Adam Bird

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Monday, 17 September 2007

Ooooh Bambino

Mummy and Daddy wanted to say a big thank you for being such a good boy on your very first holiday! Daddy decided that he would write all about it so that you would be able to know exactly what you did and all of the things that you done.

For out very first family holiday Mummy, Daddy and you flew to Mexico along with Nanny Pat, Grandad Colin, Auntie Carly, and your cousin Joshua. We were going to Mexico especially to see Uncle John get married to Auntie Nadine, so lots of other people came along too, including Bethany, Sue, Steve, Ken and his son Richard and millions and millions of John and Nadine's friends.

Mummy and I were really worried about you and how you would handle spending ten hours on an aeroplane, but in the end we had nothing to worry about as you were a really good boy. We think that it must have all the excitement at flying for the very first time!

We were really lucky with the plane, as it wasn't full so there were plenty of seats around for you to sit down and watch the little tv in the seat in front, you were passed up and down sitting and playing on lots of peoples laps so that Mummy and I could have a rest!

One hiccup though Oliver, which may explain your headaches, or fear of flying in the future was your little tumble off the chair! We had just landed and both Mummy and I were hunting around for our bags when we heard a thump! We looked down and saw you on the floor under the chair in front! We are both really, really sorry!!!!

Despite you screaming briefly after your fall, we managed to alight into the heat of a hot Mexican afternoon, and I am sure that I saw a puzzled look on your face as if to say "Where the hell am I!".

Whilst seemingly waiting for what seemed eight hours to pass through Mexican customs we sat you on the terminal floor where you slid along the floor on your bottom, not really going anywhere! Two weeks later on the return home, we sat you down on the same floor and nearly had to run a mile to fetch you back, such was the amazing spurt of development you went through whilst we were away!

We really noticed your development having spent so much time with you in Mexico, where you learnt to "give me five", say "ta", pull yourself up onto EVERYTHING! You also made everybody laugh by pulling a bodybuilder pose and growling!

We stayed at the Iberostar Cozumel, which was a 30 minute transfer from the airport. We couldn't unpack fast enough and put you into your swimming shorts and see if you liked the pool. We had taken you swimming only once before, and you wasn't too keen on it. Too many children running around and splashing you in the eyes!

I carried you into the water, which at that time of the afternoon, was really, really warm! (I was really surprised at how hot it actually was!) As we went in, and your legs went into the water, you looked at me as if to say "hello, what are you doing?", but you must have quite liked it, as a big beaming smile came across your face, you lifted your hands in the air and brought them down into the water with an almighty splash! Recovering quickly from your own surprise you proceeded with a flurry of splashes which temporarily blinded me and made me choke whilst I was laughing so much!

The pool became your favourite place over the holiday, not only as a place to cool down from the intense heat, but as a playground, and a place to hangout with your homies at the bar!

That's right, the bar! If you was to have one lingering memory of Mexico, I am sure that it would be of that bar. As it was a swim up bar, the seats were under water, and it was just the right height for you to stand on one of the seats and hold on whilst the barmen went about their work. The bar itself was made of shiny blue stones, which you liked to play with and smack with your hands. If Mummy or I were looking for you and you wasn't in your pushchair asleep under an umbrella you were at the bar!

I am not too sure of the exact details of this story, and I personally blame Grandad, but over the course of the two weeks, whilst at the bar, you were at the bar with a shot glass. A little lime green one with "Senor Frogs" emblazoned on the side.

Now most of the time, you were drinking Sprite, although when I say drinking I meant missing your mouth altogether and spilling it all down yourself and into the pool! You were also seen quite happily doing the same with strawberry slush puppy and unfounded rumours of beer and tequila!

As I mentioned earlier, we were really amazed with your development over the course of the two weeks, and it was your crawling and moving around that caused us the most grief. We took with us a foldable tent, which we thought you could play in day after day. After two days it became worthless as five minutes after putting you inside you kept crawling right back out again!

When we were in our room, and we put you on the floor, you would crawl outside and onto the balcony, which caused us much panic. Being on the first floor, we thought that you may discover the steps and have a tumble or worse.

Even on the big double bed you caused us minor stresses by threatening to swan dive off the side. At one point you very nearly did until Mummy caught you and scratched your face in the process. You were left with a small crescent like graze on the side of your face for most of the holiday!

Although temporarily disfigured it didn't stop the locals from falling in love with you! To say that you were a hit with the ladies is an understatement!!! When Mummy and I went to swim with the Dolphins, and were in the shop collecting our photographs (we will take you one day, but you were watching with Nanny and Grandad as you were too small!), we took you with us to see them, and all the Mexican ladies who worked in the shop came over cooing "Oooh Bambino" and stroking you and doing the usual raspberry thing that people tend to do to babies!

