By Kristina Gavran
Traveling with children can be great fun, it can be a necessity, it can be easy and enjoyable, and it can be the worst experience you ever had. It all depends. On what? Well….. so many things: their mood, their sleep pattern, food….. I still don’t have an answer how to solve this problem.
My son is not even two years old and he already has more stamps in his passport than I had before I turned twenty. When he was 3 days old he took his first car journey, when he was 2 months he went for the first time from Birmingham to London by train, at the age of 3 months he was on a plane to Croatia, when he was 4 months he went under the sea – via Eurotunnel to Paris. And at the age of 6 months he had his first cross continental flight traveling to India.
Sometimes it all goes smooth and well, but sometimes traveling with him is a disaster.
Here are some of my experiences…
Bad, worse, terrible
- The scream when we are trying to put him into car seat. It seems like we are the worst parents in the world, and the car seat is a torture machine.
- That itchy feeling on your back when you know everybody on the bus is looking at you and your screaming baby. You are singing, rocking, cuddling, but nothing is helping. He is screaming from top of his voice and the other passengers feel disturbed at reading newspapers/typing on their mobiles/listening to music….all you want is to be in their place.
- Same situation, but this time on a plane – much worse. Specially because everyone wants to sleep. They put you with other families who have babies, and the moment you manage to put your baby to sleep, the baby sitting next to you will start crying, waking your baby up, and the circle continues.
- That moment when a lovely stewardess in her lovely uniform comes to check if you have put the baby seat belt. Of course I haven’t! And she is kindly asking you to do it with her lovely voice as if she can not see the wild cat (baby) that you have in your lap who is refusing to stay still and be locked.
- When you realise that all those amazing movies on Emirates flight will be unwatched as you have to run after your toddler.
- Breastfeeding while on bus/train/airplane, squashed by other passengers, trying to cover yourself with a scarf and just hoping he will fall asleep.
- He is licking everything he sees on the train, even the bag handle of the lady sitting next to you.
- Changing nappies in airplane/train toilet. You need special skills for that – ninja mother!
The good moments
- Driving in the car is pure pleasure because he is fast asleep in his car seat, gently rocked by all the humps and holes on the road (thank you numerous Councils for not fixing them!)
- His smile is so charming that all the stewardesses are coming to him bringing extra snacks, sweets, even the captain’s cap!
- The moment you enter overcrowded bus and there is somebody giving you their seat so that your baby can sit on your lap. Heaven! Thank you stranger, this is so appreciated.
- He is sharing his snacks with all the passengers on the train and you just feel the world could be a better place.
- Observing his expression when he sees things for the first time.
- Enjoying all the facilities on modern airports. You should see the luxury they have in those baby changing unites, play areas, feeding points!
- Feeling great because you packed so well – snacks, books, wipes…. you are organized and completely in control. Nothing can surprise you and you just admire yourself and your organisation skills (one day I will put that on my CV)
There are so many moments that I will cherish from our travels. Every stage brought different joys and different difficulties. But we are dealing with them and not allowing them to prevent us from traveling. At the moment I can’t wait until he starts talking and asking questions! (although everyone says I will regret after his hundredth question – “Mummy, how does airplane work?”, “I don’t know! Ask daddy!”)
Have I mentioned we are planning more traveling for next year? Get ready, we are going on a tour!
Yes, we are taking “Wonderwoman” around England. Notnow Collective are super excited that the show will reach new audiences, we just have to re-shape the show a bit to fit it in our car.
If you want to help us travel more easily, you can support our crowdfunding campaign here.