We are in Zermatt on a skiing holiday with the children organised by a company called Powder Byrne. The concept is brilliant. They take your children away to places with lots of other children and people like a very nice man called Ed who like looking after children from 8.30 to 4pm so you can ski, sit in the sun, drink hot chocolate or do whatever you like doing up mountains. Then they organise a dinner for them every day at 6pm so you can have an hour in the bar.
This is all well and good, but what I want to know is this: Is there a company that looks after them at night? If not, can I just say that this is a business opportunity waiting to happen and I will be your very first and most loyal customer.
Our night went something like this after a nine-hour train journey from Montpellier to Zermatt.
9.30 pm (by which time I was fast asleep on account of Leonardo keeping me up all night the night before). “Mummy, daddy, Leo won’t go to sleep, he keeps annoying us.”
We get them into bed again, take my laptop into their room and try to calm them down with ABBA. This works for a few hours.
Midnight “Mummy, daddy, we can’t sleep.”
Off I go again, now I try Jack Johnson and swearing.
3am “Mummy, it’s already morning time in France. We’re ready.” The three of them are up and fully dressed. Great.
I explain (rather patiently I might add, considering) that when the sun is not up, it is not morning, here or in France.
They get back into their pyjamas and go back to bed reluctantly.
6am “Mummy, my bed isn’t tidy up.” This time it’s Leo, alone.
“Like I care,” I’m tempted to respond. Instead I tell him to go back to his untidy bed, which of course he refuses to do until I go with him and make his bed for him.
Olivia groans from her bed but luckily the girls sleep through the untidy bed episode.
7am we have to wake them all up to get them ready for ski-school.
It is now 7pm and I approach the night rather like a torture victim approaches his torture chamber. I suppose the only upside is, it can’t get any worse.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007