Sun, Sand, Sangria and Sudocrem
Who doesn't love a family holiday? We have been looking forward to this for weeks. Two weeks of sun, sand, sangria, Sudocrem and size 4 nappies! Sounds heavenly doesn't it? A lovely family holiday before Barbara goes back to work after taking extended maternity leave.
We had a pleasant experience in Dublin Airport, thanks to Fast Track, and we breezed through security with minimal delay. Don't get me started on the copious amounts of luggage my wife insists on bringing! In fairness to her, she has improved over the years as a result of my frequent nagging! And then there's the crazy amount of stuff needed for a baby!
Ryanair have been getting lots of bad press lately regarding seat allocation and we experienced this first hand. Any time we booked with Ryanair in the past, we were always seated together without having to pay any extra fees or charges. I understood that if you wanted more legroom in an emergency row seat you could pay extra for the privilege. However on this occasion, when we checked in online, under the one booking number, I was allocated a seat in row 5 and Barbara and Clara were allocated a seat in row 33, the very last row. We couldn't have been further apart. I'm surprised they didn't sit me in the cockpit! Their latest policy, "Ryanair Moses, the Parting of the Passengers" needs to be reviewed in my opinion.
As I feigned disappointment and frustration with the situation to my wife, I was cheekily relieved inside that I would be able to read my book or watch a movie uninterrupted on my iPad for the duration of the flight. I'm a terrible person, I know. Clara slept on Mammy for half of the flight but I did bring Clara up to me and I entertained her on my lap for an hour or so while Mammy had some alone time. See...I'm not so bad after all.
I think back to my pre fatherhood days and wonder what the hell did I do with my free time? Parenthood, as any parent knows, is go, go, go. Why would I think that being on holiday with a wobbler/toddler would be any different?
I reminisce about holidays with my wife in Crete and Lanzarote or our relaxing honeymoon in Sardinia 4 years B.C. (Before Clara). Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change being a dad for the world. I love it, it's wonderful and it's the best thing that ever happened to me. It's just that before Clara was born, things were....different. We had more time for each other (if you know what I mean) and not to mention more sleep!
As we were sitting by the pool, on the manicured lawns of the apartment complex, this afternoon, I noticed two teenage girls chilling out, reading their books and enjoying their holiday. To be honest, I was ever so slightly envious of them as they relaxed and read their books, uninterrupted. They could be potential babysitters I plotted. Turns out they are from Dublin too!
Now, when I say we were sitting by the pool, I mean my wife was reclined on her sunlounger, reading her Kindle and I was busy entertaining Clara in the shade on a picnic blanket with her toys.
And by sitting, I mean chasing after Clara, constantly, as she kept trying to escape. She's not at the walking stage just yet but she can cover some serious distance on all fours, at pace.
There are many different parenting styles out there; Authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, attachment parenting and permissive parenting to name a few. Whatever parenting style you have adopted goes out the window on holidays. We have found ourselves resorting to “Tag-Team Parenting”. Barbara and I are basically having a holiday in shifts. One of us enjoys a holiday while the other one is “parenting!”
So far, the most common phrases between my wife and I have been, "Your turn" and "Swapsies"! One of us gets a lie in in the mornings while the other pushes Clara the length of the promenade and back again in the buggy.
Not the expensive travel system mind you, that's at home. No, apparently we needed a lighter more compact buggy for the holidays, with a bigger sun canopy and a parasol attachment for good measure!
Dinner time is a great opportunity for my wife and I to catch up with each other and chat about our day! When we go out for dinner, we have to go out early. Our fellow diners would not enjoy a meal sitting next to a tired, cranky toddler. As a result, we're usually home early. With Clara in bed and Mammy and Daddy sober, it's generally a Netflix movie or an episode of Orange Is the New Black, before we head to bed early ourselves. Early to bed and early to rise……...we wake up early when the baby cries!
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