BEFORE my daughter was born I thought taking a child on holiday would simply mean packing three bags instead of two.
What I now know is this: I was an idiot.
I can only assume the most complex of MI6 missions must require less planning, stress, blood, sweat and tears than one night away with a six-week-old baby.
Getting to my sister’s wedding on Easter Sunday took organisational skills I didn’t even know Smithy and I were capable of.
“Tiny babies do not travel light!” said my husband, an hour after we should have set off, as he surveyed the mountain of things still waiting to be loaded into the car. “I think this pile is actually bigger than the car!”
His voice rose in a slightly hysteric way with each syllable.
“I can only assume it’s some twisted law of the universe that babies are so tiny and yet need SO. MUCH. STUFF!”
I tried to calm him down.
“I agree that six suitcases is quite a lot for one night…” I said. “But what can we do? The child likes to vomit!”
Strangely, he didn’t look calmed.
In the end, however, we managed to get everything loaded up, with the baby shoved in unceremoniously between a Moses basket, pram and a large bag of books and toys.
Dozens of spare outfits (for all of us) were crammed in, among pram wheels, changing bags and packs of nappies, while an expensive bottle of champagne for the happy couple was balanced precariously on top of a waterproof pram cover.
In a twist of genius, we even managed to dig out a bag of frozen mixed vegetables to use in lieu of a missing freezer pack, to keep several bottles of milk cold on the journey.
“We’ve done well!” I congratulated us, once we’d finally arrived and unpacked. “I think we actually remembered everything!”
“We have done well,” conceded a slightly more relaxed Smithy, as he pulled on his suit for the wedding.
“However, I wish we could have found that missing freezer pack.
“We might be more organised than the likes of James Bond but I’m pretty sure his clothes don’t smell like peas…”
Article first published in the Westmorland Gazette on April 9, 2015