Before we had S, Natalie and I both said that our child would fit into our lives, as much as possible.
For us, that means dinners out, running events, furthering our respective careers, and travelling.
Pre-baby, my style of travel was haphazard. I have run away from a crazy driver in India, walked 5km up and down cobbled roads in Armenia with 20kg of luggage, and partied with strangers in Las Vegas.
We are NOT this haphazard with a baby. A simple weekend takes a lot of planning, but it is a LOT of fun. With a bunch of checklists, an excellent time can be had.
At times, though, you just mess it up. Monumentally.
For Easter, we decided to cocoon ourselves as a family. Recovering from birth has been a rough ride and the idea of some time in a peaceful place appealed – so we booked a BnB not far from Brisbane, but away from the hustle and bustle.
Our little boy was yet to meet a farm animal. So…. being in a secluded area… we thought we would take him to a farm.
We found a ‘farm rescue’ online and booked 3 x tickets – one ‘unemployed’ (yes, that’s the baby ticket) and two ‘student tickets.’ Let’s not talk about why we have student cards.
Once we got there, the conversation went something like this.
“Does the baby have closed in shoes?”
“…. he doesn’t walk, but yes.”
“But you’re wearing thongs.”
So, my wife, in her infinite wisdom, had turned up to a farm, in thongs.
No thongs, no entry. No worries! Mate…
So…. I started the farm tour, baby in tow, sans wife. She went back to the BnB to get shoes (an hours’ round trip)…….
Far from being a tame petting farm as I thought it may be, it was a bit of a bush walk.
Bush walks are just fine, but I can admit that carrying a 9kg child with some incline gets old pretty fast.
As a side note, a sanded stump is actually a great place to breastfeed a baby. Nice and stable. Better than the seats in some of the parenting rooms I have used in shopping centres.
Fortunately, he is the chillest babe you will ever meet, so none of this bothered him.
When Natalie got back, she told me she’d bogged the car in the parking lot. When I finished rolling my eyes, I passed S to her so my arms could have a break. I thought that having a sit would be a great idea.
I got bitten by ants. So many ants.
After that, we decided to bail, because the hill to the sheep enclosure was beyond us by this point.
All was not wasted, though. He saw animals. We told him great stories about what we were looking at. The cuddles were great, and the smiles. He loved our commentary.
And like always, he was just pleased to be there. Such a happy baby.
As we drove back to the accommodation, we realised that I had failed to book the whole weekend and we were meant to be checking out.
Thank goodness for gracious hosts who let us stay the extra night at a discounted rate.
As we walked up the stairs to our room, we laughed and laughed. We messed up, we under-estimated the activity, one of us arrived in thongs, and I screwed up our booking.
But you know what? It was all completely okay.
If our holiday had been perfect from start to finish, we wouldn’t be sitting here laughing right now. S would still be yet to see a cow, a pig, a chicken, a duck….
We had fun, we made memories, we did something new…. but most importantly… we laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed and swore, and then laughed again.
I am SO glad we did it. And I am thankful for the recommendation.
There is a lesson in all of this.
Chaos is more fun than perfection. You can do anything with children if you accept that. If you really want something, you’ll go up and down the hills, through the mud, under the fence…. whatever it takes.
This is a lesson I needed, as I approach my first big deadline with a tiny human.
I hope that as our little boy grows in this crazy adventure called life, he maintains our sense of fun and resilience.