There you have it. The all-consuming differentiator when you’ve got a baby.
As rewarding as they are, these little bundles of teething, screaming, vomiting joy bare a big red warning tag. They come with a pretty burdensome responsibility for those who choose to look after them.
With a mini-me in tow, even a quick trip to the supermarket requires some in-depth prep & planning. Will it clash with milk times? Has he poo’d yet today? Will the shopping bags fit in the boot amongst the sundry brightly coloured plastic items and toys seem to have taken up semi-permanent residence there?
Now wratch that outing up a notch and consider a daylong drop-off at the grandparents would you? Suddenly folks, we are cut loose in a realm where as a bare minimum we are talking about some serious musing with regard to meal plans, nappy quotas, precisely measured milk volumes, spare clothing allowances, toy allocation, buggy selection (weather forecast/boot space) and any number of curveballs which inevitably require a significant element of forethought.
Frankly, to have a young child is to live life in slow-mo.
As a heads up for any soon-to-be first time parents reading this, whatever you can achieve in a given timeframe whilst you remain free of responsibility, will soon take treble that time. As a bare minimum.
You see, once upon a yesteryear, if I’d announced that I was leaving on a jet plane with a view to exploring some far-flung land, then I may have organised accommodation for the first, and perhaps last, days of my trip. Beyond that, my itinerary would be pretty much malleable. And you know what? That’s how I liked it.
Alas, no more.
When last August my better 0.5 and I experienced the interjection of a needy new dynamic into our cosy world of coupledom, things changed.
Our previous holiday to the Dordogne was booked way in advance, whilst last winter we also enjoyed a trip to Tenerife with the comfy security blanket of one set of Grandparents and an Auntie also being present. Both trips involved an entire suitcase full of baby loot and then some.
So next week we set off for South-East Asia after several months of planning, a bunch of baby kit, as little of our own stuff as we can get away with and yet with relatively little set in stone.
“The boy” gets his Hep A inoculation on Monday and he’s been prescribed paediatric Malarone for our planned journeys through Cambodia and Laos. The sterilising tablets are packed and the first aid kit is fuller than ever I remember.
We still have no fixed itinerary, just a few diary dates on a spreadsheet highlighted in Bold font. Markers. Constants. You’ve gotta have a system.
So far the hard-coded agenda involves landing in Singapore and staying with our friends Kiwi Dan and (sadly absent) Susie. The next bold face entry is for a B&B in Kuching, Borneo a week or so later. In Mid September we have 3 nights booked in Jogyakarta, central Java, whilst October sees an extended stop in Bali where we plan to meet up with the better 0.5’s friends from Australia. It’s then an open agenda (excepting the fact we need to enter Thailand by early November for our Visa’s to remain valid) until we meet up with my parents and Sister in Bangkok on 1st December.
I don’t know what the future holds but I’m sure it will be a fun and challenging adventure all the same.
I intend this blog to be not only an entertaining and insightful account of our family journey but also a lasting account for “The Boy”, who unlike his parents will soon enough forget all that has gone before.
Wish us luck and a Bon Voyage.