“You don’t have them? Do you know anywhere that would sell them? No.  Oh.” Here I was, red faced and sweaty in TK Maxx trying to source fucking threading beads.  I have no idea what they are, but after googling “How to keep a toddler entertained on a flight?” Mumsnet has advised me that this item would magically entertain my boisterous toddler for the entire flight from Glasgow to Las Palmas.  I realised I was deluded, but at the time I thought these magical beads were the answer to my prayers.  My friend put me straight as I ranted about my failure to source said beads.  “Seriously Karen, all you need is an iPad and a few gins! The rest is just good luck”. The fear was washing over me.

imageIt been a last minute decision to book our first holiday abroad with Rory to Gran Canaria.  I’d found a hotel which looked especially baby and toddler friendly, the price was decent, as were the flight times. We typed in the a credit card details and clicked submit. Easy.

Three cases, 2 small bags as hand luggage and a trunki that Lizzie had lent me and we were set. Oh and the buggy.  I forgot about that.  The logistics of carrying cases plus pushing a pram was not something I’d previously considered.

I was pushing Rory one handed in his pram with a zebra trunki round my neck and a large case trailing behind. As we trundled up to the bus stop I saw the pitying looks of a young couple. She had beautiful make-up, contoured and glossy, with a smart case and a white clutch bag for hand luggage. A clutch bag!!!! As hand luggage!!! A white clutch bag.  In contrast, I had a see through beach bag from Primark as my hand luggage.  It contained pens, paper, a buttered sandwich, cheese, 10 nappies, wipes, nappy bags, hand and face wipes, crisps, cars, money, passports, tickets, chocolate, a bib, a Tommee Tippee cup,  a hoody, pyjamas, Rory’s toothbrush and toothpaste and 3 books. Try fitting that in a bloody clutch bag.

Check in was relatively easy as was the flight.  The worst bit was getting off the plane and trying to reclaim the buggy.  That took an hour. And then the hell that is the hotel transfer.  Two hours on a mini bus with a tired toddler and some talkative chaps from Sheffield nearly tipped me over the edge.  I’d have paid £200 for a private taxi if I’d known how much rage that journey would have produced. Never again.

That aside, we arrived at the beautiful Cordial Mogán Valle.  We were offered cava or a soft drink (took cava obviously) , check in was prompt and they sourced us an aircon unit to hire.  On to the rooms.  The travel cot was large and comfortable, with a proper mattress.  The balcony was huge, with sunloungers, a table and a shower. Great for when Rory had an afternoon nap. And the housekeeper is an adorable lady who makes a real fuss of Rory.

It’s only day 2 but so far so good.  It’s taken us a long time to pluck up the courage to get on a flight with Rory, but I’m so glad we took the plunge. As I write this I’m sitting on the balcony sipping a chilled cider as Rory takes a nap.   I could definitely get used to this!