We drove off to Somerset (south west England) last weekend to stay at Andrews on the Weir - child and dog friendly restaurant with rooms. Sometimes I sense a bit of neediness in parents who are desparate to relax in a good hotel... but they've got nothing on dog owners. Those guys were so grateful to have been able to take their hairy hounds away with them that they didn't look aghast at Peaches in the breakfast room.
By the way, the dogs weren't running around the public spaces of the hotel, so it wasn't as if there was much potential for parental angst at child/dog encounters.
From the outset, Peaches embraced the idea of holidays without much difficulty. Here she is rushing to the car.
As long as she has playdough, duck, dolly and is in charge of the map, she's a happy gal. She also had a pair of scissors and a Charlie and Lola magazine. By the end of the holiday, Lola was confetti. I think it's a sign of love, but who knows what goes on behind that peaches and cream complexion.I've been told that cake is regarded in some quarters as the fourth member of our family. I won't keep you guessing, we did eat plenty of cake. And scones. With clotted cream.
We saw also saw some wild Exmoor ponies. At least I like to imagine they are wild even though they are in fact short, fat, hairy and not at all scary.
We found some rinkydink little bridges for Peaches to dash across. Weirdly, I can't bring myself to tell her the story of the little billy goats gruff. I anticipate it would both freak her out and bring on the repetitive word syndrome. She already has this with 'giants'. It's okay, but I knew we had a five hour car journey ahead of us and didn't want her to obsess over trolls the whole way.
TV reception is notoriously bad in parts of the south west. This meant we had no CBeebies.
I know. What a disaster.
In those fractious, pre-bath minutes we had to resort to Bjork and Lazytown videos on the iPhone. What you won't see here is how Recaro and Peaches fought to be in charge of exactly where the iPhone would be positioned on the bed. Sometimes I think Recaro winds Peaches up on purpose just to see how loudly she can shout.
As for our romantic Valentine dinners, this small hotel has a very successful restaurant. Our room was within monitor distance, and Peaches settled for the night without any trouble.
Every bedside table tells a story... while she didn't raid our cava, if you look carefully you can see she broke into our box of handmade chocs. At least she didn't eat the white chocolate ones. She just spat them out. Nice.
The freakiest part of our weekend was that we were in bed and sleeping by 10pm. It's been said that having children doesn't mean having to change your life. It's just incredibly likely.