I haven’t blogged in over a month now. When I started this blog, my plan was to write a post each week and ever since, I have, more or less, stuck to my plans. But everything changed soon after Gini’s first birthday. To start off with the milder stuff, my husband and I celebrated our birthdays in quick succession. Then he got a job offer from India and resigned from his current Cape Town based job. We knew this was in the offing but didn’t expect it to happen so soon. We had to change all our plans, make new ones, inform the landlords, sell furniture, bid goodbye to many favourites, talk finance etc. On top all the drama, we also went on a holiday. And not just any holiday but Gini’s first overseas holiday (which also coincided with baby’s first time on a flight). Phew! Talk about being in the thick of drama. Move over Kim K and all.
Holiday destination? Tanzania. When we planned this holiday a few months previously, it wasn’t meant to happen so close to our journey back to India (with a heavy heart, in my case). But it was something I had been looking forward to for months. Not only were we going to a whole new country, we were going to meet AND live with one of my closest ever friends! The idea of meeting her after 4 years is the only thing that stopped me from tipping over to the other side of the nervous breakdown fence.
I watched videos by other mums, got practical advice from cousins etc. and readied myself the best way I could for baby’s first trip abroad. To be fair, I did carry almost everything that I imagined she’d need there. I knew mosquitos were going to be a problem and hence packed a big bottle of So Pure Mosquito Spray. What I couldn’t predict was the number of those annoying things I’d meet there and how terribly my fancy no-DEET, no-oils, no-citronella, no-nothing mosquito repellant would perform.
The very evening of landing in Dar es Salaam, my Gini had three huge welts on her beautiful face and a few more on her hands and feet despite the fact that I had sprayed her well with the So Pure Mosquito Spray after her bath. I fought back tears when I saw her in the morning. I felt so cheated, I went and let out a rant in front of my husband who then took the bottle of mosquito repellant from me, glanced at the ingredients and said, “So you sprayed diluted vanilla perfume on her and expected it to work against mozzies? Not gonna happen.”
Stung, I snatched the bottle from his hands to read the ingredients listed and for the next few seconds, proceeded to feel like an utter, utter fool.
Long story short, I waited a few more days before I bought a conventional baby-safe repellant (I dressed her in fully covered pjs and socks in the meantime without success. Tanzanian mosquitos are relentless). To my relief, it worked. I was so done with So Pure Mosquito Spray by then that I didn’t bother lugging it back. Bye-bye fancy underperformer. I soothed her itchy, bothersome welts with calamine lotion and made a mental note to carry a mosquito net with me on all my future travels to mosquito-friendly places. The fear, the sheer panic you experience when you see your child bitten by dangerous disease carrying mosquitos is not worth the sleep you lose.
P.S – Talking about sleep, sleep during holiday was a total twat. My sleep-trained baby took an abrupt U-turn and woke up a couple of times a night all throughout our holiday. She also went back to her early wake ups. I rued the end of STTN. But as soon as we got back, I persevered and things have improved again. Look out for my upcoming post on How to Retrain Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night after a Holiday or an Illness.