So recently we’ve had ALOT of change going on in our home. New baby, twins going to nursery for 3 hours (on their own) three times a week, me not drinking (as much) and generally….I feel like I’m back at square one here.
I’m not going out (blame new baby), not sleeping well (blame new baby), can’t get into any of my old clothes but maternity stuff makes me look like a fat lump (new baby’s fault too)… the list of stuff is endless. PLUS, I’m contending with difficult stuff at home (London) i.e.. a not so well parent kinda puts everything in your life into perspective. This DOES NOT, however, stop me drinking which the Captain helpfully pointed out when the oven clock chimed 6pm and I ran to grab my daily “evening drink/medicine”. Hey, the kids were practically in bed and story time is waaaay more fun when Mummy’s had a few drinks….plus I do accents to make the kids laugh! And, if I pass out before then, well….I’ve got two nannies….who can read Filipino stories.
We decided the best thing to do with alllllll our recent stress was to go away for a long weekend with just the twins. No help. Yes, you read that right. Not one nanny was in sight…. plus our hotel had a kids club and nanny service on hand which we abused fiercely. I mean, we’re away on holiday for Christs sake! I need a frigging break from the monotony of my usual life back in HK.
I’m soooo bored of school runs to Tai Tam from one end of the Island to the other, playmates, endless Doctors appointments (the last one consisted of my daughter clinging to my leg while my Son screamed and I was trying to soothe our 8 week old while she got her jabs). The nurse patted me on the back before throwing me out the surgery. All those waiting Mums must have thought I was a local Gypsy with all my young, unruly kids, plus my hip flask of neat whisky was hanging loosely in my baby nappy bag next to the wipes for emergencies. So a trip away was needed but I tend to break out in a cold sweat whenever the Captain suggests a holiday. Theres just sooo much shit to organise whenever we go away and I’m getting fed up of walking around with a clip board and whistle ticking off everything from swim bands to enough travel toys to stop us going mad on the flight.
Baby number three didn’t have a passport until recently so she wasn’t coming with us. Our Helper in Hong Kong (who I swear thinks this Child belongs to her, keeps telling me things like “oh she started smiling when you were away”….FUCK OFF). As long as she doesn’t start calling her “Mum”, I don’t give a shit right now. Anyhow, as her passport hadn’t arrived, B3 had to remain in Hong Kong. I was therefore mortified to discover the photos the Captain had managed to take with our Helper while I was away, for her first passport. Thanks to the Captain holding Baby’s head up to capture the photo, his hands managed to stick her ears out in the process. A LOT. She now resembles a cuter version of Shrek in her first passport with a halo of light flooding in from behind her head which makes her ears simply look MASSIVE. Baby number 3, AKA “Forgotten one/Dumbo”, we are so sorry.
Anyhow, The Captain and I took Itchy and Scratchy away for 4 long days to Malaysian Borneo, to a place called Kota Kinabalu (yes, seriously). We stayed at the lovely Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort and had a wonderful room by the pool (Ocean Wing darling, not the cheaper Garden wing rooms).
So…. after arriving with the least amount of luggage ever (the twins now eat normal food, like pasta and err, pasta, and shit ALOT less than before), we arrived. We left Hong Kong nearly 3 hours earlier, so I was pretty impressed. The flight over wasn’t even that painful. I’d forgotten the all important drugs I use to knock the twins (and sometimes The Captain out) but it went ok.
Captain took our Son (Satan) who was actually being a little irritating by licking everything in sight (yes, his shoes too) until he finally passed out (we booked the flights to work with our Gina Ford routine). Our daughter on the other hand was sat with me on the other side of the aisle and needed constant entertainment. After giving her stickers (which had a book to stick them all in), she decided it was time to redecorate the entire cabin and there are now Princess stickers all over an Air Asia flight to Kota Kinabalu. I was friggin exhausted by the end of the flight and needed a drink to take the edge off (well, that or a Xanax). She finally decided to fall asleep as we were landing so was not a happy bunny when I had to wake her and go through customs.
On arriving at our fabulous hotel 45 minutes later, The Shangri-La Rasa Ria, we were all greeted and taken to our amazing suite which had a huge marble bathtub outside our room on the terrace (we took a ground floor suite for safety reasons with 2 crazy liberal toddlers running around). The toddlers travel cots were made and ready for use along with a toy for each child (Orangutan).
The staff all knew the kids names and the Captain had arranged for a babysitter (selfless fellow that he is) to watch the kids during their belated nap time while we lounged around the pool. Me in a very unsexy “Mummy Marks & Spencer’s tummy taming swimsuit” and the Captain all toned and missing a baby belly pouch. What is it with our C-section scar that causes this horrible skin to pop right over it like a bulge? I used to have a stomach you could bounce coins off. Now my tummy swallows those coins up and you never see them again (not for long. I’m heading back to Pilates next week). The lunchtime menu and cocktail list was excellent and daily rose drinking (by The Captain I hasten to add) was essential to stop us being grouchy bastards. I had strong double Cosmopolitans every time the kids went off for their naps. Just because I felt like it.
