can do. In my case, in order for the UN to fully perform its peace keeping (and sanity preserving) duties, nanna must be “unoccupied”. When nanna has a flat in the middle of a busy sea-side town, access to miles of unspoilt beach and dinner invitations for every night of the week, then it’s safe to say resources are stretched pretty thin. Susie and I faced a horrifying proposition – entertaining our own kids.

So after three weeks holidays, I didn’t get to sit in a hammock. And I didn’t get to listen to the Boxing Day test. I did, however, get to spend about 100 hours at the beach with Maisie and Frances. I also got to see Fantastic Mr Fox with Maisie while Frances and I just could not get enough of Hanna Montana. And at the end of it all I can only say one thing – it’s great to be back at work.

How were your holidays? Do you have a fool proof plan for holiday baby sitting? Discuss this blog.