On our first holiday away as a family last week, my daughter completely embraced a new nomad way of life. Getting up in the morning and going out for the whole day, taking her naps in the back of the car as we travelled from place to place and eating her lunch on hilltops, on beaches and quirky little cafés with waitresses looking on in glee, became the norm from day one.
Her first sight of the sea was a curious one for her. I don't think she fully understood exactly what this huge expanse of water was all about initially. Perhaps she thought the sky had fallen down and devoured the land. It was interesting to see throughout the week how she grew accustomed to this new watery phenomenon so that after a few days she was pointing with delight out at the water as soon as we hit the sand. It also gave her plenty of opportunity to air her new found phrase of exclamation, 'wow-wee'.
The other delight she soon realised you get with beaches are lots of seagulls. I don't think she could quite believe what a close look at these birds she was being allowed, as they brazenly hopped up to us, crowing for a bit of our lunch. Then there are all the dogs – of all shapes and sizes - who would scurry past, their tails wagging and their paws wet from the water.
Let's not forget this holiday was a learning curve for myself and my husband also. I really don't know how parents do it, taking their tiny babies away with them. We were adamant we were going to keep to our daughter's routine despite the fact we were out and about and we pretty much did. The only thing which was out by a few hours was her after-lunch nap but she still always had a sleep in the afternoon - usually on the way home from our trip out. I don't even want to think about how we would have coped on a holiday when she was being fed milk on demand in those first months of life. It would have made for a really disrupted holiday indeed.
To be continued...