The title being a reference to boats that can be hired for a trip in Hong Kong, as well as the amount of stuff I have to take with me on the aforementioned trip as a result of taking Eve with me.
A year ago, my very good friend R booked a junk for her birthday. It took us around the island in the warm sun, to lunch on a small island, and then back via a quick swim. I got pretty drunk (drunk as a skunk on a junk) and had a great time. And looked pretty damn fine in a bikini.
This year, R booked a junk again to repeat the same trip. However, my experience was somewhat different. I love my daughter, I really do, but a reflux baby is not quite a portable as perhaps I would like.
It started quite well. I made it out of the house after only one change of clothes (me) because Eve decided to wait until she was in the Baby Bjorn before she vomited up her breakfast. Being quite organised, I made it to the shopping mall near the pick up point to buy a card and gift, get the latter wrapped, and meet a friend to grab a croissant then was only 5 minutes late to meet the party and board the boat.
Eve initially slept like a log and various people marveled at how pretty/quiet/sweet she was.
Then the chaos began. Firstly, she was hungry. Feeding Eve without her super duper baby-sized feeding cushion is a challenge at the best of times, but on a rocky boat in swell it was a real challenge. She bobbed on and off while eating, usually a sure fire sign that she is going to vomit the lot back up. When I passed her to the Boy for winding, this is exactly what she did, all over the deck of the boat - while I cleaned it up and C, who was already feeling seasick, went a nice shade of green.
When we finally got to the pretty little island, Eve waited until the food came and then decided she was hungry again. I didn't know many of the people there, we were in a small Chinese restaurant that packed us in very tight, so I thought the better course was to find somewhere else to feed her rather than whip out a boob at the table. Except that it was very sunny and I was anxious not to get Eve to hot so finding a shady place took a bit of effort. Not that I worried for too long because on the way to find a feeding location, Eve did a huge poo and the mission's objective changed.
A little girl helpfully pointed me to the rancid, disease infested, dirty hovel that passed for a toilet. In the absence of anywhere else in the shade, I laid the change mat out next to the sink (in which a small family of unidentifiable bugs were living) and got on with it. Eve, being very much her mother's daughter, took one look at the disgusting surrounds and started to scream.
She was still screaming when she was in a new nappy and dressed, so the original mission continued. By this point, shade was merely a luxury, and anywhere with a seat would have been OK. Not far from the rancid hovel was a car park sort of thing. I say "sort of thing" because there are no cars or roads on this island so why there needed to be a car park was up for grabs, but it had a bench and I fed her. Or rather, she hung like a limpet off me and sucked for all she was worth because without the feeding cushion or an equivalent I practically had to sit her upright in front of me and attach her to a boob.
Did I mention there was no shade and it was bloody hot?
At the first sign that she was at least sufficiently fed to stop screaming, I walked back to the restaurant and ran into the Boy who had decided to come and find me. He politely pointed out that I had vomit down my back - the little darling had immediately vomited up everything she had just ate.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a bit of a stressful blur of vomit, feeding and poo. The poor darling, it was not her fault, she was feeding in such a bad position and with so many distractions that she kept of throwing up and then being hungry again. I pretty much fed her all afternoon.
I have never been so glad to get home.
Postscript: This was all compounded by another couple on the boat who had the "perfect" baby (one month older than Eve) who fed well, didn't cry and played sweetly with everyone.
Postscript 2: Did I mention I also get seasick?
The sarcastic cynic. Or something like that
5 weeks ago