Our life in England is soon ending. We have now neared the stage where we will be doing things for the ‘last time’. Last visit to London, last visit to Shelly’s Tea Shop in Chilham, last visit to Whitstable, last visit to the outlets in Ashford. It has been one hell of an experience. We have experienced new things and grown thanks to them. I first visited Canterbury as an unmarried and carefree woman, and I’m going back home with a 21-month old baby, a thicker waistline and heaps of memories.
I try not to think of what I’m going to miss from here because I console myself with the fact that England is very near and we will definitely visit soon again. I want to bring Cesca back to Canterbury one day and show her our favourite spots and share the tens of stories and things that happened there. Pictures and blog posts will help tell her how special a place Canterbury was and still is.
One thing I am relieved to take a break from is the plane travelling with a baby. We are truly lucky that C is a little trooper and seems to adapt quite quickly whatever the situation is. She is now used to the plane and thankfully does not try and make a runner for the centre aisle as I so feared when she started walking. The only problem, as is for adults, is the lack of space on board a plane. C loves her space especially when it’s time to sleep. So for those fifteen minutes before she finds a comfortable position to fall asleep in on a plane, both A and myself are a nervous wreck. She tosses and turns, kicks, gets up again, bumps her head against the arm-rest, knocks back things (it was a glass of water on the gentleman sitting next to us last time) and of course screams. Eventually she sleeps and we can rest. But the road to her sleeping is a very bumpy and long one.
She now only has one plane trip left. I can’t believe that it’s all going to be over soon. She made her first trip at 9 weeks of pregnancy when no one even knew of her existence, when England was hit by a terrible snow-storm and everything was stalled. She accompanied me and kept me company during that terrible flight and others which followed all throughout the pregnancy. And she came back to England at 8 weeks of age, a small and tiny baby who had me so wrapped up in tension and worry that I could not believe it when she slept the whole way through. From then onwards she’s been on numerous flights (I’ve counted 32 plane trips), and each time I worry and each time I’m surprised. We’ve had people telling us what a good passenger she is, others have given us nasty looks and others like the kind gentleman who was the recipient of the glass of water last Monday asking to help out by holding our bags and bits. We’ve had people walking down the aisle to their seats and worryingly glance at their seat numbers to ensure they’re nowhere near us and others who have lowered their back seats on a sleeping C, knowing full well that there was a baby behind them. We’ve been given separate seats on board a plane and have had to play the begging game with fellow passengers to swap seats. We’ve met them all, we’ve laughed, we’ve despaired and somehow we made it through.
I’ve learnt that flights at around her sleeping time are easier. I’ve learnt to take on an extra supply of milk and snacks, toys and books. I’ve learnt to change her nappy before we leave and pray for no poop during the flight. Easy or hard, we have learnt lots of invaluable lessons. And now I am relieved that that part will soon be over.