Thursday, 13 April 2017

A Fortnight of Firsts

"Just think," UFM said to SCB as we sat on the runway with the engines of the plane starting to throb, "you're nine months old and you're going to fly for the first time. When I did that, I was 25 years old!"

I was a bit nervous about our first experience of taking a baby on a plane, but in fact everything went very smoothly. SCB was not keen on sitting still on my lap at first, but having scarcely napped all day, cried for a couple of minutes after take off and then fell asleep for most of the rest of the flight.

And so our first trip to Scotland as a family of three got off to a good start. Slightly less good was the fact that SCB was carsick four times on the 45 minute drive from the airport to my parents' house - clearly we were being optimistic about the fact that this might have improved since the last time. As a result, we weren't as adventurous about going on lots of trips as we might have been, but the last ten days have nevertheless been packed with other fun "firsts".

We had lunch in Edinburgh with my best friend from university and her baby, who I had never met. We chose the Morningside area, as it's yummy-mummy-ville and therefore full of nice cafés for mums and babies who lunch - the place we chose even had babyfood pouches on the menu, as well as numerous highchairs available. Taking advantage of having a ratio of three devoted adults to one baby, we took SCB swimming for the first time, which she absolutely loved. She also had her first ever play in a swing park and adored the swings (possibly surprising, given the aforementioned carsickness!).

Over the weekend, we ticked off another country, with a trip over the border to the Northumberland coast in the north-east of England. I had been when I was little but didn't have many memories of the area, and I was surprised by both how rural and how beautiful it was. There are lots of long, sandy beaches and historic castles. We were lucky that the sun shone the whole time we were there, so SCB had both her first picnic and her first paddle in the sea ... wrapped up in a warm coat in true British style!

And, for the first time in a long time, I'm feeling quite reluctant to go back to France tomorrow. Normally I enjoy seeing friends and family and reconnecting with home but I'm usually equally happy to get back to my "real" life on the other side of the Channel. This time, despite the fact that I'm very happy with my French life at the moment, I have this feeling that everything from spending time with friends to getting out of the house when you live in a third floor flat with no lift, is so much more effort. Hopefully some nice sunny weather and the prospect of lots of lovely bank holidays will be enough to change my mind when we get back!


  1. I'm SO happy to hear you had a good flight experience! Good job, baby! I strongly believe that flying with kids is easier than most people think (tiring for the parent, yes, but it does NOT have to be a hellish flight). Okay, there are the occasional issues... but overall, I never had a bad flight with Mark and I can't say I had a flight with a terrible infant/baby/toddler crying non-stop either, as a passenger.

    Anyway, welcome back to France. I found it very hard to leave France when Mark was a baby even though I usually like my Canadian life... I felt alone, I felt everything was complicated away from family. It gets better. Post-baby is a confusing time where you can feel oddly vulnerable.

  2. Exciting! Littlest's first flights will be this summer, and they'll be transatlantic! At least we'll be three adults for one baby, until the final leg back to Europe when it'll be just me and him. I hope SCB liked Scotland. I can't wait for Littlest to discover my home country... though at 9 months it won't mean much to him.