Let’s just say, being woken up by an alarm at 4am, really isn’t much better than being woken up by your toddler at 4am, I was still half asleep by the time we were all bundled into the car and driving to the airport to catch our flight to Northern Ireland. The toddler was still in his pyjamas, with his Grobag wrapped around him to keep him warm. Unfortunately halfway into the trip the toddler got car sick and as I was sitting next to him, it became apparent it was going to be in my hands to deal with. Of course by this I mean literally, in my hands, as I didn’t want him to vomit all over himself, so I did the parent thing and let him vomit into my cupped hands (truly horrible). Thankfully it wasn’t much as he hadn’t had breakfast yet. After a very nervous drive to the airport, with me hovering over the toddler tentatively ready to catch any projectiles, we finally arrived. The toddler, who had actually managed to sleep a little on the journey, was wide awake now and in surprisingly good spirits given the morning antics.
Unfortunately I was in no such mood, as after queueing for 5 minutes at security, we were told we had to go to a special parents queue to enable them to scan the buggy, great that meant joining another long line. Finally organising our bags and putting them through the scanner, I obviously left my brain back in bed as I stupidly left a bottle of water buried at the bottom of the nappy bag. We were starting to cut it fine with our flight and as memory served, it was quite a trek to the departure gates. All our other bags and buggy were through and the toddler was screaming, whilst I waited what seemed like forever for security to finally get to my bag. Sensing I was in a hurry, thankfully the lady speeded up slightly and with water bottle chucked, we were on our way. We had kept the buggy folded in it’s buggy bag all ready for putting onto the plane, so I was carrying the toddler whilst wheeling a trolley case, which was jam packed. Our flight was already boarding, and it said it was a 10 minute walk to our departure gate. Of course, we panicked and ran, the toddler bumping up and down on my hip, giggling with amusement. I was struggling to carry his 13kg, wheel the case and run at the same time, so kept having to pause to swap the toddler and bag to the opposite sides. Not having eaten breakfast yet and being completely dehydrated, it was not a fun experience, but out of breath and exhausted, we made it to the gate, on time, thankfully. The toddler, still in his pyjamas, wanted to walk around, so I slipped his shoes on him and he busied himself pushing the trolley case around.
Just after we arrived at the departure gate, a bus load of passengers departed for the aircraft. Thinking it wouldn’t be long until the next one, we stood, big mistake. It took what seemed like forever for the next bus to come, I guess they were leaving time for the last stragglers to arrive. Finally the bus came and we got to the plane, which was packed full. We were sitting a few rows from the very back which was handy for getting on, but unfortunately as this was a last minute booking, impromptu trip to visit the family, we only had 2 seats with the toddler sitting on my knee, rather than the usual extra seat for the toddler during the flight. This was more of a taste of what lay ahead for our Australia flights in a few weeks, eek. The toddler was absolutely shattered and cranky from the early wake up call, as was I but you didn’t see me moaning about it (too much). As he hadn’t had his morning feed yet, I was happy to breastfeed him as much as he wanted for the journey. He happily latched on and fed for the vast majority of the flight, dozing off at times. I on the other hand, was incredibly uncomfortable, shoved into the window seat, with hubby next to me and the toddler sprawled out lying the width of both our seats. Thankfully the toddler was very good until we were getting off the plane, when he really didn’t want to be held going down the steps and wanted to do it himself. Unfortunately for me and everyone around who had to witness it, I just had to whisk him into my arms and carry the whaling toddler down. Thankfully he cherped up as we walked from the plane, but then when we got to the steps down to the baggage reclaim, he had another tantrum and full blown did not want to go down the at all this time. Hubby went on leaving me holding up the hoards of people trying to descend, so yet again it was a case of grabbing the toddler and getting down as quick as I could. This time he was particularly amusing as he looked like he was swimming as I carried him around the waist in a superman flying position, kicking his legs, arms and thrashing his head, whilst screaming in various glass shattering tones, it was so nice to be back home.
After waiting for ages to get the buggy back, we kept it in the bag to be able to whip it quickly into the car. My mum was picking us up and as we walked down the gangway towards the exit, the toddler spotted her first. it was so cute to see him run forward to meet her, she also disregarded us making a beeline for the toddler (nice to see where her priorities lie). We jumped in the car and mum threw me the keys, which was nice, as I love to get behind the wheel anytime I’m home. We ventured a short distance down the road and stopped off at a little Inn and restaurant which is one of our favourites to call into any time we are at the airport. The logical choice was a good old Irish breakfast to refuel after an already long and exhausting morning, which is exactly what I did. We ordered the toddler some scrambled eggs, toast and bacon, which mostly ended up all over himself and the table, with minuscule particles ending up in his mouth. After breakfast we realised the toddler was walking around still wearing his Monsieur Sleepy pyjamas with his bottoms tucked into his socks (not a good look), so decided to get him changed and attempt to make him look half presentable.
I drove into Belfast and parked centrally so we could have a wander around the shops for the afternoon. I made a beeline for the jewellers my engagement and wedding ring came from, a beautiful old school store, which felt like taking a step back in time as soon as you were buzzed through the door. It was nice to spot the lovely lady who helped us choose our rings and see the recognition in her eyes, it was a very personal place where service is everything. I was keen to get my rings cleaned, as I haven’t been back in Belfast to get it done in quite some time, so knew they needed it. As always they were happy to do this and said they would be ready in an hour. It always felt strange walking out without them on my ring finger, even though I knew it was a temporary loss. I distracted myself by running around the shops trying to find a new jacket for hubby, as he had left his on the bus to Devon the other day and as of yet we hadn’t heard if it had been located, so for the time being hubby had nothing but a t-shirt to keep him warm and it was Northern Ireland after all. After hubby trying on several jackets, he finally found one he liked and surprisingly I liked it too. We scooted back to the jewellers and collected the rings, which were immaculately sparkling in the bright lights of the store. It was lovely to still feel as much in love with my rings as the first time I put them on, I really hope I always feel like this about them.
We suddenly realised the time, so jumped in to M&S for lunch, the toddler obviously decided I had eaten enough at breakfast so decided to grab my sausage and caramelised onion toasted sandwich for himself. I don’t think he was expecting to take a bite and have a mouthful of sausages though, which I had to carefully extract from him.
We didn’t have very long with hubby, as he was only over for a short day and was heading back early evening as he had work in the morning. We decided to head back towards the airport early and stop in to a nice country hotel to grab a coffee before we dropped him back at the airport. Unfortunately the toddler was getting tired after his long day, so was running around the lobby doing circuits of the place. Eventually hubby decided it would be best to head back to the airport, so I drove us all back and we waved hubby off, as the toddler and I would be staying on until Thursday evening. I was starting to feel a little tired myself, so thought it best to let mum drive up North to her house. The toddler slept for most of the 45 minute journey, which was nice for us to have some peace for a catch up. We stopped off at my brother and sister-in-law’s house on the way back and it was lovely to see them and my three nieces. They were beyond excited to see their cousin again and just took him off to play, which was great, to leave me to enjoy my cup of tea. After a lovely catch up and borrowing some fresh pyjamas for the toddler, we headed to mum’s house. I got the toddler sorted for bed and put him down, in his lovely pink pyjamas and mum had a lovely steak, baked potato, carrot and parsnip dinner waiting for me. It was delicious, but I could nearly have fallen asleep on the plate, so decided it was probably time for bed.