Three years ago I was getting ready to go backpacking with Hubby. Now I couldn’t fit the contents of my nappy bag into the rucksack I lived out of for seven months.
On our travels we saw babies being lugged around in carriers, as their parents continued with their lives seemingly unaware they had a tiny being strapped to their front. We saw them venture to remote Fijian islands, where there was no electricity beyond 9pm and you could see daylight through the walls in the beach shacks. We joined them on choppy longtail boat rides to hidden caves in Thailand. We even watched them climb up glaciers without a second thought. Hubby and I were inspired: a baby needn’t put an end to our adventures.
Yet here we are, back in Hampshire. Admittedly we’ve been blessed with a double helping of children, but even still, what is the furthest place we’ve visited? South Devon. And that was when they were pre-walkers. We haven’t even been as far as Cornwall yet, although I went when I was pregnant, so surely that counts?
I suppose if funds were there we’d go in search of sunshine but I’m secretly happy to be too broke to go abroad. I can’t imagine the pain of taking even a short flight with toddlers who only eat meals consisting of egg (which must be scrambled), bread or Weetabix, don’t do daytime naps, need a constant supply of raisins (otherwise there will be screams, and that is just from me) and insist on speed-toddling off at every opportunity. Every single person on the flight would hate us. Even the ones who say they like children.
I can see it now… Hubby and I would spend all day fighting over who was responsible for which twin. We’d both want T2 to sit next to us on the flight because, as toddlers go, he’s usually well-behaved and quiet (until somebody tries to take his car off him and then it all turns sour). Whereas T1 is a little terrorist monkey who climbs, bites and kicks everything he can get his hands on, including his poor brother. But come meals times we’d both want charge of T1, as unlike his super-picky-and-allergic-to-everything sibling, he’ll eat everything. And anything. Especially things he’s not supposed to. Come to think of it that could be another problem – ever since Grandma showed the boys a spider she caught in a jar, T1 has made it his mission to hunt down the ones with long hairy legs. He plays with them, pokes them about a bit and then tries to eat them. Luckily, I’ve always caught him in time (that is assuming he hasn’t been polishing off the evidence) but taking him abroad where there are bigger spiders and, heaven help me, lizards and other creepy things…well, I don’t even want to think about it.
So thanks to overspending on our last travelling expedition, we’re tied to the UK for the next couple of years and it’s not such a bad thing after all. We might even decide to have a ‘staycation’ rather than endure the stress of camping with toddlers this summer. At least that way routines stay in place, we don’t need to worry about baby-proofing (our house is baby-proofed to the max given T1’s previously mentioned affinity with climbing/eating/biting/kicking) and Hubby and I can consume copious amounts of wine without having to worry about the boys escaping from the tent in the night and running off into the dark. Which they would inevitably do. In opposite directions.
Falmouth or Fiji? Nope, it’s home sweet home for us this year. And for once, I couldn’t be more pleased. At least it might mean I get to catch up on some sleep.