We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
Its taken me a while to write this as I’ve still been recovering from the trauma…ok thats a bit dramatic as I know there are waaaaay worse things in life. However, a solo flight with my toddler and baby was not up there with my most pleasurable experiences. Nothing went crazily wrong, but it was certainly a “challenge” (I’m well aware that people do it all the time and with more children so really I shouldn’t dwell on it)
I had conjured up a few scenarios in my head pre flight about things that could go wrong:
1) Both children would get the chickenpox the day before the flight
2) I would get ill the day before the flight
3) One or both children would puke and we would have to stay in crusty stinky puke clothes until our destination and no one would want to be fiends with us
4) Arlo would run off and get onto a random flight and be sold for a camel
5) Various poo scenarios
6) Flight would be cancelled/ delayed and we would have to spend 17.5 hours in airport or worse, sitting on aeroplane whilst they fixed the engine
7) Would sit next to someone who didn’t like children
8) Would loose passports, possibly thrown in bin along with shit nappy and puke clothes
9) I would forget a child at some point a long the way
10) My husband would forget to collect us
Now what silly parent of a toddler/ baby books a flight in “the witching hour”?? Ok, that was us because it was cheaper. I think this was the mistake
Here’s how it went……
COMMUTE TO AIRPORT
I used Chloes Taxi Service (actually just my mate Chloe in her Mums car) to take us to the airport. This was the best part of the journey and I would highly recommend her services. Toddler and baby slept in the car to Bristol, and I steamed up the windows with my nervous sweating, true story. We unloaded and the lovely Chloe sent us on our merry way (just wanted to grab onto Chloes legs and cry “please don’t leave us”).
Baby in pushchair, toddler on buggy board, backpack on, Arlos backpack on (so he felt important) and suitcase in hand. Assumed people were looking at us and thinking “wow, she’s got her sh*t together”…..when it was probably because I had left the silver shampoo on too long and gone grey.
Found our flight on the big screen and went to check-in desk with super organised tickets printed out. The lovely (pretty gay) man asked if I was flying on my own. I nearly broke down and started crying “yes, yes I am, please help me, don’t leave me, don’t make me do it”…….
Went to security thing where you have to get EVERYTHING out of bags, liquids into other bags, shoes off, babies out, push chairs collapsed etc. Quite a palaver at the best of times, different ball game with a toddler and baby….with only 2 (clammy) hands. Random security guard had to hold the baby (he seemed nice?) and someone had to get Arlo off the security belt as he wanted to go through in the box with his important backpack.
We made it through, but disaster struck. The pushchair was now broken. This prompted a blunt text to my husband saying “the fu*king pushchair is broken FULL STOP NO KISSES (totally HIS fault as I said we needed a new one). It was so chaotic after securtiy with people and STUFF, after considering just ditching the pushchair all together, I decided I would just have to lug the 2 broken pieces, the baby, the toddler, the buggy board, discarded jackets, the 2x backpacks, pammy panda, dino dinosaur through the airport. I made it approx 52.7 meters and decided I couldn’t carry on. Thank you to the lovely security guard (number 2) who fixed the (shit) pushchair.
We got some dinner and hung out (mostly in the toilet as they seemed happiest in there??) and waited for the flight. Arlo had a melt down as couldn’t see planes out of the window as promised, prompted many laps around the airport to find planes with upset plane deprived toddler (where were they????)
Witching hour was now upon us. Arlo turned into crazed-demented-toddler. Kitt turned into screetchy-teething-baby.
Boarded flight. Arlo was pretty excited (uncontrollable) by the enormous plane we could finally see. I had bought him a book about flying and how he could sit next to the window. I had booked a seat specifically. Weirdly the seat WAS next to a window, but alas, there was no actual window. Hysteria (god I felt bad)…..”mummy fix it please” (I couldn’t, it was a wall), “where’s my window mummy?”….” I want my window” Oh my
So Arlo next to “window”, me and Kitt in the middle, and then a middle-aged man next to us. I totally pre judged him and my heart sank as he sat down. I was wanting another mum-type-figure….she would understand. I turned to him and said ” I’m so sorry, this isn’t going to be a relaxing flight for you”. Hurrah!!!! He said not to worry, he had 2 boys too, grown up now but he understands. He was my saving grace. We shall call him Dave.
Dave helped so much, he held Kitt, he played with Arlo, he retrieved various items off floor (yeh fun game) he wet wiped, he pulled faces, made animal noises, mended broken snacks so they could be eaten, he even helped do up my baby carrier. Thanks Dave. The world needs more Daves. But alas, Dave definitely saw my boobs.
