What I did on my holidays…
Picture the scene: you’re tired, having only had four hours sleep. You have to drive to the airport and be at the check-in three hours early for a 7 a.m. flight because the bassinet is on a first-come-first-served basis.
You have an eight-month old Small Human who is pretty annoyed at being woken up early and chooses to cry all the way there. You wait in the airport where everywhere the Small Human looks is over-stimulating (so no snoozing). You board the flight and prepare for a 10 hour flight praying that snoozy-time is just around the corner.
Crying commences and you have the very British, slightly-embarrassed feeling that comes with it. 10 hours pass and the required attempts at occupying the Small Human’s time away from crying lasts just long enough that you never really quite make it to dozey-land yourself. Then, the self-drive from the airport for four hours and the utter concentration that is required for driving on the wrong side of the road. Cue the next couple of days of arguing as tightly-wound stress levels find an outlet. Then you can relax.
Travelling with the Small Human has certainly been an experience! We took on all the advice that we could: make sure you have a bottle on standby for the take-off and touch-down; bring a pillow so that she can lie across my lap if she needs to fall asleep; half a Valium for… no wait, I wasn’t supposed to mention that one.
Certainly one thing that worked well was having new toys that she had never seen before, though don’t quote this as some sort of magic pill. Having a load of Iggle-Piggle’s antics loaded into a tablet can also work wonders though I challenge you to find me headphones that are suitable for an infant.
Once arriving at your destination it might prove tricky to have the really relaxing and recharging-the-batteries-type holiday that you were secretly hoping for. A small big part of me pig-headedly expected to have plenty of time to sit on beaches, browse the shops I like and generally do the things I felt inclined to do, that would evoke enjoyment for me.
Apart from the small fact that at the very least there would’ve been one other person to consider in this equation, on this occasion there were two. Oh and how that second person can determine the shape of what you are going to do!
For a holiday as a new little family, it was the first; it was also another in the series of wake-up moments that have been strewn across my path since a little stick with a couple of blue lines was waved under my nose.
This is something that my better half, as ever, takes in her stride and seems to me to have been infinitely more prepared for than I have. Whether there is any gender-bias in these psychological preparations I don’t know, but what I do know is that this holiday made me realise I may still have some way to go to adapt to this monumental change in my life.