Holidays and Toddlers, what a mixture!
For the past ten months my day has been a cycle of eat, sleep, poo. Eat, sleep poo. Eat, sleep poo. That’s from Peanut, for the record. And following every milestone – rolling over, crawling and just about walking – it seems like my days have gotten harder and harder to get through without having to pick up a squealing girl that just fell on her backside, or rolled into a corner and frustratingly can’t get out of it. Things like the washing, cooking, cleaning and even washing my hair have become a little bit harder to do, so when the opportunity to go on holiday came up I thought ‘YES! Hallelujah!’ But the thing is, a holiday with a baby isn’t a holiday at all – it’s a shock to the system and huge wakeup call that tells you days of relaxation and enjoying a quiet break on the beach are long gone. Welcome to motherhood!
But don’t let this experience put you off a holiday with your little one – it’s filled with firsts and big beaming smiles that you cannot get anywhere else, it’s just a very VERY different experience to what you’re probably accustomed to. Luckily, my fiancé and I have never been the type to sit around a pool and soak up the sun but rather the get-up-and-go couple (I’m sure we annoy our friends with this kind of attitude but never mind) so when it came to running after a crawling toddler that’s discovered if she moves fast enough, she’ll get away for a nano-second, it wasn’t too much of an effort. So we stayed in a West Country caravan for a week or so and on the face of it life was quite easy – same bedtime routine and feeding patterns – but as sods law would have it, there were a few hiccups:
1- Peanut got a nasty cold the day we arrived so restful nights of sleep were a distant dream.
2- I forgot not just a few items, but ALL of my beach clothes.
3- We ran out of formula with 2 days to go, and a rush run around Padstow on a bank holiday weekend to get some more set me up for a sweaty day.
4- I was bloody exhausted!
But when you forget the fact that your whole house is in a boxy caravan room (can you call them rooms? I’m sure they’re too small to be classed as habitable!) Your child is ill and you’re a dead ringer for a zombie, the first holiday with your baby is priceless. After a 9-hour drive with all the sops for tea, bedtime bottle and a quick change into her sleep suit, Peanut was a little angel – far from what I was expecting from the journey. Peanut took her first steps into the sea, her little toes felt (and her tongue tasted) good, clean sand and my little girl stood on a surf board! Ok, it wasn’t in water but she looks every inch the cute little surfer girl. But above everything, it was our first experience of life as it is now – it’s hectic, it’s tiring and you’ll probably argue with everyone around you for no reason at all; but we wouldn’t change it for anything.