The following events continued for 1.5 hours…..the longest 1.5 hours of my life (the 16 hour drive home was mellow in comparrison). I don’t think Dave will ever be the same.
So take off: I had got Arlo a lolly to help with his ears, lolly would not come off stick, he wanted it to come off stick. Got emergency lolly, that would also not come off stick. Kitts ears popping, boobs out trying to feed Kitt to stop ears hurting, trying to simultaneously to wrench lolly off stick for Arlo. Got Calpol out of bag with foot. Calpol exploded due to air pressure, cleaning Calpol/ sticky lolly residue off baby/toddler/Dave. Calpol in Kitts eye rather than mouth. Snacks offered to Arlo to recover from lolly ordeal. Wong snacks (they were new and exciting?). Snacks on floor. Correct snacks given. One snack broken. Cant eat a broken snack? Inconsolable toddler. Sticker book out to distract toddler. Didn’t realise that toddler would need assistance pealing stickers off. Screaming baby in one arm, trying to retrieve George Pig sticker off floor and Grandpa Pig sticker off “window”. Teething gel for baby. Made him sick (just a little). Try to entice baby with teething necklace (worn round neck as god intended). Toddler wants teething necklace. Pulls very hard at teething necklace. Made Mummys voice very squeaky and strained as crushed wind pipe. Ipad (new spanking never-seen-before-blue-case-to-buy-me-5-mins) whipped out. Peppa pig. But wrong Peppa Pig. He wanted Postman Pat (wtf its ALWAYS Peppa Pig). New sparkling headphones (never-seen-before-to-buy-me-5-mins) put onto toddler. He didn’t want to wear them. He wanted ME to wear them. “but mummy doesn’t want to wear them”…..”MUMMY WEAR THEM”…..ok ok ok Mummy wear them. Random headphones on head, lead getting tangled in various items including baby seat belt that made baby angry, boobs still out, Kitt grabbing lady in fronts hair, Arlo kicking chair, frantically jabbing at Ipad for Pat (wheres Pat, PAT, HELP?????), snacks flying, toddler screaming as high pitched frequency of baby screams hurting his ears now…..and so on……..
Time for my “piece-de-resistance”……..the presents!!!!!!!
A friend had advised me to wrap up little presents for the flight so they take a while to unwrap and then they have stuff to play with.
I’d wrapped them up too tight. Shit. Trying to unwrap bastard presents with one hand, un stick breast pad from Kitts head with other hand….red car unwrapped, red car landed in aisle 31, stopping toddler from trying to get to aisle 31 underneath seats, baby still crying as now a worked up teething monster….leading to altitude poo explosion (worse than sea level ones). Simultaneously toddlers delayed morning poo arrived. Used Dave to relay poo rescue. What do people do without a Dave?
Finally air stewardess came over and said “do you need some help love?”. They gave me a bottle of water for the children (maybe heard Arlo screaming that his juice had run out?). Kitt doesn’t drink water, Arlo cant drink water like a normal human from the bottle, but REALLY wants to try. Water everywhere……including my crotch: pissypants
The rest of the passport control collecting luggage reuniting with husband actually went smoothly (bar some silly jokes with French passport control that one should not make at the airport, wheres their sense of humour??!). As soon as we were off the confines of the torture plane, things (children) seemed to calm down.
We had made it! We survived!!! And as soon as I saw the mountains again, memories of the flight faded. And you know what, I would totally do it all again if it meant going snowboarding.
I was so touched by everyone that helped me (I must have had fear written all over my face). And Dave, i’ll never forget Dave.
Hello its me!! Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been busy rescuing Sally the Spider and her brother Stan and building them a house “to keep them safe” outside so we can play with them again tomorrow (successfully avoiding toddler melt down) AND stripping off to my underwear (non-matching) to wrap my toddler and baby in my clothes after they projectile vommed in my car and I forgot to pack any spare outfits…….. but here is an update on more recent times on negotiating life with 2……
Things Become A Luxury
A friend (another wise one, I have a few) said to me on my doorstep (as I cried and blow snot bubbles on her shoulder whilst she handed me over a Sleepy Head on day 3 of newborn baby Kitt), that now I had 2 children, things become a luxury. I totally get this now. I needed to lower my expectations. Someone else said (can’t remember who??) that having one child is like having a pet (Arlo was more like an angry Parana if that counts?), but anymore is like having a zoo. No word of a lie, I have gone nearly 2 weeks recently without washing my hair. There was that much dry shampoo in it that I had actually started to go grey (trendy?) and wherever I walked a puff of cloud followed me. So yes, things like general self-care (washing, plucking, shaving, dressing, drying) actually become a thing of luxury. And a hot bath (you know the sort…on your own, actual hot water, YOUR bubble bath and no plastic green turtles called Terry getting accidentally stuck up your backside) is THE HOLY GRAIL. I had one, for 10 mins, on 7/2/2018 at 6pm.
