So last week, we did our “annual trip” to PE to visit Angelo’s family. We usually go around Easter time or around the holidays in May as we can do a good 10days without taking much leave. As we had visitors around at Easter this year, we decided to rather go around the May holidays.
As the day grew closer for us to leave, I grew more and more anxious about the long drive – how Ethan would be, how I’d entertain him, how I’d keep his bottles warm, how long he’d stay in the car seat, how we’d manage to pack all his things in and the list of worries went on as this was our first long car trip with Ethan. For those of you who haven’t travelled the Jo’burg/PE route before, the trip is roughly 10hours, however, with roadworks (that have been going on for YEARS now! – I swear, they only work when we’re travelling that way) the trip can easily be 13hours or more. Armed with my dad’s “alternate route” to avoid the roadworks, a tiny bag of clothes for the hubby and I and a
million few things for Ethan, we made our way out of Jo’burg on Friday morning at 6:30am. Now, pre-baby, there was NO WAY we’d leave at this unearthly hour as Angelo LOVES his sleep but of course, our alarm (read: “Ethan” here) went off at 5:50am, and seeing as we had packed the night before, we just had to bath, brush our teeth and head out.
The drive itself went very well and I was pleasantly surprised at how well
I Ethan handled it. It took us 13hours in all and when we finally arrived in PE at 7:30pm, I was happy that I could at least tick that worry off my list.
I really love my in-laws and enjoy spending time with them…okay, there are “family issues” that make me want to
run for the hills cringe, but every family has their issues! Every year I look forward to our visit and I thoroughly enjoy the bonding time that we have together. We usually sit up late around a potjie pot or braai or just relax and chat for hours and catch up on each others lives…roll in worry number 2…how was I going to keep Ethan in a routine, how would he handle sleeping around all the noise and how would he handle being around so many people (Angelo’s family is a good 13 people compared to our 4 member family!!). Ethan, however, coped very well and I’m really glad that everybody got to meet him.
A few things that I learnt from this week…
1. About Ethan
– He is used to being around a few people so when he was with 2/3 family members at a time, he was very pleasant…more than that, he’d cry incessantly but I’m sure that will change over time.
– He still sticks to a relative routine even in a strange environment (excluding the nights where he was waking up 4/5times a night!!!).
– He’s most comfortable in his own “home” (as most of us are) because as soon as we got back to our BnB, no matter how crabby he’d been before then, he would be in top form, all smiles and laughs.
– He’s ticklish on his back, sides and knees.
– He is constantly wanting to explore more – he’s now feeling faces, pulling hair, grabbing anything and everything in the viccinity to see what it is and then of course, putting it straight in his mouth.
– He’s very much of a morning person – even at 5am after waking up 5times in the night, he’s extremely cheerful!
– Even with the flu, he’s still cheerful.
– He’s at the age where he’ll eat anything you put in his mouth!! (which the in-laws thoroughly enjoyed – from butternut to flings to little marshmallows to suck on…never mind that mother dearest was cringeing in the background and trying very hard to turn a blind eye!!!!!)
– Ethan LOVES being outdoors!!!!!!!!!!! (this is strange as neither Angelo or I do so clearly, this will be another lifestyle change for us :-))
2. About me
– I need to learn to “go with the flow” more and not be so rigid.
– I need to calm down and not stress unnecessarily, everything will work out just as it’s supposed to.
– I need to let go and leave Ethan sitting with his dad or other people without hovering around keeping an eye over him constantly.
3. About life
– Life carries on even with a baby, there’s no need to stop and change every little thing to revolve around your baby.
– Family are extremely important and even with all the “baggage” that some families have, they can still love each other conditionally.
– No amount of money can compare to spending time with the people you love.
– Our holidays will never be the same again now that we have a baby…gone are the days of sleeping in, going out on “romantic” evenings and staying up late watching tv (well, I guess if we have a babysitter, we can still do this but not when it’s only the three of us)…however, I’m looking forward to Ethan getting bigger so that we can do more things with him.
– Some people LOVE road trips…we’re NOT those people!!!!
All-in-all, we had a great 8days away and we’re already looking forward to our next trip BUT…we’re definitely flying next time!