As the weeks tick steadily by towards the arrival of baby number two, we have been turning our thoughts to the possibility of a little holiday, just the three of us. We didn't have a proper break last year and the need to get away from it all, as they say, is quickly becoming less a desire and more an urgent necessity.
But where to go when you have a toddler who runs and never walks and needs constant hurding out of imminent danger - in short, a normal, although extremely active, two-and-a-half-year-old? What we don't want is to be somewhere that poses more work than we get at home. Anywhere with lots of steps, steep hills or perilous cliff edges is out. Even a wide expanse of open land is a bit of a no-no unless we are willing to run after him the whole time, because he doesn't stop and he doesn't mind how far he gets from us (I think - I haven't had the courage to test this fully).
Of course, we know that the days of snoozing on a lounger by the pool are over for now, for both of us at the same time at least, but if we could sit and relax for a little bit while watching him safely playing that would be marvellous. The beach is an obvious place to start. A pool would be good too as he does love splashing about. A play area with swings, slide etc would be really handy as a week is a long time to entertain a little one. Some sort of tiny tots club where he can do painting and playdough could come in handy. A private patio area completely contained would hit the nail right on the head. Most of all, we want somewhere that is child friendly and where there won't be other adults casting evil stares at us if the little man starts doing his own thing. In short, we want everything we have at home, but somewhere nice and hot.
So far, I have looked into family cruises, Centre Parcs and a rather attractive-sounding website called Luxury Family Hotels where adults and kiddies are all catered for under one rather posh roof. Camping is on the list (although I'm not sure I fancy sleeping on an air mattress at seven months pregnant gone). The best bet so far is a lovely complex of bungalows in Lanzarote. By May, it will be balmy but not over-bearing, there is a beach, a pool and a play area. I admit I am a little daunted by the four-hour flight but our trusty iPad should ease any problems there and, come on, I only have one child after all.
That's as far as I have got for now. The little man's daddy is snowed under with work and we are reluctant to book anything too far in advance in case we have to cancel which does leave me plenty of time to find the perfect place. If any of you seasoned mums and dads have ideas on good places to go with toddlers, I would welcome any suggestions.