One lady even took you off of us and gave you a big cuddle. At one point I thought she was going to run out the shop with you! Instead she placed you in with the Dolphin teddy bears, probably hoping that you would spoil one and make us pay for it!

On one of our trips out we visited a Mayan village, which was a very humbling and eye opening experience. Seeing so many young children with very little in terms of possessions and necessities that we take for granted such as running water and electricity was something Mummy and I will always remember.

As the footpaths were bumpy and strewn with rubble it was difficult for us to use your pushchair, so Mummy went around with the tour guide taking photographs, whilst you and I stayed back on the main road. Some of the mothers of the Mayan children, themselves carrying babies around your age came over to meet you. It isn't often (I imagine) that they have opportunities to meet blonde haired, blue eyed babies like you and so you became a little bit of a novelty to them. We had a couple of photographs together with them, but it became difficult due to you trying to pull a young Mayan babies hair, so we had to try and apologise and head back to the refuge of the tour bus!

Not only did you become a favourite with the locals, but also closer to home by becoming pals with John and Nadine's friends. "Hitman" Hiten became, along with Grandad your drinking partner at the bar, Lucy, Laura and Rachel were your water mermaids carrying you in the pool and everybody else at one point or another were giving you high fives, and the usual raspberry thing that people do to babies.

I started off this blog by saying thank you for being such a good boy, and you really, really were! It allowed us to fill our days with a range of varied trips and excursions, which all went so well.

As well as the trip to Chankanaab to swim with the dolphins and the Mayan Village which was part of the trip to Coba (ancient Mayan ruins), we also visited Xel Ha. The two trips to Coba and Xel Ha were over on the mainland, so we had two return ferry trips to Playa del Carmen, which you enjoyed both times. Although we were told that Coba was wheelchair (and pushchair) accessible, it proved to be otherwise.

As I mentioned above about the roads at the Mayan village,Coba itself was not much better. To get from site to site we employed the use of a taxi, which was basically a bespoke bicycle which had two seats welded to the front. You sat on our laps and had a great time as we were carried from site to site. With the wind in your hair giving you some much needed breeze and respite from the heat. We were originaly not going to book this trip as we were worried about the heat being too much, but apart from a few grumbles about being cooped up in your pushchair you was fine and enjoyed the day as much as the rest of us (although not Mummy as she was a bit too hot and bothered!).

Mummy and I's favourite trip with you was to Xel Ha, where you joined us on a trip down the lazy river. Despite a little disorganisation with the storage of all of our stuff and your pushchair, we made it to the river, with all three of us kitted out in life-jackets, including a very cute baby one just for you. I also had a snorkel, mask and flippers which proved to come in very handy.

Our transport down the lazy river was to be a dual inflatable ring, suitable enough for Mummy and I to sit in whilst carrying you on either of our laps. With the early start and ferry trip tiring you out the lazy nature of the river was just the tonic you needed in which to fall asleep! Luckily enough you managed to stay awake long enough for us to have our photograph taken from the riverbank, which is still Mummy and I's favourite holiday picture!

One thing we didn't realise was just how long this 'lazy' river was! With you asleep in the hot morning sun we thought it would be a good idea to get out pretty sharpish, so I had to use my flippers to swim us back to the nearest exit - 140 miles away! I couldn't get off the ring just in case I caused the ring to topple over and in the process dunk you and mummy in the cold water! So I had to half lay on the ring and half lay in the water and use my flippers to get us back. Despite many comments on my 'flipping' technique, I managed to get us back, you out and in the safe sanctuary of your pushchair before you got burnt!

The rest of the day passed without too much drama, and you enjoyed more water activity later on that afternoon with Mummy and Auntie Carly, whilst I went off tombstoning with Bethany, Joshua and Richard!

If your days in Mexico were varied and spent having so much fun, your nights were a little less active. By the time that Mummy and I were ready to go out and meet Nanny, Grandad and the others for dinner and post dinner show, you were already fast asleep!

If, on the rare occasion that you weren't already asleep, you would join us at the dinner table in the high chair and munch upon, or play with a bread roll. We would then put you in your pushchair, take a short stroll around the complex ready for you to drift off asleep. Whilst we watched the show you would be parked in an aisle underneath a mosquito net far, far away in the land of nod!

You have been a very lucky boy to have been to such an amazing place so early in your life, but the biggest shame is that you are unlikely to remember much about it at all. We hope that one day you may read this and get a better idea of your first holiday abroad!

Mummy and I spoke about our holidays when we were children and I was 13 before I went abroad and on an aeroplane for the first time, so I have some really good memories of my experience. Mummy was a little younger and cannot remember too much. But she can hardly remember her name sometimes, so I wouldn't worry about that too much!

We hope that in the future we are able to take you on more holiday's that this time you will remember and maybe you can write your memories here for us all to read!

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