We organise the world quite badly. No one should attempt to go on a family weekend break on a bank holiday. But almost everyone has too. And make the best of it. The Dad’s role in turning this bank holiday hell into golden holiday memories is largely unsung, though.
His first job is to get the family to the well known forest holiday resort. The satnav gets them as far as a river ford or “Road Closed” sign then gives up, worn out by the relentless traffic. The Dad, without a clue of their current location or recourse to a map, valiantly gets them stuck in a town made mostly of road works. The family does not fully appreciate his efforts.
When they finally arrive, irritable and exhausted, the Dad’s first role is that of pack animal. He doesn’t know what’s in most of the huge bags that he has to lug from the car to the cabin, but they must be important to be so heavy.
The Dad then finally relaxes by pounding up and down a swimming pool for several hours with one or more largely unimpressed/whining children clinging to his shoulders. When the wave machine is turned on the Dad tries desperately to look happy and care free as he battles to avoid drowning beneath his laughing children.
Later, in a scene reminiscent of the film Jaws, the entire pool is cleared by a tiny, spherical brown floater. The Dad is sure it probably wasn’t produced by his child.
Apart from clearing swimming pools, other common Dad holiday jobs include bicycle maintenance, breaking up fights, nappy changing and being vomited on. He should pack several pairs of trousers for this purpose.
The Dad, tired out by all the relaxing he’s been doing, gets a bit tiddly on the last night. He spends the dreaded checkout morning sweatily reprising his pack animal role, this time against the clock. With seconds to spare the family flee the scene like reverse burglars, leaving, among many other precious things, a cuddly toy vital to everyone’s happiness.
Amazingly, the family’s had a lovely time. But most amazingly, the one who’s had the best time of all, is the Dad.