So off we went. Our first tropical holiday in years. Our first ever as a family of four.
We coped with the 5am start. We mostly coped with the first six hours of our seven-and-a-half hour journey, thanks to drugs (for the baby, not us), an in-flight bassinette, and individual in-flight screens which Master Six loved.
Then the baby woke.
If you’re a parent, imagine your child at their very worst. Then imagine holding them in your
lap while they do it. For an hour, maybe more.
Okay, we won’t talk about that.
Our destination was indeed a tropical paradise, with fancy-wancy five-star hotel and super-friendly staff. None of which made any difference when Baby decided she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except her own cot back in Christchurch.
We soothed her. We ignored her. We tried feeding her up. We fed her so much she should’ve doubled her body weight. She should’ve slept like a . . . well, a baby.
She didn’t. She woke every two hours, all night. EVERY night. For TEN NIGHTS. We ignored her some more. We decided the neighbours would kill her (or us). We ssshed her until we couldn’t dredge up another bloody sssh.
Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing. It takes away the sparkle in your eyes, the glow in your skin and, ultimately, your will to live.
Master Six had a fantastic holiday. Why? Because, God knows how, he slept through our nightly hell, woke refreshed each morning and had a great time at Kids’ Club.
Myself and my beloved? We paid somewhere in excess of $NZ6000 to lose the will to live. Then flew back without the luxury of baby bassinette. (It went to some tiny days-old scrap of baby who couldn’t even roll, let alone create havoc.) We arrived home with bad necks, bad backs, bad moods and a baby who had decided life worked pretty well at two-hour intervals.
The moral of the story: just don’t bother. Wait until your kids are five. Better still, make them save for their own damn holiday. In the interim, buy a bottle of non-duty-free, set up a deckchair in the lounge, and drink yourself silly so you don’t feel the chill when you strip down to your swimwear.