YOU time is a thing of the past. Maybe im doing it all wrong?? But you just don’t seem to get any time to do anything??!! Like ever. How do people do it with 2 plus kids?? Hats off to you!! Must be hectic every day. I’ve not even had to deal with “the school run” and school stuff yet. Apart from the hour I spend in the gym (god bless the creche of dreams), I ALWAYS have at least one child hanging off me. Oh actually, I went to Sainburys once by myself, was like a Spa Weekend!!
Day shift: kids (still weird saying kidS-as in I have 2!!) get up anytime from 5.30 (or has Kitt only just gone to sleep?? It’s all a blur), all day running around like a Hyena on speed making sure they are fed/watered/semi clean/ stimulated/ educated (Peppa Pig)….kept alive. Try to get them to sync their naps…….failing (again) and considering selling one of them on Ebay. Dinner, bath, bed (settle Kitt, settle Kitt settle Kitt….then so tired I go to bed)……….then the night shift begins. The long lonely shift. My aim was to be able to watch the X factor finals…..when that ship sailed at christmas time, my new aim now is to be able to come downstairs once the boys are in bed and have a Mint Areo watch Stranger Things. Always torn between having some “me” time and getting some sleep. Sleep normally wins.
I am really blessed that I have 2 lovely healthy boys, but I don’t think I’m blessed with sleepers. Kitt is awful….just putting it out there, but maybe even worse than Arlo was??!! I feel like at the start people are understanding about the sleep deprivation, you have a new-born! By 7 months, people stop asking how sleep is, even though the sleep deprivation is even worse now as its accumulated over a whole 7 months. Sleep is EVERYTHING, without it, everything is pink and fluffy and there are unicorns and rainbows and sometimes dragons. Im finding it hard to function and definitely feel like a shadow of my former self with the worst/ most boring/ dribbling chat…..normally about how much sleep I had last night. I have googled “can you die from sleep deprivation”, and in fact you can’t. But some days I really feel like I might. I need to try to do something about it, but im too tired to haha!!
So so different to Arlo, weird how they end up so different when they both came out of my fanny. He is honestly the happiest, nicest, smiliest baby ever! (not that Arlo wasnt, he was just different). Poor Arlo cried pretty much constantly for the first few months of his life. Was so unhappy and unsettled (lots of medical things) and was just angry. He was chomping at the bit for his independence (fully crawling at 6 months), didn’t like to be smothered and wanted to do his own thing. Also had the attention span of Dory the Fish. Kitt however is just happy to chill and watch the world go by, no need to “get going” when you can just sit there and smile at people for kicks. He loves a cuddle and lives in the sling. You can give him a Duplo block and it will keep him happy for hours. So it would seem that actually Kitt just doesn’t need to sleep. He has 3x 20min “power” naps a day, and normally wakes every hour at night…a good night is every 2. Once I got 3 hours. But he is happy?!
Apart from Arlo saying “Baby Tit die” (he means baby Kitt cry), Arlo hasn’t been too interested in the new edition. I think when he’s a bit more interesting and he can play it will be a different story. Occasionally Arlo will give Kitt a toy (and I feel like crying it’s so beautiful to watch), but apart from that, Kitt unfortunately is just a part of the furniture. Kitt on the other hand LOVES Arlo. He just watches him all day and smiles at him and laughs (particulate when he’s crying?? Not got emotions sussed yet). He tries to touch him and just be as close to him as possible. Even started doing this really loud seagull impression to get Arlos attention, which obviously Arlo is VERY keen on…….
I literally hate weaning. Just milk and boobs are so much easier. Decided to give baby led weaning a whirl this time for a change, but oh my it is MESSY. And so far I think only 2% has made it into his mouth (the dog has become rather plump??) But then apparently this is normal and just have to go with it. Also the choking and puking apparently normal too….but I freak out so much each time. The faves are cucumber, strawberries and broccoli….which to be honest if he just eats these three, it’s already more fruit/ veg than Arlo eats so thats good:) I’m also trying to wean Arlo again (he’s super fussy). Three and a half weeks ago Arlo licked a piece of broccoli. This was a real break through.
