Travelling with little people is not an easy task. Have you packed enough? Did you pack too much? Will they need this? Will they miss that? This doesn’t fit in the car/suitcase/carry on/their backpack…
We’ve only attempted a couple of family holidays so far. One of them was to the Sunshine Coast – beautiful in theory but, in practice, a different story. Jaxon was too young to appreciate the giraffes or any other animal at Australia Zoo and most of the time was spent trying to figure out where and when he would sleep or feed or how to drive and calm him down. It wasn’t a compete failure but he felt more relaxed the minute we got home.
Then we attempted a three-day cruise. Once again, beautiful in theory but, in practice, a difficult stress-filled situation where we spent most of the time feeling guilty because we left him in the Kids’ Club and couldn’t relax knowing that he was elsewhere whilst we tried to enjoy our $20 cocktails. Then of course, there is the “overboard” situation. Never a stress-free situation.
We also tried camping. Never again… That is all…
Kids are easy when they can’t move too far. Let’s be honest, if you have them in the confines of their pram or play mat and they can’t walk yet, you’ve got it heaps easier than when they’ve found their legs and love to climb. Holidays can be confined to where you can take their pram or where you can sit with them, not having to jump up every two seconds to chase them through unchartered territory. There is no way to ‘kick back’ when you are chasing a toddler and apologising to everyone around you for their behaviour. The minute they are mobile, so are you. You have to reconsider everything and gone are the days of relaxing by the pool with a book.
I read the most wonderful story this week about a pregnant woman who was flying by herself with two young children. The two little ones wouldn’t settle on the flight, they were restless, tired and couldn’t sleep with all that was going on. One was sick and the flight was hurting their ears. The mother was tired, stressed, growing another little person and struggling.
Along came a complete stranger – a man. He took one look at the stressed mum with her two stressed children and offered his help. He said: “I’m a dad, and I know how hard it can be.” Instead of tuning the children out, like so many others, or shooting hatred across the aisle, he picked up one of the stranger’s children, ignored the bub’s tired cry and rocked him through the narrow aisle on the plane for a number of hours. Back and forth, rocking this woman’s child so that she could rest. The child slept in his arms and he just kept on taking care of the little one, knowing the stress that the woman was feeling. And at the end of the flight, he delivered the sleeping child back to his mother and smiled a knowing smile.
Now, that’s the kind of travel story I love hearing about.