You are probably wondering who the hell is that guy. He was probably the tenth person to get their photo taken with a white baby at Sydney Opera House. Isla was in high demand with her assertive exploring and blonde cuteness roaming around tourist attractions on the weekend.
After spending three days in Sydney I am so glad to be home. For the first time I realised how loud Sydney really is. Trains, people, ferries, cars, buses, planes, advertising it doesn’t stop, even the birds are louder. I don’t remember Brisbane being so loud when we lived there, poor little Isla was in over-drive with stimulation. Planes were going overhead every 3 minutes or so. We have just started pointing at planes, she is very proud when she hears one and then spots it.
Travelling with Isla when she was 6 months old was easy. Travelling with her at 17 months was a nightmare. Not all bad but we decided to cut a tooth while we were at the zoo. Things went down hill after that. Our little country girl really did not cope well with public transport. Being cooped up and made to sit in one spot for at least 30 minutes was not cool. She bounced on chairs, looked out the window and made friends with people who were willing to sit near us.
Turns out people on public transport in Sydney are super friendly compared to those at the airport (more on that later). Since Roy was learning each day, Isla and I had the days to roam the city and explore. Day one we tackled the zoo. It took us an hour to get to the zoo and by the time we got there Isla fell asleep just as we walked through the gates. Which meant the lead up to sleep time was a mission. As all mothers know each child is different and our little Isla becomes another person in the lead up to sleepy time. She goes full throttle and if she doesn’t get what she wants that girl will kick, scream and cry.
I don’t spoil Isla and usually when she has one of these over-tired episodes we are at home and I don’t take any notice of it and she moves on quickly. Not in Sydney. The lead up to sleep on the way to the zoo was ‘let me go mum I want to run’, sorry little one I can’t let you go there are thousands of people and I don’t want to loose you! You can’t climb out of the pram you need to stay in it until we get somewhere safe for you to get out and explore. What an ordeal and the episode leading up to the zoo wasn’t her finest while we where away either.
While Isla slept I got to see the kola’s, the reptiles and marvel at some giraffes. I even took three photos which was the extent of my photo taking while we where in Sydney. On waking up, I wanted to surprise Isla with her favourite animals – the big cats – we visited the tiger and lions. She was over the moon to see them in real life however they were not the highlight of the zoo for Isla. No, it was the guinea pigs, just like the ones she has at family daycare.
After pushing through the Isla grump we managed to get ourselves home and then tackle going out to dinner again by public transport. What a mission but the Peking duck we ate was amazing! After the long day I had, I thought I would give a miss to the art gallery which I was really looking forward to going to see. I didn’t need a teething, grumpy little girl on public transport again. We decided to hang back at the hotel after breakfast and get a good nap in before tackling the day. We were staying near a very large shopping center which was great for getting meals.
Turns out they all so had an adventure playground which was completely indoors. I decided to take Isla after her nap and lunch so she could play and run around to her hearts content. We didn’t last very long. Isla was not making any friends as she was the only little white girl with blonde hair getting about. Most of the other kids just ignored her which was a shame and she didn’t like that it was all enclosed with weird lighting. She just wanted to go home.
After a rocky night with teething terrors it was time for Isla and I to go home. We caught public transport all the way to the airport. I had timed her sleep with our flight so fingers crossed she would fall asleep as soon as we took off. Making it easy for me to contain a small person on a plane.
You guessed it. The lead up to sleepy time was a nightmare. I was sleep deprived on the verge of tears as my emotions were running higher thanks to lack of sleep. By the time we got to the airport I was feeling ok about our solo mission. Then I realised that the baggage check-in was going to take a long time. I held Isla in my arms for 45 minutes wiggling, screaming, crying, complaining until we got to the check in counter. If this was happening on a train in Sydney people would come and give her a smile and help to entertain her to help the time go by quicker. Not at the airport. People at the airport are more important than those on public transport. Isn’t flying on a plane a version of public transport?
The ladies in front of me said hello in the first two minutes of us joining the queue, then ignored us the rest of the way to check in. They didn’t want a bar of the action of a struggling mum trying to hold her child, push a pram and get the luggage to the counter. The guy standing behind me had equal response. He just pretended we were not there at all. Arriving at the check in counter I had tears welling up in my eyes. I was hoping that the ordeal was almost over, sorry your pram needs to go to over-sized another 100m away. Packing down a pram with an unruly child wanting to run away was horrific. No help, that’s right. Just leave the struggling mum who is alone to fend for themselves.
You know I every time I entered or left a train people would offer to help with the pram. What makes people at airports seem so self-righteous? Is it because they are going on holidays, have a business meeting in Bali or going home? I have never felt so small. All I could think of is those single mums who do this sort of stuff each day. They deserve a medal. So next time you see a mum who might need a little help, no matter the situation, smile and offer a hand. You never know that small gesture could make a huge difference.
On a happier note the highlight of our whole trip for Isla was riding the escalators. She would jump on with Roy holding her hand and go up and down, over and over and over again.