So in other news…….WE ARE GOING SNOWBOARDING (although don’t want to jinx anything….so jinx, double jinx, touch wood etc). Starting off in Tignes which is like our second home, where we met, where it all began, where love was found blah blah blah. Then over to Morzine to cat sit for a friend (the cat will not be snowboarding however, he is a skier). Literally so excited, but like I said I don’t want to jinx anything. I’m not having any expectations of how much riding we will actually get it with a red-headed toddler and milk sucking vampire baby in tow, but just to be in the mountains and in the snow will make me very very happy indeed. Im sure I will actually cry when I first see the mountains again ( I wanted to last time but Arlo got travel sick on the way up and it kinda tainted the special moment). Hoping to get Arlo on a snowboard properly this time and not just posing on one for Instagrams. He has been “snowboarding” around the living room, tail pressing cushions and 180s (assisted) off the sofa. And he’s really got the idea that he’s going snowboarding soon (like asks me a zillion times each day if we can go snowboarding now)
Obviously Kitt will be snowboarding too, that goes without saying.
I do have an ulterior motive however……… I want Rich (husband) to see how fun and “relaxing” it could be in the mountains as a family of 4 and realise that we need to relocate there ASAP….to follow Arlos Olympic dreams of course
The only bad thing for the trip so far is that my husband will already be out in the mountains. So this means I will have to fly out BY MYSELF with a toddler and a baby. HOLY FU**KI*G SH*T, I may not survive. It will be worth it though, and an adventure?!
Picture this……stretched out relaxing on a towel, toes wriggling in the warm sand, evenly tanned body adorned in a tiny bikini, cocktail in one hand, book in the other, listening to the waves lap gently at your feet. Pondering life with not a care in the world (apart from when you need to turn to tan the other side). Breathing in the summer beach breeze, at one with yourself and nature.
Well that’s not you……that’s the lady next to you.
Maybe that was you a few years ago pre children, but this is you now……….
A trip to the beach is a totally different experience for me these days. Still fun, but different, oh so very different. Here are some “trouble” areas to be mindful of now you have a baby/ toddler in tow:
Why have you got a small van full of stuff for one afternoon at the beach?? Now you have to figure out a way to carry 5 bags, tent, towels, beach blanket, toys, lunch box ….AND TODDLER (who refuses to walk in a straight line) down to the beach. Everything is perfectly balanced around your body, god forbid if you drop anything. Must even leave nipple that has accidentally popped out the side of your bikini top, sure no ones looking anyway.
Picking a Good Spot
Important. As close to the car as possible, far enough away from the sea so your toddler doesnt feel the need to go skinny dipping, close enough to other families so you don’t feel alone, but far enough away so your toddler isn’t constantly trying to become part of another family. Not next to volley ball pitch, not close to rock pools so you have to go crabbing allllll day, not next to “lads on tour” gang or young/ fit/ business lady peering disapprovingly through her dark sunglasses as you turn a blind eye to your toddler bashing seagulls with a spade (you get ’em boy).
Pre baby, LOVED it, couldn’t understand why people found it annoying. Now I understand. Literally gets everywhere, sure i’ll still be finding 2016 sand in 2020. At least when it’s just you, you can control the sand, but when its down to your free-spirited toddler, the sand knows no bounds. It gets into every orifice, yours and theirs. I found a sandcastle in his nappy and a crab disguised as sand in my bag. Also, due to the sand, Thomas The Tank was sent to an early grave. RIP. As if chucking him in the paddling pool the day before wasn’t enough.
Someone told me that a baby will try to eat sand once and then never again. Not true. In my experience so far, babies/ toddlers LOVE eating sand, over and over again. If you take a picnic to the beach, they even like to use sand as salt to season everything. In fact, sand can even make a lovely alternative to a peanut butter SANDwhich. Note to self, don’t take any “sticky” food to the beach.
Good for their immune system?!! That old chestnut
Following on from the sand theme, I would recommend applying suncream BEFORE you get to the beach. We had an unfortunate/ funny- wished id taken a photo- incident at the beach. A healthy layer of suncream was applied to my sons face, he then wished to exfoliate by falling face first into the sand. On the plus his face looked extremely brown! On the minus, it made him very unhappy and he was totally embarrassed in front of his mates. Poor lad.
NB. Don’t forget to put suncream on yourself too, easy to miss when you are chasing your toddler around with the bottle.
How on earth do you keep these on for more than 1 minute (enough time to get a pic of course)? Cue ridiculous suncream styled hairdo if cute striped beach hat has failed.
Great fun game to play with the little ones. Hours of entertainment. But then totally backfires when you start loosing stuff: phone, purse, Thomas The Tank (was he actually digging his grave??!), sunnies and even a tampon (Mummas special sweet in a wrapper!!!)
Ps. Can bury child to keep in one place
Another good game to play, but then you’ve given them the “addiction” that they have to pick up EVERY SINGLE SHELL. Takes ages to get anywhere. Small shells always seem to find their way into their mouths.
