It was with great excitement last weekend that we all travelled back to my folks in Stratford Upon Avon as it was the last chance to spend some time with my sister, her husband and my two gorgeous nephews before they returned to Canada.
We had a great day. The kids played wildly. My Mum made an awesome Xmas dinner, far better than my somewhat pathetic attempt on Xmas day. We drank some fine wine, some fizz, pulled some crackers, and generally had a lovely time. The boy was ecstatic to have his cousins to play with and my smallest nephew simply doted on Little Miss.
Come half past six the kids were starting to get a little tired so Mr B and I gathered up their things and we headed off to a nearby hotel for the night, and looked forward to seeing them all again the next day.
Earlier that week I had booked us a family room and had visions of the kids sleeping soundly, tucked up in their beds, while Mr B and I snuggled up with a glass of wine, some nibbles and watched that night’s Sherlock on TV.
How wrong I was.
Little Miss, despite virtually ALWAYS falling asleep soundly at 7pm went POSTAL.
“RAH, WHAT IS THIS? A TRAVEL COT? RAH. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY MIND? RAH. DO YOU REALLY THINK I AM SLEEPING IN THAT? RAH! RAH! RAAHHHHHHHH!”
The boy, on the other hand, was so excited about the fact that his single bed was right next to ours, proceeded to spend the first half an hour racing about the room, jumping between beds, and laughing like a maniac.
By half past seven we had managed to wrestle them both into their pyjamas, and ourselves into ours and all four of us were piled on our bed. Little Miss was no longer roaring, instead giving me frequent accusing glares as she lay in my arms with the occasional accompanying outraged sniff.
Mr B was half buried by the boy who sat gleefully bouncing atop him, and giving us a running commentary of everything that had happened that day, everything that would happen tomorrow, and anything else that happened to pop in and out of his head as and when it did so.
We exchanged glances. Glances that silently uttered, “Only an hour left until Sherlock.”
Eventually Little Miss began to drift off. Too scared to move too quickly I allowed an extra ten minutes, not moving, barely even breathing for fear the roaring would commence, before tip-toeing across to her cot and gently placing her down. I imagine this is perhaps how bomb-disposal experts feel. I was in luck and made it back to our bed unscathed.
The boy, however, was going nowhere. Attempts to put him in his own bed were met by tears and tantrums which, to be honest, neither Mr B or I really had the energy left to deal with and, with just ten minutes left until Sherlock began we struck a deal. He could stay in our bed for one more hour provided that he remained quiet. We were sure he was bound to drop off in that time having spent all day running around like a wild thing. He HAD to be tired, no?
He wriggled, he jiggled, he elbowed and fidgeted. He chattered, he muttered, he sniffed and he sneezed and Sherlock came and went with neither myself or Mr B really any the wiser as to what had happened.
It was not until almost midnight that everyone was in their correct bed…and quiet.
And could I get to sleep? Could I hell. Now I know co-sleeping works for some parents but they are clearly stronger folk than me. The kids weren’t even in my bed but still I heard every twitch, sniff, cough, kick, wriggle and yawn like they were right next to me with a microphone attached.
I think I finally drifted off around 2am.
SCUFFLES….LAUGHTER….DOORS SLAMMING….MORE SCUFFLES.
WTF? I reached for my mobile and ascertained it was about 5am. With no idea what was happening outside in the corridor, and no wish to, I buried my head deep under the covers thankful that at least it had not woken the kids.
“Mummy what was that noise?”
And so it began again.
At 8am I stumbled wearily downstairs with the kids while Mr B packed away a few things. On his way down to meet us he was stopped by a staff member who asked if we had been disturbed at all. It transpired that in the early hours of the morning some bouncers accompanied by a load of ‘exotic dancers’ from a nearby club had let themselves in and demanded more booze. On being refused and escorted out they then decided to break back in and throw a little room-trashing party in the room right next door to ours.
” I was going to get up and have a look, but I figured it was just kids.” Mr B mumbled, and with a distinct look of disappointment at having missed the drunken strippers, slumped off to the car.
On learning that they had been offering £100 cash for a bottle of wine I did the same. We never did get around to drinking ours.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Tesco however all words are my own, and this is actually a true story. In Shakespeare’s Stratford too. Who would have thought it could be quite so exciting eh?
Oh my, I feel your pain having experienced the agony of a ‘family room’ many a time. Never goes according to plan …
Boo Roo and Tigger Too says
I can never sleep when we stay in a family room, terrified of turning over in case I wake one of the children. As for the exotic dancers, well good job Mr B didn’t venture to see what the noise was.
