It all looks so good on paper, right? Plenty to do, lovely pool, pizza and fries if they won’t eat the gorgeous Moroccan food. So…three guesses what my lot actually cared about most while they were away.
Well it really wasn’t that hard to figure out. It’s the Wi-Fi.
Just sums it all up, somehow. Wi-Fi. Three monosyllabic young teenagers (one’s actually 12 but definitely a teenager), all slouching on the couches in reception all day long, every day, staring glassy-eyed at their phones.
I know what you’re thinking, and I was thinking it too – what kind of parent allows their children to just laze around the whole holiday playing on their phones? Why not cajole them into taking part in outings and eating the local food?
The thing is, it’s supposed to be a holiday for me and my husband too, so it would be really nice to not have to do all the things we usually do at home. Such as cajoling three children into outings and eating more interesting food!
In the end, after much complaining and ‘I’m not going!’, we managed to prise them away from social media and out into the gorgeous warm sunshine of Marrakech.
And the next (not so big) surprise? They absolutely loved the outings! The medieval markets (the medina), the evening out to see a traditional Berber show – and especially the excursion to the Atlas mountains.
The mountain excursion is going to go down in family history, due to a moment of complete madness. The mountains are home to wild macaque monkeys. As we were feeding them peanuts, a cheeky one grabbed my bag of nuts and made to run off! Now what would a sane person do? Well I couldn’t tell you, because I’m apparently not sane. I went after him and tried to get my bag of nuts off him!
Next thing I know, I’ve got this angry monkey coming at me with his teeth bared! And he’s looking much bigger than he did before too! I backed off and let him have his bag of nuts. I suppose when you’re in a foreign country, in the mountains, miles from anywhere, with an angry monkey ready to attack, you have to just let it go. Seems sensible.
So what have I learned from all this (apart from not enraging wild monkeys)? I suppose as your children get older, your expectations of what a family holiday is, have to change. They don’t want to lounge about with us any more, or chat very much, or eat with us. Their world is just so different from ours, and different from how we were, when we were kids. I don’t have to accept bad behaviour, but I do have to accept that. And after all, it is their holiday too.