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Business or Pleasure?

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I’m one very lucky mummy. We are just back from 10 days in Fiji. My Little Me’s love Fiji, as does the doting husband. Me? I adore it! Je t’aime Fiji. Although we don’t really do the true Fijian experience. It is more of a resort, pool, cocktail kind of experience.

This time we stayed at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa at Natadola bay.  About an hour drive from the airport. It was fabulous. First time down on the coral coast and we were blown away. We stayed in one of their two bedroom club suites (with its own plunge pool!! Thankyou husband!!) WOW! Huge room! Ginormous…but no kitchen?! We had complimentary breakfast, high tea and cocktail and canapés hour. And the resort was so quiet. Great time to go.

And the beach, oh, the beach! Not rough at all with white sand and turquoise blue water! We enjoyed a dip there and a few of our companions tried paddle boarding (One of which was a gun at it and caught a small wave all the way in!).

We then headed back to the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa managed by the Hilton , colloquially known as the Hilton. This is in Denarau, a man-made island about 20 mins form the airport. Great spot as you have many of the 5 star hotels (Hilton, Sofitel, Westin, and Sheraton) within walking distance. Great hotel and one of our favourites. If you go, get a beachfront suite with plunge pool.

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But I didn’t start this to boast about our trip or give away free plugs. I wanted to raise awareness on an issue. I heard it first from the character “Claire” on Modern Family,”… I’m a mom travelling with her kids. It’s not a vacation, it’s a business trip.” Can you see my dilemma?

Apart from being away from home, I still have to feed them (okay, not cook, but worry about what they will eat, when they will eat, where they will eat, not to mention how to prevent them from eating chips at every meal!), I still have to clothe them (did I pack correctly? What is clean? Are they wearing clean undies?). And put them to bed (Will Eloise wet the bed? Is it 7pm in Sydney yet? Will the girls talk all night?). For a mother*, a holiday is really just packing some clothes in a bag (along with all manner of paraphernalia to keep children occupied whilst traveling to wherever), and then spending the next however many days settling the child/children in a different room/bed, in a strange place, entertaining said child/children and pressuring yourselves to have fun because WE ARE ON HOLIDAYS!

For someone who never had the luxury of going on a business trip whilst I was “working” (refer to previous post), I can finally see what you were all complaining about! I love my children and I love seeing my children laugh and frolic in the pool the whole day. And I love having my whole family together creating memories. Going on holiday alone would be a completely different experience. But would I enjoy it as much? Not for one second.

*Again, I use the term “mother” loosely. It can pertain to any primary care giver. Please insert desired nouns as you see fit.

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I have a problem. I need some advice.

How do you teach children tact?

I know the age old anecdote of children being brutally honest, but at what point does it borderline rudeness?

Let me give you the painstakingly embarrassing moments I have had to deal with over the past three days.

Scene 1: At swimming with the Eloise (who we all know is the strong silent type #NOT). Next to us is quite a larger woman, who has no hair. I am assuming she has undergone or is going through some sort of treatment for cancer or similar. Eloise pipes up “ Mummy, why is that lady so big?” URGH!!! Floor open up and swallow me now! WHY IS THAT LADY SO BIG?” Double URGH! What did I do? I just muffled her mouth under the guise of drying her hair and ushered her out quicker than you could say “Um,  excuse me!?”

Scene 2: Pulled up in the car next to another car with a dog panting out the window, being held by, admittedly, a rather surly looking lady. Eloise notices the puppy and I suggest that perhaps we don’t pat him, just in case and proceeded to open my door to disembark the vehicle. “Yeah, don’t touch Lulu, because the lady looks angry.” URGH!  I quietly closed the door, and very softly turned to Stella and expressed how that comment could be misconstrued and thought of as quite rude. URGH!

Scene 3: I was pregnant with Angus. For some unknown reason I decided we, the three of us (the girls and I) needed to go to Bunnings…oh that’s right, would be called nesting! So there we are in the lift on the way up from the carpark with another unwitting gentleman in the lift. “What’s your name?” Eloise pipes up. “John” says the gentleman. “Mum, is John a nice name for the baby?” asks Stella. URGH! Save Me! Don’t get me wrong, John is a lovely name, but just not my baby. I could lie to my child, a white lie, not hurting anyone, or I could say No, I don’t like John as a name!” URGH!

So that is just a little snap shot into my life of managing the per-schoolers mouths. And I’m not a very good PR person for them. I can’t help it. They just come out with this stuff, sporadically, spontaneously, randomly. You want the real #nofilter, try hanging out with my small children!

And here lies my need for help. How do you teach a child tact when you are also teaching your child honesty, importance of having an opinion and to speak up? I am stumped.

We have taken the road of not talking about anyone’s looks, pretty or ugly and too, not talking about anyone’s possessions: Lets not talk about anyone full stop. Well, no. That is hard. How are my girls going to tell me about their days at school or what they did at a friend’s house if they are taught nit to talk about people. And if our rule is don’t say anything nasty about people, how do we explain what is nasty. That saying someone has a fat bottom is nasty, but what if it’s true? “I know that lady has a fat bottom Lulu, but you can’t say that?” URGH! Come On! That is damn confusing, necessary, but so unclear.

HELP! How have you taught your children tact?