Michael Cargill says
Awesome story that was well-told.
I popped round a friends’ house on Boxing Day and there were three different sets of kids flying around the place… it was mental
When we go away we always split into two rooms with an adult in each now. Total nightmare otherwise! I feel your pain…. I am also reminded of taking the older two to York once and staying in a very “cosy” (read “snug”) family room and getting absolutely no sleep at ALL before deciding at 3am that it was time to go home lol…
PODcast (@The_Doves) says
Such a brilliant story – what a night you had! Kids never seem to want to go to sleep when they’re away from home. Our toddler likes to bounce of all the walls until late then end up with us. Little tinkers 🙂
maggy, red ted art says
Oh I feel for you… travelling with young kids is SUCH HARD work.. they never ever sleep as wel as at home!
Brilliant post! It’s always those nights that you have something planned that the children play up. We usually manage okay with getting the children to sleep in a family room now, but it’s the mornings we struggle with. We stayed in London at the weekend and my daughter (2) had us all up for the day at 4.20am which wasn’t much fun!
I’m exactly the same I cannot sleep with the kids at all. A great read, thank you.
Mums do travelMums do travel says
You poor things! We had a similar experience with hotel kids’ beds in a family room where I gave in and slept on the tiny roll out bed intended for my small son and he shared the double with his Dad. There were no strippers there though.
Brilliantly told & superb headline! My idea of hell is sharing a hotel room with my children too.
Chris at Thinly Spread says
Oh I really feel for you! I so clearly remember that frustration at never, ever knowing what was going on on TV because I always missed the crucial bits too – I got out of the habit of watching anything which required more than about 10 minutes concentration and I’m not sure I’ve really recovered!
Kirsty Hornblow says
We have had similar experiences sleeping in a family room with our baby although no police or exotic dancers were involved. I hope you got some sleep when you got home x
Oh dear! F always ALWAYS wakes when there is the one thing I’m desperate to watch, so yes that would be two episodes of Sherlock I’ve missed! x
Oh my! I am sorry but that had me giggling. I could just imagine it all happening. Poor you guys. I hope you got to watch Sherlock again on catchup!!!
feel for you – that family room scenario is so familiar. we can never ever seem to get them to sleep before midnight in hotel rooms with us and they only sleep when we finally go to sleep, its a pain! I think hoping to watch sherlock in peace with the kids in there was quite ambitious! hope you still managed to enjoy it tho
oh god I feel for you although the line about the exotic dancers did make me laugh! x
Ha ha you have my complete sympathy x x
That certainly reminded me of when my two were younger! I can’t believe you slept through the party in the next room, that must have been how tired you were after all that!! xx
I can never sleep in a hotel……we always seem to get woken up by elephants in the room above or people stomping up the corridor!
Oh wow, what a story! We co-slept for about 18 months but I have to say sleeping anywhere but our own bed was a nightmare!
Shell Louise says
I’ve never stayed with the children in a family room and after reading this I don’t think it’s on my ‘to do’ list…ever!! 🙂
My children are exactly the same! Glad it’s not just mine 🙂
I remember being informed by a friend (who doesn’t have kids but runs a B&B) that family rooms are just fine because kids sleep through anything. My protests that two rooms with a connecting door would be more suitable were met with a smug shake of the head. Nope. She had nieces and informed me that kids generally flake out at 7pm and you can watch telly and make as much noise as you want. Yeah, right.
Sounds terrifying, and I’m not talking about the bouncers, but the family room!
Tami Anderson (@RaspberryGiggle) says
Oh dear, sounds eventful! We made the mistake of booking a family room over Christmas with our two little ones. We didn’t get much sleep either, it was too hot, the kids shuffled and snored all night – it was a nightmare!
Emily @amummytoo says
Hahaha, that’s not quite the kind of drama one expects in Stratford Upon Avon!
I cosleep and now I find silence unnerving. I think all of Aaron’s noises and twitches are my lullaby LOL.
We recently stayed in a Premier Inn and I had dreams of him sleeping in the single bed next to us. Ha ha he started in there just as he did in Drayton Manor Hotel… but not long before he’s in with us. On each ocassion it’s so long till we get him off that an evening of adults watching TV is long gone and we ALL fall asleep. Great post I really enjoyed it. Liska x
Argh what a nightmare! I always fin the thought of a night away somewhere with the kids in tow all very exciting – until it happens !
wow! what a night lovely. this is why when the kids are still young is best to either stay at home or go out just you and hubby. xx it will get better though x