Baby’s first overseas holiday

So we’re finally back from our month-long holiday in Trinidad and Tobago. As evidenced by how quiet it’s been on Circus Queen, I got a little distracted.

Talitha is now an airplane flying badass. We flew from Gatwick to Tobago, Tobago to Trinidad, Trinidad to Tobago, Tobago to Trinidad again, Trinidad to Tobago again, then Tobago back to Gatwick. Phew! We actually survived all that. As everyone assured me we would.

To those who made it sound like the flight out there wouldn’t be so difficult, I’m glad I didn’t believe you. At the same time, I wouldn’t go as far as a friend who compared it to giving birth did. For the 17 flippin’ hours it took us to get from door to door, the baby slept for a grand total of 45 minutes – and not even all at once.

Luckily, she’s just not a cranky baby. Even so, flying with any six-month-old is not for the faint of heart. But we got through it. With lots of “Here’s this toy. Now this one. Check out this new toy from Grandmum and Puppa. Ok, the safety instructions are more interesting. Oh yes, that vomit bag’s good for chewing. Let’s play ‘This is the way the lady rides’. Ergobaby carrier time. Look at that little girl. Hi, can I trouble you to help me get my bag down? Do you mind watching her while I pop to the loo?” for nine hours.

She never went in the bassinet going or coming but ah well, we survived. And she slept the. whole. way. on the flight back. It was overnight. Thank God. It was so worth it – worth it and full of firsts.

Our hotel in Tobago, the Seahorse Inn, overlooked Stonehaven Bay. Virtually deserted when we went for our morning swim, we thought it would be the perfect spot to gently introduce Talitha to the sea.

She was not impressed. In fact when the waves lapped toward us, she was terrified. Even when I held her with my knees in the water, she buried her face in my neck whenever the water rushed our way.

A second try proved more successful when we went to Mount Irvine where Laurence was surfing. Not only did she relax in the sea water but she began to splash, play and even laugh.

It was also a first for food. Talitha turned the magic six months while we were out there and as we’re doing baby led weaning (more about this later I’m sure), we decided to let her have a go with whatever we were eating as long as it wasn’t salty, sugary or an obvious choking hazard.

When she started, it didn’t seem like she was getting anything in but by Christmas dinner, she was killing those potatoes. Patrons and waiting staff in restaurants and hotels, not to mention friends and grandparents, found the whole process hilarious. So did we.

The most exciting first was Talitha’s first Christmas. I’ve been reading lately about how our family traditions give us a sense of belonging. It’ll be interesting to see what patterns we form over the next few years.

This year we went to visit a mentalist house bizarrely covered in lights and read the story of Jesus’ birth at bedtime on Christmas Eve. I’d say it was a flying start.

All in all, the trip was worth every minute I spent on the flight thinking: “Are we there yet?” Traveling alone with a baby couldn’t have been so bad. I’m planning to do it again in a few my brother’s wedding, after all.

Happy New Year, everyone! What did you get up to over the holidays?