We did it.
More honestly: He did it.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been for the past two weeks, here it is: we flew overseas and back. With our 8-month-old. And despite the many misgivings of friends and family, not to mention the stunned looks of fellow passengers and other people we met on our travels, we lived to tell about it. All three of us!
We went to Ireland, aka the land of not being ashamed or even slightly questioned when you wear your baby around your chest at a pub at 11 at night and you’re jamming out to some 70-year-old guy playing a fiddle while something called Jedward performs on something called Eurovision on the TV behind the bar.
Sure, there were some bumps along the way: I’m looking at you, Angry Old Woman sitting next to us on the flight home; I’m looking at you, stupid Queen Elizabeth and your historic visit to Ireland; I’m looking at you, schizophrenic Irish weather changing every two seconds but never getting anything near “warm.”
But overall the trip was fantastic. Friendly people, amazing landscapes, tasty beer and the little guy handled himself like a champ the whole time. Now he has the first stamp on his passport before he’s even one year old.
Obviously, it wasn’t quite the same as going to Ireland without a baby – it wasn’t quite the same as going anywhere without a baby. But it was a lot of fun having the kid along, even though he won’t remember a thing and even though his presence in the backseat made the already harrowing experience of driving a rental car over Conor Pass on the left side of the road significantly more harrowing. And that wasn’t the only new experience our son, and momandburied and I, had.
- Did we feed him Irish baby food, specifically pureed Shepherd’s Pie? Yes, yes we did.
- Did we treat him to his first taste of Guinness, complete with frothy mustache? Yes, yes we did.
- Was he mooned by a collection of British thugs on a stag? How dare you.
- Did we leave him in the hands of an Irish babysitting service while we went out and got drunk in Dublin? Maybe.
- Did we shit our pants the whole time we were out, up until we got back into the hotel room and could verify that yes, he was still there and no, he hadn’t been smuggled out as part of some Gaelic baby-stealing operation? No comment.
He adjusted to the time change very well – at least when we were there. Now that we’re back, a few nights in a row of him waking up at 3 or 4am expecting breakfast to be served, well, I guess it’s not too big a deal after 6 months of consistently sleeping through the night.
Now, despite having an amazing time, we’re back in the U.S.. And it’s always nice to be home.
The most jarring adjustment has been landing in New York in the middle of summer temperatures. Especially after never breaking 60 in Ireland. Oh, and it may be sacrilege, but the several stouts I had at the Porterhouse Brewing Company were better than Guinness. By a mile. Won’t be having another creamy Oyster Stout anytime soon, I guess. Thankfully we landed to the great news that Sixpoint is now in cans; that will help take the sting out.