I have learnt a few things about you over the last few weeks: you love ice cream, you are very happy in hot weather, and you don’t mind flying (in fact you were in your element on the plane, grinning at the rows of people like they were there for your entertainment). This month you went abroad for the first time – your grandparents were extremely generous and took us to Corfu for a week. The day before we left I was in a flap (as usual), trying to pack the bags and worrying about what to take – what would you need to sleep in? Would it be cold with the air conditioning? Would you be too hot in your normal sleep suit? Could I take baby food through airport security?… I soothed myself by writing lists and calculating rough timings for travelling, trying to work out what and when to feed you so the time difference didn’t upset your routine too much. It turns out I had nothing to worry about (as usual). I fed you as the plane took off and gave you a dummy for the landing, and thankfully you had no problems with your ears. It all worked out with the timings of feeds and naps, and you immediately loved the heat.
You took a few days to get used to the temperature of the swimming pool (as did I, to be honest) – the first few times we dipped your toes in the baby pool you scrunched up your face, inhaled sharply and then burst into tears. But as soon as you had other babies and children around you in the pool you were fine, and you were soon content splashing away.
Some other things I learnt while we were on holiday:
- You don’t need a lot of toys. You spent most of the time chewing on your sunglasses (unfortunately you wouldn’t keep them on your head), emptying the contents of your grandmother’s handbag and eating the ribbons on her sun hat, and playing with the top of the sun cream. It made me realise that every day objects can provide hours of amusement, and you seemed happiest just sitting under the shade of a tree, gazing up as the sunlight flickered through the branches.
- We didn’t need to pack so much. (It always feels like we pack up your entire room when we go anywhere). All you really needed were a few vests and nappies (although the various outfits were so adorable!).
- Babies really are adaptable. I knew that you were ok at being away from home, as we’ve taken you away quite a few times, but you were amazing the whole time we were on holiday, and didn’t seem troubled at all by the disturbance of your usual routine.
- You are happiest being around people, especially other babies and children (you had little girls vying for your attention – one even asked for your room number!). You seemed to make it your mission to make everyone smile back at you, beaming at anyone who walked by. (Particularly Greek waitresses…).
Although for you it will only be a collection of photographs and stories that start with, ‘On our first family holiday…’, for me it was so special. Watching you splashing in the pool with your dad, seeing the expression of amazement as you stared at the waves rolling onto the shore, hearing your happy little ‘da da da da’ sounds as you flapped your arms and legs in delight, your smile as the sunlight danced over your cheeks… these images hang in my mind, suspended like a line of photographs to look back on years to come.