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Yummy Mummy

We were in Mallorca last week, and after an eventful flight we arrived at our hotel only to be told our room wasn't ready yet. We were given drinks (champagne for me and orange juice for Gary), and told to come back in about an hour and a half.

We left our luggage in the reception area and went for a wander. It was pretty hot and Gary was keen to go for a swim. As we had put all our stuff including his swim ring and wings down in the lobby, I told Gary that we could go swimming a little later on, and that we should have some lunch instead. But my son is pretty wilful and was pulling me towards the child's pool.

The people around the pool were mature. The school holidays were over, the seasonal kids' club had shut down after the summer, and it was a quiet, peaceful atmosphere around the pool.


I had thought of booking a more child-friendly place but then I decided that I didn't want to be stuck in a place full of other people's screaming kids with an entertainment team blowing whistles and trying to persuade everyone to take part in the afternoon darts competition.

But nevertheless, I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't even one other tot for Gary to play with and I realised that I wouldn't get a minute's peace on the holiday.

Everyone was asleep or quietly reading their book. I hoped little Gary wouldn't disturb them too much. "Mummy, Mummy," he cried as he tugged me a long with him. "Look at the ball!"

Sure enough, there was a big bouncy ball in the kids' pool which had obviously been left behind by a previous small hotel guest.

We went over to have a look. Gary climbed up on the ledge of the pool and stretched out his hand to try and reach the ball. There was an almighty splash. To my horror, my boy had fallen head first into the water.

Of course I panicked, grabbed his feet and with all my strength yanked him out.

It was a heart-stopping moment and within seconds I had been joined by half the people who had been relaxing by the pool.


My drenched little Gary opened his mouth and proceeded to roar the place down. "Is he okay?" People were so concerned. Yes, the Mackles had arrived in style. There was no need for introductions now. Everyone knew who we were!

When I had dried Gary off, and he was no longer shell-shocked, we had a bit of lunch on the veranda, and then went back down to reception.

The lovely man at the desk informed us that we had just been upgraded to a suite. I could have cried with joy. Our suite was at the far end of the hotel, far away from anyone else, and with nobody either side of us. It meant that Gary could make as much noise as he liked and we wouldn't be disturbing anyone.

So if you want to know the secret of getting a free hotel upgrade, bring a small child along, and let him cause a huge commotion as soon as you arrive. Well, it worked for me!

Marisa is the author of The Secret Nanny Club.