Holidays are different when kids are in tow.
The temptation of too many cocktails by the pool is drowned out by the thought of a hangover at 6am when children in unfamiliar surroundings fire up long before the coffee machine does.
The road trip starts with a game of Tetris to cram suitcases, scooters and bikes into a boot and ends with three baskets of washing.
Something is always left behind.
Bunny. Not bunny! Which bunny?!
It’s a 50-50 bet whether to shell out extra for the kids to have their own room when they might insist on sleeping cheek-to-jowl anyway.
And vacancies are rare during school holidays, so we bunked in and promised to sneak next door once they were asleep.
We were snoring first.
Because holidays with kids are exhausting, full of running and skipping and swimming with the occasional sibling fight in between rounds of chasey.
We reached peak holiday moment in the middle of an Albany strawberry farm when the picturesque patch turned to mud.
Not just a little bit. A lot.
We were ankle-deep before one child erupted into a fit of giggles and the other burst into tears.
I was caught in no man’s land.
The one with the least co-ordination and most likely to fall in was metres ahead of me and got that look of glee in her eyes.
She was about to run for it.
But behind me Master Four was screaming for attention. He hates the dirt. His sister loves it.
I was not wearing the right shoes for this.
The eldest suddenly realised her shoe was stuck in the mud, pulled her foot and expensive orthotics free and so my decision was made.
I ran for her before she could run feet-first into the trenches, then trudged back with girl under one arm and box full of berries under the other towards a four-year-old in a puddle of tears.
An ice-cream earned his forgiveness.
And a quick photo before a thorough hose down provided a memory worth treasuring and unscientific proof that no two peas in a pod are the same.
One child lines their toys up in perfect order and wants the bedspread perpendicular.
The other is constantly drawing on our walls and sleeps upside down or even on the floor.
They’re as unique as their fingerprints.
I don’t think my parenting technique has changed; their home environment hasn’t.
Perhaps it’s the influence they have on each other?
But like ying and yang, these opposites are a perfect match together. And anything worthwhile is worth an effort. Only one load of washing to go.