“Small white round thing, that’s not a human, must be a dog, i’ll feed it my lunch”. Now whole family of Seagulls have come visit our spot as they think it’s a free sunday roast.
Would you like sand with that??!
Not interested in going in it when you want them to (don’t blame you, its bloody freezing), but love throwing things into it and trying to run out to sea when you’re not looking. Pretty funny when Mumma has to wade half way to France to retrieve a flip-flop huh?!
Due to the english weather, there is a chance you may get caught in a downpour. Two choices here……..quickly get sand off EVERTHING, dry/ dress toddler, pack 5 bags, roll towels/ beach blanket, retrive floating flip-flops, un-bury phone/ purse/ sunnies/ Thomas/ tampon, empty crab/ sticks/ a billion shells from bag, fend off seagulls tucking into left over food, put nipple back in bikini top (oopse forgot about that) and remember how on earth you managed to carry everything to get down here in the first place (why have you got more stuff now??!)…..OR sack it all off and put a towel over your baby/ toddlers head and beach blanket over yourself and wait for the rain to pass.
So once you have changed your mindset and realised that beach time now is less about relaxing and more about exploring/ building/ burying/ eating/ catching/ collecting sh*t, the experience becomes a lot more enjoyable and somewhat more adventurous. I actually feel so lucky that we live so close to the beach and my son can grow up loving the beach life and all it has to offer, including sand eating!
Can also experiment with pebble beaches.
Before we went to Tignes I had a “To-Do List” of activities I wanted to do whilst we were there. Im pleased to report we ticked off quite a few. This could hopefully help people visiting Tignes with a baby/ children. Obviously we will need to go back to do the other activities we didn’t manage;)
Build a snowman
Turns out building a snowman is harder than you think, although I’m sure kids manage it? So after some failed attempts with snowmen that looked like a saggy Mr Blobby, we just claimed someone else’s snowman. Way easier. Not sure why he had a tail, but Arlo seemed pretty taken with it, well eating it to be precise.
I thought Arlo would be WELL into this, adrenaline junky baby. We put SO much effort in, dragging him up the hills, and running down next to him. Then wondered why he wasn’t squealing with delight, and in fact, not even moving. I lifted his sunnies up and couldn’t believe it, he was having a sly 40 winks!! Caught red handed. Obviously sledging was waaaaay to lame for him. Next time bigger hills Mum!
The main reason to go to the mountains was for Arlos first training session. After all, if he’s going to make the Olympics we need to get him started!! Was difficult as he wasn’t actually walking, but we found some fun ways to include him in snowboarding (see my previous blog post). It was so lush to involve him in something that has been so special to us over the years.
The swimming pool in Tignes is pretty epic. Mainly because of the amazing view …..plus the water slide. On a Sunday and a Wednesday they heat the big pool and baby pool up so its like a hot bath. Then put lots of toys and fun things in the pool and have an hour of fun. We went twice that week, saying it was for Arlo…..but secretly I think it was a good excuse to go and soothe our aching bodies from snowboarding ( actually felt like I’d been run over by a bus).
When in Rome. Ended up being the main part of Arlo’s diet for the week. Why not, WE’RE ON HOLIDAY!!!
Chocolate was the obvious choice here. Safe to say Arlo was a huge fan. Pretty expensive in the mountains but well worth it for seeing the stoke levels from your baby. It gets messy.
First Tignes Cusine
The best noodles in Town. A must! Sit out on the terrace and enjoy:) Arlo was intrigued by the worm like creatures we were eating.
Walk along lake
The lake in Tignes is beautiful. In the winter you can walk straight across the middle of it. Unless you are partial to a bit of ice diving, this is not recommended in the spring. But a walk a round the edge of the lake on the sturdy paths is just as nice.
Visit a Snow Park (for a baby!)
We were no longer looking for rails and kickers…..now we wanted to find slides and swings. Most of the winter the childrens park is covered by snow. We hit it just the right time of year when everything was beginning to melt off. We could call this “Dry Land Baby Olympic Training”
Apres (avec Baby)
Waaaaay too drunk to get any photos of this…….JOKING!!! We managed to visit our friends bar (La Queue de Cochon and TCs) one afternoon. Arlo found some little mates and had fun trying his hardest to become part of their gang. Sure they had accepted the little ginger one by the end. Not sure he even realised we were doing Apres but it was nice to be in a bar again. Very very different Apres than “back in the day”.
We got 3 days on the hill, more than what we were expecting to be honest. And what a wonderful 3 days it was. You almost appreciate it a lot more when you have a baby (and have to pay for a lift pass!!!). You know your time is limited so you make the most of every second. No time for coffee breaks AND we got a powder day!!!
