I'm not sure holidays used to be like this. Or maybe they did, but I didn't need the break so much. But a holiday with LittleBear appears to be not dissimilar to being at home, just a bit harder. Maybe if we didn't choose self-catering as our holiday-of-choice things would be different, but I suspect they would just be differently stressful, as I'd have to do awful, unthinkable things like talking to other people, and finding food that LittleBear and BigBear will both eat, ideally at the same place and same time. And self-catering, even in the best-equipped places leads to the following:
Washing clothes... with an unknown machine with obscure heiroglyphs instead of instructions.
Washing up... either by hand or with an unknown machine with obscure heiroglyphs instead of instructions.
Preparing food... with a selection of blunt knives and no chopping board
Cooking... but with no oven trays, no sieve* and no microwave dishes. Oh, and an unknown oven with obscure heiroglyphs instead of instructions. Where do rental properties find appliances that use a completely unconventionial set of markings? It's quite a skill.
Playing with LittleBear.... but with a very small subset of toys**
Reading to LittleBear... but with a very small subset of books**
Running out of milk every third day***... but having no idea where the nearest shop is
Desperately craving sleep... but having a bed that's too small, too soft and too hot
Looking forward to a nice relaxing shower... only to find that on this installation, "red" means cold and "blue" means hot. Of course it does.
Hoping LittleBear sleeps later than 6am... but having him in a room with vast windows through which the light floods at dawn due to the not-entirely-effective venetian blinds.
And then there are all the fun and exciting outings, in which we get to spend our time trying to make sure LittleBear doesn't catastrophically injure himself, vanish, drown, eat his own weight in ice-cream, try and catch a wasp, grossly offend other people ("Why is that man so fat?") or run headfirst into people, traffic, rocks, or beds of nettles.
Obviously, I exaggerate for comic effect. But I'm sure that when I was a child, I didn't have to work this hard on holiday... oh... hang on... sorry GrannyBear. I think once again I may have under-appreciated you...
* Surprisingly little rice ended up in the sink.
** OK, I'll admit, this is actually easier. He becomes totally engrossed in one thing, when not distracted by rooms full of toys, and makes me want to throw away 95% of his toys when we get home.
*** Yes, this happens at home. Every third day. Every third day for three years, and I still haven't learnt. Truly, an old dog cannot be taught new tricks.