The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 51

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 51

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 25, June, 2019

TWO WEEKS AGO, I was rushing about trying to get myself, hubby and two little people packed and organised for our holiday to France. The countdown in the final week seemed like a year and here we are, home already. Fastest two weeks – ever!

To say I was slightly apprehensive about travelling with the two kids was a bit of an understatement. We had been on holidays with Jamie a few times before and to say I needed to be organised just doesn’t cut it. 

So, to have the two of them travelling this time was going to be interesting. I mean, what the hell did I do with my time before I had kids? I even had the cheek to think it was stressful getting ready for a holiday when all I had was myself to organise. Pre-kids, I started packing for myself a fortnight before I was leaving. I’d have time to shop and then shop some more before packing a whole heap of clothes ‘for every occasion’, when in reality, all I would wear was the one comfy pair of shorts, a couple of bikinis, and my favourite dress. I spent the day before leaving by typically beautifying myself. Hair in the morning, waxing and nails in the afternoon. Mmm, changed days or what!

Now when I tell you I started planning for this holiday six months ago – I kid you not!

January

With my parents living in France, we decided to get Lily’s passport done just in case we decided to travel at the last minute. Thankfully, we did. Have you ever tried to do a passport photo for a six month old? I can understand the rules for older kids and adults but for babies it seems a tad ridiculous:

•  The photo must be completely forward facing from the shoulders up. 

•  A completely white background with absolutely no shadows. 

•  The person must not smile

•  The person must have their mouth closed

•  Most importantly, be looking directly in to the camera.

Yeah, ok. Easy peasy.

February

Still trying to take a sodding passport photo of Lily. It’s been the same routine every night for the last four weeks. Dinner, play time, take a few photos, screaming match, bath and then bed. Every single time there’s been a shadow or Lily’s turned her head or she’s crying.  We had tried everything, including taking her to the local chemist where the lady spent 40 minutes trying to get a shot without success. If a bloody professional couldn’t do it, how the hell were we going to? To make matters worse of course, James and I thought the other could do better and was trying to give advice on what to do. Disaster. This resulted in us both going in the huff with each other as the whole thing was getting so stressful.

March

About to throw in the towel altogether and decided that Lily wasn’t going to travel anywhere until she turns 18. That was until the last ditch attempt. 

We put a white towel down on the changing mat and lay Lily down flat. James then crouched down over the top of her with the phone to take the photo while I peered over the top of James and started to scream. Yes, scream. Why? Well, if I started dancing about with a cuddly toy then Lily would smile – a no, no. If I said her name then yes she would look at me but she would then start crying. So the end result? Shock tactics. It worked! Okay, Lily does look like she’s seen a ghost and probably filled her nappy in the process, but you got to do what you got to do!

April

Lily’s passport arrived. Holiday to France to visit Granny and Gramps booked for the beginning of June. Lists, lists and more lists. One for Jamie, one for Lily, one for James and one for me. There were the suitcases to think about. Then the hand luggage. Then the nappy changing bag. Then the buggy and equipment. The stuff to buy, the stuff we already have and the stuff we absolutely have to take.

May

James announces that his passport is due to expire in a couple of month’s time. Honestly, the kids are easy to deal with at times in comparison! Although in fairness, his photo was a lot easier to take (just). Unfortunately, in our panic to get the application done ASAP, James had had a few whiskeys the night before so to say he was slightly green and not exactly on the best form would be fair.

By the end of the month, James’ passport arrived. Wow, our passport photos made us look like the Addams Family! Mine was taken about eight years ago and I look like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. James looks like an ex-con. Lily looks like a nervous wreck and Jamie looks like a wee thug as he ran into the washing pole a few days before his was taken and was still sporting a wee black eye! Border control were going to have a field day with us.

WIth all the documents good to go, the cases packed, kids and husband all organised, all that was left was for me to get myself holiday ready. I decided for handiness that I would get waxed so that I wouldn’t have to bother while I was away. Now, the last time I got waxing done was about five years ago. Just enough time to completely forget about the experience. I was actually looking forward to an hour or two to spend on myself. Ha!

I chose the new technique of ‘Sugaring’. A treatment of hair removal that uses a combination of sugar, lemon and hot water to remove hair from the root without pulling at the skin. Thus, supposed to be painless. Great stuff.

Two hours later and I’m walking into the house like John Wayne and I’m feeling like I’m going to burst into flames at any second. Painless? PAINLESS? I was only half a leg done and in agony but didn’t want to embarrass myself so I somehow managed to get through it. Okay, well, nothing that a cold shower won’t fix. At least I was holiday ready!

The following morning and we all set off for our trip. The kids were all excited as we left early in the morning and although they had no clue where they were going, they were excited about the prospect of an adventure. The airport went as straightforwardly as possible. The kids were brilliant and were loving all the buzz and goings on and the attention of the staff at security and other travellers. The plane was better than expected as well. Jamie sat and ate all the snacks I had packed – but for both the leaving andreturn journey! Lily fell asleep shortly after take-off and that was her until we touched down in France. Just enough time for James and I to relax and have a wee holiday drink before we landed.

After the usual chaos of exiting the plane, trying to get the cases and finding the way out, we found Gramps waiting for us in the arrivals section where I thought Jamie was going to burst with excitement. Lily was just grinned from ear to ear. Lovely!

After an hour or so in the car, we made it back to Granny and Gramps house where Mum came running out to the car and was so happy to see us and the kids. Jamie and Lily were so surprised, Jamie didn’t know where to explore first. I was so happy to see Mum and Dad and explore the latest red wine that France had to offer as well, of course.

A few days into our holiday and we hit a huge milestone. Lily’s first birthday! Mum and Dad had put balloons and banners up to surprise us and Lily had a birthday breakfast while opening her presents and cards. We spent the morning chilling at the pool and then headed down to the local Auberge for a special birthday lunch. We were all having a ball. That was until the next surprise. Mum and Dad had arranged with the staff to get a birthday cake for Lily – which was lovely. The only problem was the staff had put huge roman candles on it and burst out of the kitchen door singing happy birthday. Seeing the firework shooting stars caused Jamie to just about jump out of his skin and he burst into tears! Lily on the other hand was beaming and laughing (not sure if this was because she was loving the cake or because Jamie was freaking out!) Lily had a ball. Needless to say though that every time after that we passed the Auberge, Jamie started getting anxious and crying as it was bringing back traumatic memories of the birthday cake incident. He soon came around when he discovered that the remainder of the birthday cake was put into the fridge and he then decided he wanted cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We spent the rest of our trip enjoying our time together, soaking up the sun, visiting the local markets and chilling out around the house and pool. To say the last two weeks has flown in has been an understatement. The kids were fantastic and settled into their holiday routine, although, there were a few tears when it was time to come home.

The return wasn’t as smooth sailing, but with kids that’s maybe asking too much! Jamie was fine – I bought more snacks! Lily unfortunately had sore ears and pretty much screamed the plane down for the whole journey. When we finally got to the car, the two of them settled down on the drive home. We didn’t get back to the house until late and it was a case of get the kids into pyjamas and bed. James and I just relaxed with a final holiday drink before getting back to reality in the morning.

I think the thing to remember when travelling with kids is that it never goes as bad as you imagine it will in your head and if it does, there’s always alcohol. Rest assured, knowing that the worst part of your trip will be your ‘pain free’ waxing appointment beforehand. Men don’t know they’re born!

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