WARNING-This is gonna get sweary. To paraphrase Tyrion Lannister- If you’ve come here for loveliness, you’ve come to the wrong place.
This week, I went to Copenhagen. Its an amazingly beautiful city, with awesome sights and wonderful people and a public transport system that’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. sounds amazing, right? Right. Only…… I took my kids with me.
My kids. The Boy who flips out at the idea of food in the wrong coloured packaging. Satan, who truly doesn’t give a shit if I’m nearby or not and the only people she has to talk to are Danish strangers. The Diva is who is WAY to fucking cool to walk next to me in the street and is like an over-sized toddler in her inability to understand ‘stop wandering off’. Add in a city where people are basically kamikazes on bicycles and of course they come from the opposite direction to where my brain is expecting and how we all came home alive is a fucking mystery to me.
Best experiences of the week include-
trying to get on a bus..Cai got on, the door closes leaving me and the girls on the pavement, cue panic attack. look round. other door is open. go to get on. the driver says ‘no no no, always the front door, always!’ I apologise profusely. He spots my non-Danishness and proceeds to give me a 5 MINUTE long lecture on how it works. I keep saying ‘sorry sorry’ like the chastised child I am, to which he replies ‘There is no need to be sorry, you didn’t know’. All the while, a queue of about 10 people has built up behind me. I am slowly backing away as he is still talking thinking ‘If it doesn’t matter, shut the fuck up and let me go…’ but obviously, I’m British, so what I do is stand there and let him talk. FOR. EVER.
The Tivoli. If you ever get a chance to visit it, do. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. Even the floor is gorgeous. The rides kept the kids amused for hours. It has loads of places to sit and watch the world go by. But don’t eat there. Unless you have shit tons of money. burger and chips x 4…..approx. £57….a motherfucking postcard set me back £4. And no, it wasn’t a gold postcard.
We watched Rhinos have sex (‘Why is that rhino jumping the other rhino, that noise doesn’t sound like he’s enjoying it’) We watched Rhinos fight. We watched a baby rhino breastfeed. It was fucking incredible.
The blue planet aquarium. The kids got to watch sharks and seals and penguins and fish. It was insanely beautiful. It’s right by the sea so we sat and ate ice-cream by the water and I could have stayed there for days.
Eirys asking a random bloke on the bus if he could speak Danish. He said yes. She replied ‘I think its just made up noises and you’re all lying to me’. He thankfully thought this was amusing.
Cerys watched an entire movie in Danish. She knows exactly 5 words in Danish. She said ‘that movie, tho’ about 14 times a day afterward. I assume this is teen-speak for liking it.
So, yes, a great trip. But I’m also the tiredest I’ve ever been. holidaying as a single parent is no joke. You don’t ever get to switch off, everything is on you to sort out. Its on you to make sure everyone’s shit is where its meant to be at the airport. To carry the case that’s too heavy for the youngest one. To navigate a huge airport in a language you know very little of. To remember to plan the return journey on your day out as well as the way there (I did not do this, we got very wet trying to find our bus home from the Tivoli.). Its on you to decide if you should go on a specific trip one day, or if you should just take a while to chill out. and when you have one kid who wants to go and two who don’t, you dont have the option of spliting it up, so you’re going to have to piss SOMEONE off.
It’s hard work, is all i’m sayin’.
But, now we are home. Snap back to reality. The longer we are home, the more they will forget the parts that were farcical and hard and the more they will have some memories that will hopefully last a life time. And one day when they are grown and have kids of their own, they’ll hopefully appreciate that I did this to show them that they can do anything. Even broken, single mothers on a budget can do things.
Which brings me to the second thing that happened this week. I passed all my exams. Me. After one of the most chaotic years of my life, when I sat one exam stoned on diazepam, another on no sleep at all, I wrote essays propped up on pillows unable to turn my head. I drove thousands of miles. I’ve spent entire weekends asleep trying to cope with the effects of my illness in order to get up and do it all again Monday morning. But I did it. I have one exam left to sit, and that’s me on to year 2.
I do all this so the annoying little bastards who live in my house can see that NOTHING is impossible. That even when you do shit all arse-backward and wrong, as is my want to do, you can still achieve things.
But I’m fucking done for a bit now. I’m gonna spend the next week eating food I didn’t have to sell my soul to afford and that isn’t pickled fish masquerading as meat and watching films in English. …………..That movie, tho.