Family Lifestyle

A Quick Solo Trip North [Darwin, NT]

It’s hard to believe that I thought it was hard to wrangle Oscar in a plane to Darwin back in August when he was a stubborn six-month-old. Now I know so much better.

Oh, by the way, I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Darwin which involved not one, but two red-eye flights with a very loud and frustrated 11 month old who spent most of his time (I imagine) trying to ask me just why he couldn’t kick the seat in front, scream at the top of his lungs or flail around like a disco-dancing chicken. There was a moment on the flight there that I remember so vividly asking myself why I had decided to go to Darwin to visit my family without Dean to help me. Why had I signed myself up for this living nightmare?

And then luckily Oscar fell asleep and the whole thing was fine. And it was fine on the way back too, after the same 15-20 mins or so of the kind of high-pitched frenzied screaming that made everyone around me wonder what they had done to deserve to be seated next to this child who was clearly in the middle of a level 5 exorcism.

Anyway, in the middle of these two somewhat stressful middle-of-the-night flights, Oscar and I spent a week in Darwin, without Dean, seeing my family. The main motivation for our visit was, I will admit, a hint of homesickness. This was exacerbated by the air quality in Melbourne falling to such a point as to be considered hazardous to health. Oscar and I spent three straight days indoors watching the smoke swirl on the horizon, and then I booked an airfare. Just a week to see some familiar faces and get a breath of fresh air, delivered alongside the warm, humid embrace of the Darwin tropics. And how refreshing it was!

Being in Darwin always feels like coming home to me. I think a part of me will always feel at home there, no matter where I have made my life. The familiar smells of incense burning, coffee brewing and rain on the horizon is so much a part of my identity. It feels like slipping into an old, well-worn pair of shoes.

Oscar seemed to enjoy being back in the warmth again, spending most of the time cruising around in his birthday suit sweating his little curly head off. We went to playgrounds, played in my mum’s outside tub, splashed in the splash pad, went cafe crawling with my dad, played fun games with my brothers (Oscar loved seeing one uncle again and meeting the other for the first time!) and basically relaxed. It would have been the perfect visit if Dean had been there too, but unfortunately it didn’t line up with him having just had a nice leisurely Christmas break

Of course I knew this visit was always going to be a challenge for me, being the only time I’ve ever solo parented Oscar overnight, let alone for days at a time. Oscar was teething as well (no surprises there!) so in some ways my trip feels like a haze of poopy nappies and unhappy nights. But with the help of some strong coffee and a few lunchtime sleeps, we did get through alive. Next time though, we’re definitely taking Dean!

Also another bummer of not taking Dean is not getting many pictures of myself on this trip! I did get this one (blurry) picture of Oscar and I at the coolest city playground (seriously, they have a slide there so high I would not go on it). Where’s my blog husband (almost) when I need him!

Ah Darwin, it was enjoyable as always. See you next time!

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