There was a time, not that long ago, when 2.4 children as a family average was seen as a real revolution in the birth rate business. 

After years of football team sized tribes not causing so much as a raised eyebrow, significant social change meant that the big unwieldy family was out and the smaller altogether neater unit was it. 

But it didn’t stop there. 

Now the figure is at 1.9 meaning there are more children with no siblings than there are those who have two brothers or sisters. 

Despite being the youngest of seven I’m not necessarily a one eyed cheerleader for the enormous family, yes there are benefits and the occasional joyful plus point, but like anything in life there’s plenty of drama and downside too. 

Likewise having researched the only child debate while writing my parenting books most of the perceived wisdom around the psychological plight of single children appears to be, on closer inspection of the evidence, a load of old twaddle. 

So each to their own, which for my wife and I happened to be having a seemingly trend busting three, with our daughter Nancy joining our eight and five year old boys 12 months ago. 

When Nancy was on the way we were warned by well meaning if puzzled acquaintances and quite a few interested and vocal strangers that a third child would mean needing a new car, a new house, several new jobs and a new day or two in the week to get stuff done.

In short, the message was that the difference between having two and three was more, much more, than merely having another pair of shoes in the hall, it was a tipping point, a moment which made the whole outnumbered thing very real indeed. 

In truth those dire warnings together with the fact that making Nancy happen at all was far from straightforward have probably helped take the edge of the change for us so far so prepared for ankle biter armageddon were we as a couple. 

It’s not been a doddle of course, the volume of washing alone seems to have magically increased by 1000% in all directions with the addition of just one small little girl, but the first year with all its sleepless nights and worry is done and we as a family are ready for a holiday. 

Mmm, holidays, we’d not really thought about how they’d change with more kids than grown ups and an eight year gap between top and bottom. 

When I take a moment to think it is safe to say that there is a very broad and diverse range of needs and wants when it comes to the Woods family holiday wish list currently. 

Our eldest boy Stan wants water slides, ski jumps, multi sports, colouring-in, general ace activities and multiple connected devices. All with Ice Cream please. 

Louis would love exactly the same only with the slides and jumps and activities scaled down in size by about a quarter. The Ice Cream can stay exactly as it is though. 

Nancy would mostly like to put things in her mouth during her holiday and climb on other things before falling over on something very soft – all while attempting absolutely everything her brothers are doing no matter how mortally dangerous it may be. 

All three of them love each other very much too so if all of that could somehow be delivered while they were within hugging and tickling distance of each other that would be just great. 

And what do their parents want out of a holiday nowadays? It’s very kind of you to ask. 

As every Mum and Dad knows you are only as happy on holiday as your unhappiest child so if even a third of the above wish list is met we will be delirious. Literally delirious. 

If we can possibly sneak in a meal together, or at least avoid that most desperate of parental holiday scenarios – silently eating crisps and Laughing Cow cheese in a dark hotel room while small children sleep all around, then that will have been a mighty success too. 

Throw in five uninterrupted minutes on a sun lounger at any point during proceedings and we really will have had the best vacation of all time. 

If by any glorious chance there’s some sort of laundry service to be had too, well there just might be spontaneous combustion on the cards. 

So let’s see, let’s see what big family holidays are out there to be had in 2016. 

We might just pack the Laughing Cow just in case though. 

#MarkWarnerDad