We’ve just returned from a trip to Mauritius. It’s been a week of sunshine, snoozing, swimming, and sipping on pina coladas. I’ve returned feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the year – unsurprising, given the week of fun, family (nine of us) and food (this place has the biggest, most elaborate buffet I have ever seen). What was surprising, though, was my child.
When my lovely mother-in-law first booked this holiday, I was, of course, unbelievably excited … so excited that I sent her and the rest of the family all the emojis. Well, not ALL the emojis, but the grinning face, the sun, the bikini, the splash of water, the octopus, the dolphin, the tropical fish, the tropical drink, the cocktail glass, the grapes, the watermelon, the pineapple, the aeroplane, the swimmer, the dancer and the party popper.
But while I was evidently very excited, I was also a tad concerned. A baby (!) plus airports, aeroplanes, time differences, new environments … eek. How would Reid react? I manage many of my worries through planning and problem-solving, so I spent months thinking and thinking and thinking about all the worst-case baby-travel scenarios (mostly involving screaming) and how we’d handle them. Thankfully, by the time we left, I’d realised that parenting doesn’t allow for much upfront planning and problem-solving … so after all that thinking, I’d resolved to roll with it.
But guess who, it turns out, can roll with it even better than me? Reid.
He didn’t mind moving from cot to car at 5.30 am. He didn’t mind drinking his milk at the international departures drop-off zone. He gobbled up his breakfast in the check-in queue while giggling at his grandmother and looking around in awe and excitement. He smiled charmingly throughout boarding and then promptly fell asleep on take-off. Later, he passed out on the bus! Without any fuss. And the whole holiday mostly went just like that: cool kid Reid, holidaying happily and not giving two hoots about being away from home.
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, he started sleeping better at night too. Our Reid has never been a good sleeper, so I’d imagined we were going to battle getting our zzzs in a new room with a new cot. But Reid slept better in the hotel’s bright pink camp cot than ever before.
So I’m feeling so proud of this little person – our laughing beach boy in board shorts, our smiling baby in a swimsuit, our sticky child in a high chair, our crawling man on the move, our great globetrotter, our love.