Monday, July 4, 2016

Father's day celebrations and how to travel with a 10 month old

On the morning of father's day I got up to realise that our sea view suite had a diaper changing unit in the cupboard. the cupboard itself was in a large bathroom with a sunk in bath tub, and his and hers wash basins.
Now we don't always live in such luxe surroundings, but there was still the minor issue about how to wrap up the used diaper. 
I padded across to the adjacent room and opened the door where the staff of the Park Hyatt and Spa, Goa had thoughtfully hung the days newspaper.
i grabbed the first page of the newspaper, grinning to myself about how even the biggest politicians and hippest A listers were not above being diaper wrap for my little baby, when I found myself looking down at a 'diaper changing' advertisement! 
The ad showed not just a mom changing a diaper, but a dad right beside her aswell. it was to be the new logo outside diaper changing rooms; now moms aswell as dads were to change diapers. 

I promptly walked the paper up to little Shreyu's dad and said ,"your turn."

"Hey I changed his diaper last time, I thought this was your turn." he said. 

"Happy Father's day. That means today you get to do all the diaper changes, putting him to bed, bathing him, etc, and I shall be your assistant." 

Welcome then to parenting 2.0, where dads are equal partners in parenting. what that means is that mums can have more time to enjoy motherhood without being hassled (who am I kidding), where dads enjoy the perks as well as responsibilities of parenthood, and  yes, travelling with a baby is a fun couple activity, rather than a one woman mission.

We had the most lovely stay at Park Hyatt, Goa for father's day. Made even more lovelier by the fact that it was Shreysht's first fathers day celebration, and our first family holiday with just the three of us.

a thoughtfully procured picture of us three beautifully framed by the resort staff, as well as a jar full of marshmallows for the bunchkin

I had packed the bare minimum for the baby, which still amounted to three bags full. one filled with his food; milk powder, boiled water, containers, cutlery. one filled with his sleep stuff; his bedding and pillow boulders which he loves to throw his legs over. One filled with clothes, diapers, potty (yes, he is potty training), his swimming paraphernalia.

What I didn't carry were any toys as I wanted him to interract with his new surroundings. in all honesty he loves to play with emoty boxes and spoons and bowls as much as any of his toys.It was agood decision, he loved to frolic with the balloons that the staff indulged him with, loved to pull at the name plates of every wait staff uncle who picked him up, and since the floors and furniture were baby safe we let him crawl all over the place. 

The crib/play pen was a novelty for the little one as he chased the balloons we put in with him. in a sea of blue he looked like a fish in an aquarium. 

And he does love water. which meant we had the massive expanse of swimming pools at the resort to choose from. since he is just 10 months I had his baby float, which lets him sit on a tube,with only his legs in the water. he had some epic fun, the pictures say it all.

we met a lot of other couples with babies and kids aswell. we discovered that the Park Hyatt is extremely popular with children and especially their parents. 
they have a wonderful place called the camp Hyatt, where they have age appropriate play area and toys for all ages. 
they had an all day fun activitiees for fathers day. 

Parents come and drop the kids off at the camp, and the children can only leave once a parent comes to pick them up. I loved the cleanliness, attention to detail, friendly staff, and the attention to security at the place. 

The older kids were making icecream shaped cards for dads, origami shirt shaped cards came next, in general a lot of love was being showered on the dads, and the kids were occupied as well. there is also a detailed history of any medication the child is on, or any games he is not allowed to play, etc. 

For toddlers they have a separate section where they walk around or crawl around obn padded floors, ride on cars and toy trains, rock on horses, or generally have a gala time being babies. 

Our little one got to spend some quality date time with dad at the camp hyatt. He also did a foot and hand painted t shirt for Mom.

Food times were an adventure in itself. since he is on weaning foods and has a lot of finger foods already it was much easier for us. On the first day he had softly scrambled eggs, because his dinner time is much earlier to the hotel dinner time, we had room service. Tip while travelling: always keep fruits, boiled veggies and pasta , crackers and such ready for snack times for young kids, they tend to get hungry at inopportune times and not only is room service expensive, but they do take some time and children get ravenous really heat the food you can put it in plastic or steel seaved containers and place them in the water heaters in your room. add a little water in the hot water machine which is present in almost all hotels, now place the sieve with the cooked pasta, boiled egg, or boiled veggies in it. Voila you have your own steamer! 

The resort buffet was like the best scavenger hunt, where I ould go hunt down every food item to see if it was appropriate for the little one. we had sucha wide choice. we had poached fish and idlis for breakfast fresh juices and fruits, and for lunch a pumpkin salad ( he adores pumpkins), Paneer, a whole platter of assorted desserts, and whole wheat bread. the kitchen staff lovingly prepared dal khichdi which was spot on, and almost as good as the one we make at home for him, but he was too enamoured by the different flavours and textures and culinary expereince that he was having.

yum scramble egg, all laid out in style by room service.

bringing the house down with his singing, this is what they call singing for your supper.:)

that time when he didn't like Pizza, wait till he grows up !

mildlly spiced tossed veggies and poached fish, perfect for little one

lunch plate for baby foodie.

Travel helps you make that journey not just with-out, but also within. Every travel teaches you something about yourself and how you interact with your surroundings helps you discover not just the world , but facets about your own personality. 

Shreyu no doubt enjoyed himself, for the first time he slpet in his own cot rather than coslepp with mom, he met people and ate stuff, and played with different toys, and saw so much more than the four walls of home.

But we as parents grew as well. we learn to make do with less, or more. We learnt to make inspired innovations on how to baby proof a place, or how to feed him without his high chair (there are high chairs in the dining spaces) or how to bathe him, or put him to bed in a new environment. Travel made us realise each others strengths as well. Till date we had travelled with an entourage of grandparents or care takers, even at home we have help, but here it was a composite unit , an adventure in itself.I for one picked up some great recipes from the lunches and now we have veggies stuffed idlis all the time as well as poached fish and pumpkin salads.

travelling with a baby can also be a bit nerve wracking and scary, but kudos to the staff at the Park Hyatt. they have solutions to a lot of your baby related issues, and are more than happy to make life easier for you and your kid, so that both have a memorable stay.  

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