The Hugzilla Family Holiday (Day One): Please Help Me

The Hugzilla clan (minus one) are on vacation. I’m currently in Queensland with my two year old and my four year old while my husband enjoys the real holiday, which is 14 blissful days at home without his wife or children.

If there is one thing I have learned about holidays with small kids, it’s that they aren’t about having fun. And they aren’t about relaxing. What they are about, is survival. Uprooted routines, tiredness and tantrums are the order of the day.

Our holiday started with bloodshed. The night we arrived at my parent’s house, my father stormed out of the house at 1:30am after hearing a noise in the backyard. One of the local cats had decided to rain a holy shit storm down on an innocent family of doves, leaving one orphaned baby chick clinging precariously to life, his nest obliterated into a forlorn vignette of blood, feathers and twigs.

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On discovering the baby dove the next morning, my father deliberated about whether or not to rescue it, giving me the chance to showcase my trademark sensitivity when he asked for my opinion, whereupon I barely looked up from buttering my toast before mumbling something about Charles Darwin and “survival of the fittest”.

I mean as far as I’m concerned, if you go messing around with nature you invariably end up with a baby bird in a shoebox and have no fucking idea what to do with it.

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Anyway, despite my heartless wise counsel he eventually decided to rescue the bird and I inwardly cheered, because there is no better time than a happy family holiday to teach your young children about death and mortality.

My Dad also decided that it was a really good idea to name the baby dove and I wholeheartedly agreed, because it’s really important for the kids to develop a strong attachment to the bird before it inevitably dies within the next 48 hours.

And that wasn’t even the dumbest thing we did today.

We decided to take the kids food shopping after two days spent with five people squished into a non-airconditioned sedan, driving from Sydney to the Gold Coast. And when I say “non-airconditioned”, I mean “actually airconditioned” but my father has a blanket policy of not using it, because he honestly believes the car engine will explode.

Needless to say, it was a trying couple of days.

Day 1 of our holiday proper was raining, which is why we decided to get the shopping out of the way against our better judgement. Mistaking the dead-eyed tourists and murky heat for a trip to Hades, my kids decided to adapt their behaviour accordingly, much like that famous saying:

When in Hell, act like Hellions.

(On that note: I would like to apologise to the Aldi patrons at checkout four, the young cashier at the fruit shop and the middle-aged woman who was quietly resting on the sofas outside of Lotus Homewares until I stormed over and sat my squalling preschooler down for an impromptu time-out.)

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Taking a “divide and conquer” approach, my mother and I parted ways in the supermarket to get what we needed. Fifteen minutes later I had completed three circuits of the store but was unable to locate her and Hellion Child #1.

And then I heard my name being called.

Over the store PA.

Three times.

Instead of using her mobile phone to call or text me – like any other rational human being would – my mother decided to have the customer service desk broadcast an announcement to the entire supermarket for me to be returned to the front counter.

Not just once, but THREE times.

Like I was a lost child.

I’m 38 years old.


Survival update: Baby Dove and Mama Zilla still stunned and gasping for breath.

77 thoughts on “The Hugzilla Family Holiday (Day One): Please Help Me

  1. It’s wrong that I’m laughing at your misfortune, isn’t it? Sorry (in a #sorrynotsorry kind of way). Can’t wait for day 2 😉

    • It feels so wrong to say it, so it’s nice to hear that others find it hard work too. In amongst all the tiredness and tanties you get these lovely little moments, but then you have to march your kid out of Aldi for a time-out because he is trying to ram you with the trolley and you both look psychotic. LOL. I’ve never seen him like that before!

  2. Relaxing, calm holidays & children…never gonna happen. I advocate self medicating with fermented fruit.
    Your husband totally owes you. What I wouldn’t give for a house to myself for 14 days. By 7pm on day 1 I would be missing the kids, but that’s beside the point.

    You have my sympathies 😉

  3. There’s nothing like heat, small children, grocery shopping and family to get the blood pressure up. Insist on a day out on your own forthwith. After all, grandparents have childminding responsibilities, don’t they? Good luck xx

  4. Well you know I’m an advocate of holidaying with kids! But what you are describing isn’t a holiday, it’s dancing in the flames of Dante’s inferno. What you need is a swimming pool, a kids club, and a pina colada with a little umbrella in it, preferably served by some hot shirtless guy. Clearly these things are in short supply at your parents so I’d instead prescribe investing in a large bottle of gin and a straw. Stat. 🙂

    • Hahahahahhaha the air conditioner drives me crazy. He won’t even run the one inside the house, and there’s no engine to blow up. Dude really has something against air conditioning.

  5. WHERE ARE YOU? No seriously we are on the Gold Coast having our family holiday – if you can convince your mum to mind your boys I will drive to where you are and take you out for a coffee. And by coffee I mean WHISKEY obviously. PM me on Facebook if you can get away even for an hour 🙂 Rachel from Our Town Brisbane xx

  6. So glad mine are older now. Having said that, the kids are now telling me to calm and stop arguing with them. And my dad is of an age where the thought of him driving anywhere terrifies me.

