I open my eyes to witness my son shaking a tube of lubricant all over the dog. He hurls the empty container at me and then flees, laughing maniacally.
It’s going to be that kind of day. And we have to be packed and in the car, ready for a three day camping adventure within the hour.
Like that’s going to happen.
My childhood memories of holidays are so happy and carefree. I wonder if my mother remembers them that way. Since I graduated to the role of parent, I’m realising that family holidays are actually the most stressful time of the year.
Why do we do it to ourselves? Where’s the appeal in cramming everything that you own into your car so that you can sit in traffic for three hours or more while you listen to your child complain that they want to watch more Dora the Explorer on the iPad?
What is the point of creating amazing experiences for your children when the first thing they say when you finally reach your destination is “Can we go home now?”
Yet we do it, and we are joined by hundreds of other families on the road to bickering, sunburn and new reasons to hold grudges.
A few months ago now, hubby and I took our son to the Newnes, just north of Sydney’s Blue Mountains. It really is an amazing spot. There is no phone reception, just sweeping views and kangaroos hopping by the outskirts of the campsite. We sat around the campfire, played games and paddled in the nearby creek.
On day two we went on an epic 4WD adventure, traversing cross country to a dark and spooky cave with real glow worms living inside.
The highlight of that outing? For a split second when we were approaching the 4WD track, my toddler saw another child with a remote control car. This is the exciting tale he shares when asked to recount his weekend adventures.
I will never forget that remote control car. Mostly because my son proceeded to ask for one, on repeat, for three hours.