Holiday Mark IV – Gift Shop Hell

I genuinely thought today would not feature a blog as my kids were so calm and peaceful, and even when told to get washed and dressed, they complied. It was not until my little girl ran into the kitchen area and shouted “Slug daddy, slug on the ceiling!” Superb, either the kids are playing with a live slug and tetanus jabs would be needed all round, or last nights toy slug was back from my son’s bed. As it turned out the kids were throwing the toy slug and it had hit the ceiling, which was a rented cottage and yet again all damages were to be paid for. No wonder my credit card company like you to phone them before going on holiday! I think it’s just me they’re targeting so that they’re ready to pay for damages. As I peeled the sticky toy slug off the ceiling in my pyjamas I gave a warning to the kids that if the slug takes up flying lessons again, Daddy would look after the slug until tomorrow. Needless to say I am the custodian of a sticky slug for a day, never thought I would say that in my lifetime.

We set off for an ancient castle today and as I arrived in the car park I felt my wallet quiver with the entrance fee. I was then informed that I would have to pay for the car park as well. What?! I am paying a huge fee for the entrance that going back a few years ago would have been enough to pay a kidnapping ransom and I have to pay again for the car park? Seriously people, as a parent we have no money so please stop fleecing us parents with car park fees, entrance fees, gift shop, and tour map which is usually so expensive I would have thought is entwined with gold.

My biggest area of grumpiness is the gift shop, which I think stands for Gigantic Interest charged on Fine Tat. As we went in the kids did the puppy dog eyes and pulled the sentimental ‘need something to remember the day by’ routine. Why then does a castle sell board games, wines and spirits and jewellery? Instead my kids went to the general tat that is coveted today and bottom of the toy box tomorrow aisle. I must have been grumpy as my wife asked me to smile after around five minutes of tat searching. I explained this was my gift shop smile! What did make me smile was the gift shop selling expensive replica swords and armour and my son announced he wanted that. Nice try son, but I don’t earn that amount in a month, so unless you can convince your sister and mum that eating is overrated, then it’s a no. I gave up and said I would wait outside and just call me when you need someone to pay and slumped over a picnic bench.

With a small Dragon and wooden game ‘to remember the day by’ we set off, although I had a pile of receipts from those thieving entrance and car parks to remember the day by so Daddy was ok.

As lunch was a calm affair my kids wanted another adventure so we popped to a nearby historic house with a football pitch size play area with more tunnels and toys than a factory demonstration area. The weather was hot and around gas mark 6, I could not believe how hot and sunny it was for a Dorset Dad holiday as it normally rains. My son ran on ahead and we saw him jumping up and down which was a tad odd, then we realised the full horror. It was a shaded area and looked like a mini swamp. My sons trainers were covered in mud and he now looked like a participant on a children’s game show who had lost.

The play area was the best we had ever seen and surrounded by trees, which for any normal child was not an issue as many children had picked up sticks. My son however, came back with half a tree, two times his height. Thanks kids, but unless you are a park ranger do you think we could put it back? We got into the car for the drive home and forty minutes seemed like forty hours with two grumpy children. Take your pick on the argument on everything from “He has my toy!” to “My seat belt is not comfortable.” I really wished my car had privacy glass to drown out the arguments. I knew my kids were tired as they started shouting at the sat nav claiming “She is repeating herself, and she’s so annoying”.

All in all two tired happy kids and two tired almost happy parents, what a holiday this was. My little girl is already planning next years!! Daddy better stop eating, start walking to work and saving like the clappers!