Tuesday, 27 September 2011


We're moving in one week to South Africa. Whereas once upon a time a move meant booking a ticket, packing a couple of bags, making sure you had somewhere to stay for the first few nights and possibly some transport from the airport, now it is a rather different enterprise. Moving with two small children it seems is not quite so simple. Moving now requires a whole month of boring admin – especially when most of your stuff is stuck in the middle of a revolution. Then there is the detailed planning for the actual flight. They say that if you breastfeed a baby, flying is simple. Not so in my case. My baby, who is very mild mannered in almost every way, has two hang-ups – he will not feed unless it is dark and there is no noise, and neither will he sleep unless those conditions are met. My experience tells me that darkness and quietness may be hard to come by. Particularly with a lively two year old by your side. So as I prepare for what will certainly involve long stretches sitting underneath a blanket with my baby screaming in my ear (meanwhile hoping my 2 year old has not gone awol), I remember those days where the most I had to contend with was a bad movie and a fat person taking up more seat than they paid for. I did not know I was born.

However, it is not all bad. There is no longer any boredom involved in flying. And perhaps because of the sweat, milk stains and tears, I reckon it makes you a better person in the end (although I don't promise to give any sign of this as I go through it). Looking after small kids has definitely made me more likely to: talk to people I don't know; carry heavy things for people who are struggling; and give up my seat on a train. I wish I could say the same for the deep tiredness it leaves you with...

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