Our time at the Shangri-La was lovely. We ate well, slept well (bed by 9pm every night!), they had a great Kids Club, swam every day with the kids and went to the Orangutan Sanctuary.
A word to the wise … the Orangutan Sanctuary is not for kids aged 2 years or under, as you walk in 40 degree heat through a jungle (a short walk but still) to watch Orangutans eat their lunch. Did they perform? Nope because they are meant to be wild. Therefore the kids barely looked at them for more than a few minutes before my Son (Satan) decided to punch his Dad in the leg continuously and then scream and cry after the Game Keepers had told the entire group that this is when we are meant to be “very quiet”, so the orangutans would come out.
Sure we got a few stares from those annoying arseholes who act like they’ve never seen a child cry (or have really fucking annoying kids who are well-behaved & are usually ginger haired) but after 15 minutes (actually, it was more like 10), the Captain and I left. Screaming at each other and pouring with sweat as we hot footed it down a path in a jungle carrying our now deliriously hot and crying toddlers back to five-star Shangri-La safety and back to the Kids Club right away. So fun.
*Photo above of the Kids Club from inside. This place was very well run and had a little farm outside with Goats, chickens, a play area etc. The staff were all very well-trained too. They also had a video room (photo below) for the kids and a different timetable every day with anything from arts and crafts to music. Anyone under the age of 3 must be accompanied by an adult. So we lied and said the twins were 4 before dumping them and running to the bar (joke). We actually used a wonderful Nanny who works for the hotel. She was around 60 years old and had SIX kids at home. She also could do CPR and deal with anything. So whenever we needed to be alone, in came our lovely Nanny to the rescue.
Anyhow, going back to the story with the Organutan Sanctury ….. Remind me not to do that ever again.
I can’ recall how many times I have specifically told the Captain to do a site “recce” before we go somewhere with the kids. FYI “Recce basically means visiting a location to work out its suitability for the job in hand, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues” (* quoted from Wikipedia). Or in our case, issues relating to our twin toddlers!? For instance, does a double buggy fit on these roads? Will the kids like where we are going? Can I feed them there? Is it hot or cold? Will I fucking hate the place?! You get the picture. Know your audience for fucks sake. I hate going to shows. Therefore dont drag me along WITH our toddlers on a boat, train and bus to watch something that will bore us shitless after 2 minutes (I can barely stomach the adverts for Glee).
Men do not think for one second that maybe these issues are important, although mine is learning very quickly.
The Captain once took us on a “pleasant” walk up the road when we first moved to Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, which turned into a 1.5 hour walk with roads disappearing. We have a twin Out n About buggy and were basically walking in winding roads on the South Side of HK where cars speed into you (the Taxi drivers here are also fucking nuts). This walk also took place when we were dying with a hangover and the twins were thirsty (they were 8 months old) in 35 degree heat.
I asked The Captain if he had ever done this “pleasant” bullshit so-called 15 minute walk before and he confessed that some arse monkey at work had recommended it. I asked if this idiot recommender (yes I’m aware it’s not a word) had a twin buggy? He confessed that “no, he doesn’t have twins” and the guy who recommended this shitty walk had one 2-year-old child. ONE child who is a toddler is very different to twins who were 8 months at the time. This same arse monkey suggested to the Captain that we take the twins to the Orangutan sanctuary. I told the Captain never ever to listen to this twat again. He clearly has a very advanced child and as there is ONLY one child, its fucking easy between two adults (unless one of you is drunk or incarcerated).
Anyway, going back to the Hotel…. the beach was lovely as you can see from our photos above. There were lots of sandflies though so make sure you cover up unless you want to develop bites the size of mine (I looked like the Elephant Mans wife by the end of our trip due to my severe allergic reaction to bites).
All the swimming pools were clean, not too cold (I hate that!!) and never felt crowded. The grounds were beautiful and the restaurants (especially the Buffet meals where kids go free), was very good (I’m not a fan of eat all you want but this was great value!).
I must add, the flight back was fucking horrendous as the kids decided to go insane. Not only did they climb over seats, cry non-stop, put stickers all over our allocated seats. Besides all that…. the wouldn’t friggin sleep (which is why they were going mad). And what did The Captain do during all of this mayhem? He put his iPad on and started watching “Up All Night” (Christina Applegates new show….friggin hilarious). It was at that point that I cracked, grabbed his iPad and put on Baby Einsteins which settled the kids very quickly.
Back soon as I’ve got a girls night planned and I’m hoping to get arrested for drunk and reckless behaviour…just like the good old days before I became responsible (ahem).