  7. Oh my god that is so funneeeee. I almost sicked up. “A forlorn vignette of blood, feathers and twigs” you could be a poet. My kids rescued a baby plover once. They kept it in a shoe box then returned it to the nest. I don’t know what happened after that. The parents probably pecked it to death. We took our dogs on holiday with us which may have been marginally better. I’m not sure xx

  8. Grocery shopping with kids is hell on earth (welcome to my Monday mornings – thank god for vegemite scrolls, they are the only thing that keep the kids from hurling themselves out of the trolley). I hope you enjoyed a massive bottle of your favourite beverage at the end of the day. Good luck and I can’t wait to read more of your “holiday” adventures. It can only get better from here right?! Only 4 more weeks of school holidays to go…

    • There were several cans of XXXX consumed during the making of this post… I’m looking forward so much to this year when one is in school and the other in preschool. The excitement of doing the grocery shopping ON MY OWN!!

  9. Too funny, but it shouldn’t be as this was me 10 years ago. Holidays with my parents, without my husband, with 2 small children in an unconditioned pre-fab beach house over the summer. Those holidays were the work of the devil! I HATED THEM and the only way I got through was to drink wine starting at 2pm! I’ll pray for a kids club to materialise and a close friend to rescue you with cosmopolitans!

  10. Every year I long for our summer holiday and dream of relaxing and cocktails by the pool. Every year by the end of day one I look at Hubby and say “I should’ve known better, same shit different location”

  11. I read aloud to my partner that paragraph about your father’s “non-airconditioned” car. As I expected, my partner nodded, in agreement with your father. I sympathize.

    • Thank you xx And the dove’s name is a minor point of contention. I thought we should call it Michael. My 5 year old thought we should call it Fluffy. So it is called “The Bird”.

  12. I’m so sorry, but I laughed hard and read snippets to my teenaged children, who no longer behave like hellions. Much. Because 18yo’s should be ‘grown up’, shouldn’t they! And the rest I threaten with death because they know I won’t actually follow through on that threat. But only because it’s illegal. I told them this morning I had, on occasion, plotted their deaths in the form of them killing each other during terribly awful fights. I could be faultless but maybe my life could become less….tortured.

    You’re doing this for the memories you’ll give your kids. As a mother I never considered that I actually got a holiday until my youngest turned four. Then, when I could sit and read for more than an hour at a time, I felt like I had been able to rest.

    It’s for the memories. Remember that! Your kids will remember the good bits!

  13. Oh my goodness, I am currently pissing myself laughing as I read your post. 😂 I can totally relate to all you have said. In reality a mother never gets a holiday, never any peace and not much help.
    So glad I have finally found your blog, I must have been living under a rock x

  14. I find vacation with the whole family in tow is never quite a vacation! I knew a couple once who vacationed separately so that they would actually unwind and relax. Maybe suggest that to hubby! 🙂 🙂 🙂 haha

  15. Bahaha at work we always had to put calls over the PA to call the parents back to the counter because we found lost children. Sometimes it took ages for them to come back. I guess they thought a department store = free babysitting while they shop but after a while the kids inevitably get bored of ripping shit off hangers and running in between fixtures then have a huge breakdown because they cant find their mum. You’d think given your child was actually with another adult who had your phone number calling would be the most obvious option though 🙂

    • I KNOW RIGHT? My mum used to work at Woolies, so maybe it was just an ingrained part of her training after all those years. Lost child = PA announcement, even though her lost child is 38 years old and is contactable by mobile phone.

  16. OH man, there is nothing like a holiday with your parents to make you feel like you are still a child. I think my parents are getting worse with age, at least my brother is old enough now to commiserate with aka mutter under our breath to each other that they better watch themselves because we’ll choose the retirement home. Here is a fun times holiday that I went on with my parents. Such fun!

    • You’ve nailed it right there, Tegan. It DOES make you feel like a kid again. It’s a really odd dynamic, particularly because they refuse to let me pay for things and we’re always arguing at the checkouts. LOL. I just read your post and ZOMG. Holiday from hell. A 5 month old and some asshole who hacked into your accounts? Ouch.

  17. Hilarious!!! We are on a 3 week road trip around QLD with kids aged 9, 8 & 5 and I’m sure with the amount of fighting going on between my kids in our hotel rooms the neighbours must think we are crazy (or just travelling with 3 kids!!)

  18. HAHAHAHAAA…… Sucked in!
    Ok, I’m sorry, I actually feel your pain. I’m also on “holiday” with a bunch of small children (including my own) and it is the OPPOSITE of relaxing. And there are more coming… tomorrow I will be surrounded by SIX children. It’s like a fucking day care centre. There may be a beach and a pool, but this is not a holiday. SO MUCH SCREAMING. And that’s just the adults…

  19. We nearly had blood on our day one in Melbourne also. The dog, where we were going to be dog sitting, lunged at my 1.5yr old as soon as we opened the apartment and said “Hey, we’re crashing your pad and you will now have to be content with living on the balcony. Nice to meet you. Tank 2.” He sent my toddler flying into the entertainment unit and big tears ensued, along with a long bruise across his chin that stayed for the remainder of the holidays.
    Just to be clear tank 2 is Señor Grumpy, and Tank 1 is my son. Both are huge, but tank 2 is really just a giant, slobbering wombat dressed as a dog.

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