Falling flat on your face, getting snow wedged in your sunglasses and crying counts yeah? Not sure Arlo enjoyed ticking this one off the To-Do List.
Snow ball fight
Again no photos of this as Mum got battered. Thanks Arlo (Dad)
Show Arlo the ACTUAL spot where we first met…..
Quite cheesy and I wouldn’t expect other people visiting Tignes to go to this spot and share a moment. But for us it was nice to reminisce where we had first laid eyes on each other 11 years ago ( well I cant remember seeing Rich but he spotted me because of my baby blue hairy boots with pink trimming……HOT). Formally known as “The Red Lion’ pub, it’s now a Spar…..yes, as in The Shop. Very romantic. Arlo just wanted another Croissant.
A massive shout out to Tignes Spririt for helping us sort everything out. See you next year:)
The countdown to your snowboard holiday is on. You’ve seen the videos on social media of the “youngest snowboarder EVER” and you have dreams of your baby being the next biggest viral sensation. But your dreams are slipping away as your baby is yet to take his/ her first steps, despite your hours of “training”.
So here are 3 tried and tested ways to have fun with your baby snowboarding before they can actually do it themselves.
Mini Snowboard + Baby
The obvious first choice. Borrow/ rent mini snowboard equipment (mega cute, take lots of photos). Cling on to the hope that when your baby is all strapped in that they will magically be able to do it (could be easier, more exciting than walking anyway?). When you realise that actually this is never going to happen, just place the babies feet in the bindings (we actually sacked off the baby snowboard boots…..wriggly baby syndrome) and drag snowboard/ baby- attached along the snow whilst supporting them. The baby’s feet WILL pop out of the bindings without the boots, so make sure you get a photo/ evidence really quickly. If you’re feeling confident, then go- for- gold and try to stand the baby up on their own. Then, with the speed of light, run out of the shot so you can get the “Baby Snowboarding All-By-Himself” photo ( we didn’t manage this).
Baby Backpack + Baby
Choose one confident snowboarder (adult) with exceptionally good balance. Strap baby into baby backpack and onto back. Snowboard (slowly, no tricks, no backflips and certainly no big jumps) along past the camera and wave. Hey presto!! Baby LOVES it, and lets face it, you look pretty cool!!!
Snowboarding Holding The Baby
I have done some pretty scary snowboarding in my time, but this was different. I actually felt responsible for another human life, MY little humans life!! So pick somewhere relatively flat to start, and empty of other snowboarders that could crash into you. Get a steady base and get someone to hand you the baby once you’re ready. Place baby in between legs, holding under the armpits, and off you go. DONT CATCH AN EDGE!! Also goes without saying, don’t accidentally drop the baby. More importantly, don’t get distracted if they pick that particular moment to do a massive sh*t. Concentration is key.
Next holiday your baby will basically be doing Triple Corks, and it’s all down to you for starting them early. Good parents.
With our snowboard trip/ Olympic- Baby- Training- Trip to Tignes drawing closer, I’m starting to think about what I need to organise. I’m reflecting back on our first trip to the mountains and what we learnt from the experience to help us this time.
First of all you will need a very large truck. Babies need a lot of stuff, even if it’s just for your piece of mind (actually they really don’t care if “oh my god we forgot Euan The Dream Sheep”). Sack- off any outfits for yourself and replace them with baby grows, body suits with short sleeves, body suits with long sleeves, body suits with 3/4 sleeves, tops, tops to go over tops, tops to go under tops, hoodies, thick hoodies, thin hoodies, medium thickness hoodies, jackets, denim jackets, shirt jackets, coaches jacket (he has to look the part), trousers (loose, tight, dressy, casual….thermals?), socks, gloves…….list goes on………thank god he’s not a girl! But It’s a dog- eat- dog world out there for Future- Snowboard- Mountain- Olympic- Babies, so it’s essential they look the part.
Check if the place you’re staying actually has a washing machine. Might not need to bring all that’s listed above, and might not actually have to wash your one and only outfit with shampoo in the shower.
Squeeze everything you possibly can into your suitcase, even if you’re not sure you’ll need it, pack it anyway. Then panic the night before and realise “yes we definitely do need to take that extra bag” . Then fill that bag with books, waterproof books, toys, puppets, baby wipes, muslins (lots of), squeaky toys, plastic drum WITH LIGHTS, plastic dog that makes weird noise (bark?), the plastic bus with lots of buttons, green tractor, crocodile toy with wheels (prompts favourite crocodile song). Also a remote control, car keys and mobile phone MUST be packed, firm favourites. And yes, you DO have room for the building blocks now.
