On Saturday, the hubster, Ethan and myself hopped on a plane to visit my in-laws in PE.  Unfortunately, we can only afford to do this trip once a year and so, as we weren’t able to do it over Easter which is our usual “PE time”, we finally managed to find cheap tickets, a few days off from work and we were both excited to head on down to the sea! 

Okay, backtrack a few weeks days before the excitement actually kicked in – I was panicked, really I was.  I didn’t want to blog about it and I mentioned it to very few people for fear of putting “bad vibes” out into the universe (mum, you’ve taught me well 😉 ), but we haven’t travelled anywhere except to my folks’ place with Ethan since he was five months old (our last PE visit).  Anybody with one (or heaven forbid, more than one) toddler/child will agree with me on this one – once you have a kid(s), your holiday is no longer a real holiday until they’re probably old enough to do whatever they want with minimal parental guidance/assistance.  When we travelled with Ethan at 5months old, he could barely sit up unaided let alone run off and do whatever he wanted.  Also, he slept in a camper cot and was still very much on the breast.  Food, other than milk, comprised of purity which can be purchased just about anywhere (including those little shops at the petrol stations – been there, done that, got the t-shirt), he would happily sleep in my arms at naptime and he was quite happy moving from arm to arm between family members during “awake time”.  Roll on 15months later…my child is B.U.S.Y!!!  He runs all over, you can’t take your eyes off him, he sleeps in his own bed and actually cannot sleep in ours at all (probably because we’ve never allowed him to!), he’s a very fussy eater, he’s very routine driven and has never slept anywhere but in his own bed or the sleeper couch at my folks’ house.  My mind has been working on overdrive since I bought the plane tickets.  Firstly, the flight times needed to coincide with his sleep times for my sanity more than anything.  I’ve never flown more than an hour with Ethan so the last thing I wanted was to fly with a crabby baby.  My options were 6:45am in the week or 1pm on the weekend.  Now, Ethan’s usually awake at 6:45am in the week or thereabouts, but making a flight at that time would mean that we’d have to wake up at the crack of dawn and get ready, wake up a sleeping child, get him done pre-flight, organize breakfast at least for him, drive in the dark in freezing cold temperatures – I was not doing that to myself!!  So we opted for the 1pm Saturday flight – slap bang in mister’s routine.  We booked a room at a BnB that had a sleeper couch in it as well as a king size bed in the hope that if Master Howe didn’t want to sleep on the sleeper couch, at least there’d be plenty of space in the bed, thank goodness for that good plan because that’s exactly what ended up happening!!  With our flight only being at 1pm on Saturday, we had all morning to get done – so much better than rushing at 5am during the week.  We packed, left with ample time for the flight and I checked in the day before saving us the hassle of standing in long queues.  I bought us snacks at Woolies, my favourite store for snacks 🙂 , changed Ethan’s nappy and we were sitting waiting for our flight waaayyyyy in advance. 

So the holiday was off to a good start.  The flight was on time, Ethan was a real gem on the flight but didn’t manage to sleep which is what I’d been hoping for 😦  Once we landed in PE, we were greeted with freezing weather, gail force winds and rain – everything we expected and more!  PE is not called the “windy city” for nothing!!  The four days we were there were jammed packed as of course, we only had four days and needed to see everybody in that time as well as try and get some “family time” and rest in for ourselves.  With hubby starting a new job next month, the next holiday will be a while away!  Overall, a good time was had especially by Ethan, our little charmer and the weather even picked up on Monday and Tuesday which of course we made the most of heading down to the beach to dip our toes (which became our ankles, calves, knees, thighs *BBM can’t look face*) and we even took Ethan to the farm for the first time. 

This holiday taught me quite a number of things though – here are some of the lessons I learned:-

–       If you do not do things a certain way at home with your toddler, you cannot start trying to implement said things while on holiday,

–       We need to crack down on the discipline with above mentioned toddler – yes, boys will be boys and kids will generally get spoilt rotten by grandparents/aunts and uncles/family friends but when I tell you NO, you should be very afraid listen!,

–       Routines go out the window on holidays – kids just have to go with the flow if you, as parents, want to enjoy the holiday as well,

–       Families are all different – it doesn’t mean that because a family aren’t the same as yours or don’t do things the way that yours do that they’re better or worse than yours (this is something I’m constantly aware of and something that I must admit, I battle with, because let’s be honest – most of us think that our families are “perfect”),

–       A king size bed is a must when your child sleeps in your bed,

–      Your child will eventually sleep – it doesn’t matter if he’s not used to sleeping in your bed or if he goes to bed hours after bedtime, he’ll eventually sleep out of sheer exhaustion,

–       Children will eventually eat when they’re hungry, there’s no point trying to force them to eat when they don’t especially when there are luxuries around/you’re at a kiddies play centre/nobody else is eating,

–       Kids can easily adapt to a new habit but trying to get rid of an old one can take forever (evident from bedtime last night – Mister did NOT want to sleep at his “usual” bedtime as the last four nights, he’s slept after 10, here’s hoping that that changes quickly!!)

–      There are certain things that we parents do just to make our kids happy – our beach visit resulted in me having jeans drenched in water up to my thighs – the only pants I had so I was forced to wear the pants for the rest of the evening (my pants only dried overnight) but the fun Ethan had playing in the waves was worth it!!

–      My child is a real performer (I wonder where he gets that from??!!!) and once he’s comfortable with you, he’ll be your best buddy forever!,

–      Always check in online prior to your flight even if you have bags – it cuts out the queues completely which is exactly what you need when you have a toddler,

–     Things don’t always go according to plan, but don’t sweat the small stuff when on holiday!!

Let’s just say that I won’t be rushing to go on another family holiday anytime soon.  I am exhausted – I feel as if I need a holiday from my holiday.  This morning, I was up at the crack of dawn, eager to return back to work because…I.need.a.break!!  The joys of being a mother 🙂  On a serious note though, spending time with our boy was priceless and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy all the attention.  I’m sure he’s quite bummed that we’re not around today…or maybe he’s just as happy that we’re back at work, who knows 😉

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