After swearing off ever flying to Australia alone with baby N again, guess what I’m going to be doing again in a few days? Yes, hello Europe to Australia flight(s) home, but this time with a 12-month-old rather than a 4-month-old as Baby N turns one on Tuesday! I think this may well be his one year old post as between now and then I doubt there will be much of an opportunity for blogging.
But back to the flying. It’s got to be easier now that he’s older, right? I mean last time he couldn’t even sit up properly or eat solid food. Now he is crawling and an eating machine!
The decision to fly home has been a little spontaneous as my Mum’s health has deteriorated quite a bit recently and I’d really like to see her – and for her to enjoy Baby N again – before she gets too poorly to appreciate anything. I really, really don’t want to be doing the flying by myself again (the trauma of last time stays with me endlessly) but circumstances at home mean hubby just can’t join us. He has once again started a new job so this means he is not so flexible in upping sticks to the other side of the world. I am trying very, very hard not to be resentful of this but it does stick in my throat that when I’ve needed him badly he has not been able to help me. On the flip side, each time I overcome one of these obstacles I feel like the biggest kick-ass-mamma out there.
I will say though that I have fought hard go business class which is INSANELY expensive. I’m almost embarrassed by the cost but on the other hand I do not know how he expects me to sit my very tall baby on my knee in economy for 25-ish hours (he’s too big for the bassinets), nevermind keep him entertained in that one spot. At least with business, baby N can lie down on the flat bed and (hopefully) do some sleeping.
At one point hubby had found an option for me to fly business class to Australia and economy return. When he told me this was a good option (said by the person NOT flying with the baby) I managed to very calmly agree it was a good option but that if we were flying economy I would require a seat in economy to be bought for baby N. He then realized that the price difference for this was not that far off paying for business class and… voila… business class ticket it is!
As a side-note this has served to also be is a lesson for anyone thinking of hooking up with a lover from an exotic, faraway land. When you are in the early throws of romance, bewitched by your lover’s cute accent and different culture, just keep in mind that if this goes somewhere then one day you will be travelling for 24+ hours with a toddler alone! Suddenly your romance will seem less glamourous and far more inconvenient. I must say none of these things crossed my mind when I was first falling for my husband. Haha!
So this week will be lots of fun for me. Tuesday is BABY N’S FIRST BIRTHDAY and Wednesday we fly! Nothing like a busy period to keep me on my toes or to grow me some new grey hairs! That aside, I scratch my head every day in amazement that I have an almost one-year old. He’s crawling around like a professional these days and even moves from room to room if something in another room intrigues him more (helloooo daddy’s computer!). We do not have stairs thank goodness so his main dangers are jamming his fingers in drawers that he likes to open. We have ordered some baby-proofing things for drawers and cupboards so they will be a welcome addition to our home!
In the meantime, he goes absolutely crazy for the cat water and cat food so I have to pick those up whenever he is roaming. Likewise I have to be careful that he doesn’t get in the cat litter. I have a small box of cat toys and he found those yesterday, absolutely delighting in anything that had a bell in it. I’ve said many times before that there is a fine line between baby and cat toys and I’m pretty sure we are now at an age where that line is disappearing.
I have been really delighted to see Baby N’s crawling progress after a somewhat slow start. I have adhered to a strict policy of no baby jumpers or activity centres where you put the baby in the middle with their feet on the floor, and definitely no walkers. I know this is a controversial topic, but our pediatric physiotherapist who Baby N saw for his wonky neck was so vehemently opposed to them it totally freaked me out. She showed us various case studies of how they make the child walk incorrectly and develop wrongly which can not show up for many years, but later on have some serious issues for the child so that was an easy decision for us. We were coincidentally at a friend’s place for dinner this week and their 8 month old was able to walk with the help of an adult but he walked really strangely. I was puzzled by him until my husband told me they leave him in a walking device during the day so he has effectively learned to walk only on his toes. Anyway, he’s a delightful baby in every way so I thought none of my business but it did lodge in my mind.
The past few nights Baby N has been difficult to put to sleep, which is very unusual and when it’s accompanied by howling crying it is totally out of character. I am highly suspecting it is more teeth (he has 5 so far) because after some Calpol (baby Panadol) he is usually fine and sleeps through the night. Last night we were out for my father-in-law’s birthday so the lady who looks after him while I’m at work came to stay with him. I told her if he is upset to give him Calpol but I don’t really know what happened other than the fact he was still awake (but happy) when we came back around 1130pm and finally managed to get him to bed at midnight. Let’s just say today he is suuuuuuper tired! He woke up at 9am and went back to bed at 1030am after some breakfast and playing. I didn’t even manage to get him out of his pjs yet.
Now that he’s almost a year old I am starting to move him onto cow’s milk properly. I know there are wide opinions about the human consumption of cow’s milk but both my husband and I enjoy it and Baby N has no allergies so that’s the road we are taking. I am keen to ditch the bottles in the near future but I have decided against any such big changes until we are back from Australia. In the meantime I have started giving Baby N some cow’s milk in a sippy cup alongside his breakfast. The first bottle to go will be the breakfast one so I want him to get used to the concept of having milk out of a cup so that when I make the change it is not so enormous for him. He only has two bottles a day – morning and night – and so I think I’ll just focus on the morning one for a while and then ditch the night one later on. Once he learns how to take milk out of a sippy cup I will move his night one to a sippy cup too in the hope that this makes the progression more easy.
I do let Baby N hold his own spoon now and he has the idea of how to use it although doesn’t really do a lot of self-feeding with a spoon. He is excellent at self-feeding with his hands though so I expect this will come soon. I do a combination of baby led weaning and spoon feeding – this guy eats a lot so I want to make sure the food goes in – but I can see he is increasingly preferring to feed himself. This is a win-win situation (mess aside) as I have realized I can enjoy my meals slightly more when he is feeding himself. Yay! It will be really interesting to see how he goes with plane food but given that he loves yoghurt and fruit I will just request lots of those if all else fails. I have also packed about 20 different prepared food sachets which I don’t love on a normal basis but you gotta do what you gotta do when you’re in a plane for 25 hours!
I am also wondering what toys to pack for him as there is just me carrying all the luggage! I have a couple of new things which are small but they are relatively untested for interest (I want them to be fresh when he sees them). He really loves basic things like cups so they’ll come with me but also homemade things like a plastic water bottle with bits of dried pasta in it. I might make him one of those for the plane as it won’t matter if it gets left behind but might provide some entertainment. If anyone has any easy suggestions I am happy to hear them (keep in mind I’m leaving in 3 days so no online shopping is possible at this point).
Finally, I would like to report that hubby and I finally, FINALLY broke our dry spell the other day and it was so great! It all came about in an organic fashion during Baby N’s afternoon nap. Neither of us were working on anything pressing at the time and I kind of suggested it was a good use of his nap time. Lucky Baby N got a bit longer of a nap than usual as a result but there was a very happy pair of parents thereafter. A couple of hours later hubby asked when shall we do it again and I joked “Oh we are good for 2018 now so we don’t need to go knowing we had made some progress.
As my mum says, all good things come to those who wait.