It really doesn’t matter if you can’t physically carry the 10+ bags through the airport, because you have Ducky, Sheepy and Lenny The Lion and that’s all that matters.
I’ve spent years trying to rip off Easy Jet and figure out ways around paying for excess baggage (Seasonaires you know what I’m talking about!!). But I have to give them their dues now, they are actually pretty good for people travelling with babies. You are allowed 2 FREE, yes FREE, pieces of baby equipment. This can be a pram, backpack, travel cot, baby carrier, car seat etc. However I did not see Jumperoo on the list (see Tip 8). Then you can take a baby changing bag AND an additional bag as hand luggage. Baby does not count as hand luggage so all cool.
So check out your airline before flying and see what perks they have and RINSE them!
Oh and you get to board first with a baby!!! Score!…..actually not so good as it means the baby will have to sit still for longer.
Right, you’ve made it to the resort ( minus Lenny the Lion- check plane seats before leaving) now you need to think about transportation. First of all a car seat? Bringing this with you uses up one of you “free” items on the flight, so check with Taxi/ Transfer company to see if they have one. Then transportation around the resort….for the baby!! A buggy that will go on the snow? Good wheels? hmmm wonder if you can buy snow chains for buggies???
Or a baby backpack/ sling? You can walk anywhere then, but you have to be totally committed that you will have to “wear your baby” the whole time and wont be able to just leave them to chill in a buggy whilst you do Apres (responsibly obviously).
So probably take both!!
OR (this is what I want to do if there’s snow on the ground) a little baby sledge. Could even attach one of the many mountain dogs to it to give you a rest? I’ve not used this mode of transport before, so not entirely sure how they stay in the sledge. Maybe you just tie them in somehow? Or maybe you just have to train the baby not to jump out and try to catch the weird looking German’s snow blades?
Here are some pretty old- school photos of me and my brother in a sledge in Canada…
Technically you’re not ditching the baby so you can go snowboarding……. you are giving your baby the opportunity to experience another culture, learn a language, explore different foods and make some new friends. It’s totally for their benefit and you are a GREAT mother for giving your baby this amazing opportunity! It’s basically like a baby French exchange.
So think about where you’ll leave your baby for their “Cultural Education”….
A Mountain Creche??? There’s a strong possibility that when you pick them up they will say “ah Bonjor Mama!”, so many benefits to this one. Although some resorts don’t let you use the creche if you’re a tourist.
A Nanny? More one- on- one treatment. She will probably be a lot better than me at looking after Arlo as waaaaaay more experience. Actually, will Arlo want to come back to me?!
Friends…..with babies. Maybe take it in turns to look after each others babies? Or just friends (that you have plied full of Chartreuse before getting them to pinky promise that they will babysit)
Maybe you and your partner could just take it in turns? Girls day then a boys day??
Or take a baby sitter (Mum, Dad??) with you. But you will probably have to pay for them to say thank you, which means less money to spend on your babies “Mountain Wardrobe Collection”. (ps. almost all in the sale so technically saving money)
4) RE- CREATING THE BEDTIME ROUTINE…… NOT AT HOME!!!!
BRING ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING FOR THE BEDTIME ROUTINE!!!!!! Try to pretend that you are at home, turning a blind eye to the fact you’re IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!!! Don’t look your baby in the eye, they can sense your fear. Soyou must bring bath time bubbles, toys for bath, towels for baby, talc, moisturizer, toys you amuse them with whilst getting them changed after the bath, bedding, sleeping bag, pyjamas, lullabies, ALL animals for cot AND cot (where possible), singing voice and a rocking chair. Oh god and now a toothbrush for those SHARP little nashers. Also all those items that you have rubbed on yourself so they smell of you to comfort the baby!!
Actually something I found really useful was a White Noise app on your phone. You cannot always guarantee that it will be quiet in a ski resort (you were the culprit once so don’t get mad), so whack on the white noise and your baby wont even realise there is a rave happening next door.
Also black out blinds.
Book another suitcase on to your booking.
4a) JET LAG
Blame any baby sleeping problems on the fact of the 1 hour time difference (this could be a genuine reason if you’re going further a field). The baby therefore MUST be jet lagged. Something to consider.
Depending on what stage your baby is at with food/ milk/ weaning will depend on what you need to take. I realise now that yes, Arlo screamed for the first few months, but it would have been easier food wise to go back packing around the world as I would only have had to take my boobs. Now its a different ball game. A blender is a good thing to have, so maybe check with where you are staying. If not, just go with lots of finger food and stuff you can mush up (Arlo will be living on a diet of Baguettes, Cheese and mashed up Tartiflette…when in Rome!)
