We have survived, and mainly loved, our first holiday as parents. However, nothing had quite prepared me for how different it would be to holidays gone by.
Firstly, the sheer amount of stuff that one has to take with a baby. I seemed to pack 3 bikinis and a toothbrush, the other 35kg of luggage were for Eve. Aside from the stockpile of nappies, tins of formula, spare jars of food just in case, sterilising tablets for the bottles, changes upon changes of clothes, and Calpol, I also had an entire bag (shaped like a penguin with a squeaky beak) of toys and amusements taken with me. If only I had known that an empty coke bottle filled with pebbles stolen from the nice water feature at the pool would have been so popular I wouldn't have bothered. Anyway, we took more luggage than when we used to go diving and took all our diving gear.
Secondly, your evening ends at 7.30. We stayed in places with terraces so we could put Eve to bed and then sit happily and listen to the lapping of the waves and read a good book while supping a nice bottle of something. All this is lovely, but as you hear the youngsters partying in the next bay one does feel rather old.
Finally, you don't do anything just as a couple. We both went diving, but because someone had to look after Eve we went diving separately at different times. Whenever Eve was awake we were a trio, and a fun trio it was too.
However, I think this was one of my most enjoyable holidays ever (excluding the couple of days when Eve and I were rather ill). I discovered the joys of chasing crabs in the surf, will always remember Eve's grin when she saw a starfish for the first time, danced around an empty dance floor like a loon with my daughter, and discovered that Eve likes to eat sand.
We also invented an entirely new game involving a pool table, balls, cues and a crawling baby. It is imaginatively named Baby Pool and the frison of excitement is enhanced by not only whether your carefully potted balls will be taken out again but also whether the baby is chewing on the cue ball when it comes to your turn. She is rather adept at shoving the number 8 in a pocket when she gets bored, thereby ending the game.
The sarcastic cynic. Or something like that
5 weeks ago