Take at least 20 Ellas Kitchen packets…just in case.
You’re basically going to a 3rd world country and they wont have nappies there……well at least not YOUR nappies. If you’re like me and freak out about changing the brand of nappies (if he doesn’t sleep when you’re in the mountains it was definitely the nappies fault), then make sure your bring enough with you. I’m just going to take enough for the night times, and use some french ones during the day. Wish I had been motivated enough to use those re-usable ones…..who am I kidding.
Once your baby is all snowboarded out, you might want to think about other activities you can do with him/ her in the mountains. Of course building a snowman is number one on that list. I think the last one I built was actually a giant p*nis?? (we had had Jager), so make sure it’s “child friendly”, you’re on a COMPLETELY different ski trip now. Depending on the resort will depend on the activities on offer. But wherever you go there will always be walking, great/ cheap way to just absorb the mountain air. Other things include swimming, husky dog sledge riding, ice diving (totally safe for babies??!!!), shopping, soft plays (bigger resorts normally have something like this, usually in a hotel so investigate when you get there), tobogganing, picnics, horse riding, play parks (if not covered in snow) and building snow caves. Oh my god we are going to need to stay for at least a month.
And don’t forget Apres!!!!!! Perfect for babies! Music for them to dance to (well mum and dad to dance to and make the baby do pretend dance moves), great atmosphere AND it’s over before bedtime! But you must leave if people start taking their clothes off and using their snowboards to do weird kind of thrusting movements. Babies shouldn’t be exposed to this just yet.
(One of my first Snowmen, can you tell I’ve been going through old photos??!!)
Also remember activities for you to do in the evening. At least one of you will be hanging out in the accommodation whilst your baby sleeps, and you might not have a TV….or Internet oh my god!!! So take a book??? Or load up some series onto the Ipad. Also knitting?
8) CONTAINING THE BABY
As I mentioned before, “Jumperoo” wasn’t on the free baby items listed with EasyJet. So you need to think about where you are going to lovingly place (contain) your baby whilst you “get stuff done”. And you can’t always guarentee that the accommodation will be baby proofed. We used a door bouncer jumping thing (Arlo in Austria below). Didn’t take up nearly as much room as the Jumproo, plus is good for snowboard training! (see photo)
Another thing we did last time was make “Fortes” (cages) with cushions, chairs, fridges. Another good way to keep the baby in one place.
Also travel cot, high chair, pram in apartment, or wearing the baby (backpack/ carrier) in accommodation are other possibilities.
High factor suncream (especially those travelling with ginger babies) and sunglasses (remember cord to keep them on the heads, and mittens to stop them taking them off). Or in Arlo’s case, his first pair of actual snowboard goggles!! (the perks of Rich aka Dad, working in a snowboard shop…thanks Board Basement!!!)……didn’t end up getting them as they were too big but thanks for the photo!
10) BABY MODEL PHOTO SHOOT!
You are obviously going to want to get that novelty photo of your baby on a snowboard IN THE MOUNTAINS!! Lets face it, the “baby on the sledge” and the “baby on a snowboard” photos are the main reason you’re going! So you need to think about provisions for the photo shoot. Are they actually going to snowboard???? ( had dreams of Arlo being the youngest baby EVER to snowboard, a Youtube sensation…but alas, the training hasn’t paid off and he’s yet to take his first steps……we still have 4 days though). If they are going to shred, you will need a tiny snowboard, tiny bindings, tiny boots and a pretty cool snowboard outfit (skinny pants, parka jacket, Thug Rug).
If your baby isn’t quite ready to take his/ her first turns, then maybe just get all the mini equipment anyway and pretend that they are snowboarding. OR you could snowboard and have them in between your legs (omg im SO excited to do this!!!!). Or in the baby backpack????? Or maybe just tie them to the snowboard and drag them round. Experiment. But make sure you get the shot and dont forget a baby crash helmet.
Hopefully you are now nice and prepared for your trip to the mountains, re- check your packing and make sure you also have teething gel, teething rings, Calpol (industrial size), baby monitor, Snuffle Babe, hair dryer (Arlo gets a blow dry every night!!), rusks, bottles, spare bottles, water cups, bubble machine, star projector, wooden puzzles for eating, swimmers and shoes/ boots for the snow? Oh and stuff for you.
Like I said, a large truck should manage all of this.
But actually, if you do forget stuff, it WILL be fine, honestly! Babies are pretty adaptable and don’t need as much stuff as you think. It’s us that freak out more. Your baby will survive without that multi coloured Parrot thing (Polly). They will be totally content with a plastic container and a wooden spoon!
But obviously don’t forget Euan The Dream Sheep.