Poolside ponderings


Plane trips with small children really are nasty. You can see the poor parents, stressed out of their brains worried about what people are thinking, then the people who either had children so long ago that they can’t remember themselves, or just have a cold, dead heart who look at said parents to make them feel worse. Then there are the fellow parents who try to make the others feel better about the whole ordeal with a smile, or funny tale to tell, quietly grateful that their own kids have it together and praying things don’t turn on their own. And then there are the kids, the little ones, loosing their shit entirely, comprehensively and completely, only to decide to FINALLY go to sleep in the last 7 minutes of the flight. Last night I saw all of these parents, I tried to crack a joke with a mother who looked so entirely defeated and stressed that I just wanted to give her a hug. I got annoyed with a Dad who stood behind me and shooshed to his baby (that wasn’t even crying) “Sssh SSSH SSSSSH” in a sing-songsy fashion over and over and over again for approximately 45 minutes until I was going to sssh him (see also: Me. Dead heart) and I’ve never been happier to 1. have kids that were old enough to be in their own seat, and 2. not be on a flight to Europe.


I read BOOKS. Plural! I devoured them from the moment I woke up, until the minute my eyes fell asleep at night. Hours passed and days were over before I even realised. Is there anything better than time and freedom to do that? I wish I could read all the time, it just seems to disappear the moment I get back to ‘normal’ life. Rob had a crack at Hemingway (For whom the Bell Tolls) and I just rolled my eyes at him. It’s hardly a rollicking holiday read now is it?


I celebrated a birthday while I was away and am now 36. I have really strong memories of my own mother being 36 (for some reason that age just STICKS in my mind) and now here I am. How does it happen? Children do not generally like to share Birthdays with their Mother I’ve found. It’s something about things not being about them I think. One of my personal favourites was my 30th when I got a trifecta: Daisy was cutting her first tooth AND had a cold and would not be put down for the entire day, I got my first period back post baby AND I decided cooking lunch for both sides of the family would be a good idea. It wasn’t. I still shiver thinking about that birthday…it’s never quite how you think right?

H23 H26

I am a complete sticky beak. If ever spotted poolside there will be a book sure, but mostly there will be me staring at people and making stories up about people around me. I also ask for Rob’s opinion on the matter, which usually really pisses him off (come ON, it’s just Hemingway) and then leave it a few minutes before doing it all over again. People watching is the BEST kind of watching.


I think seeing real women’s bodies in swimmers is important. We get so used to seeing magazines and movies with women who are hardly real and normal and somehow measuring ourselves up against them. REAL women have lots of wobbly bits (even the young hot ones on honeymoons in the best shape of their lives). All the different shapes and lumps and bumps is just good to see. One common observation was the adjustment of everything: tits, bums, guts, pubes before entry into water. A quick checklist if you will before you know it all gets messed up and out of sorts again.


If you are ever going somewhere in the middle of winter and you forget to lose 5 kilos before you go because you are lazy and like to eat, may I recommend a spray tan? I hadn’t had one for about 9 years, and without committing myself to a Geordie Shore approach, I am going to get on board that band wagon again. Brown cellulite just looks better, others may not agree, but I endorse it.


Kids still get sick on holidays. They still whinge. They still complain. And they still say things like “it’s NOT FAIR” when it actually couldn’t be further from fair. I always forget that when I’m in planning mode of a holiday, but it can be same shit, different scene. Thank goodness for cocktails is what I have to say about that.


Completely dropping out and turning off EVERYTHING electrical is a very good thing. I need to do it more often and I’m gonna.

What’s been your worst plane trip with a kid?
Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their birthday?
Are you a poolside/beachside people watcher? Isn’t EVERYONE?


  1. Alli @ ducks on the dam says

    She is going to lurve you for that last photo……..

  2. Maryandlil says

    looks delightful. Where did you go? I love holidays and I do just that….turn it all off for a while….

  3. Cassie Webster says

    Oh that last photo!!

  4. my 3 year old does that face, except hers is more a pout with death stare. She has killer eyebrows that she just raises slightly as if to say “you are dead to me”. All i do is laugh, which doesnt help the whole “I am angry at you mother and I wish to express it”. Usually ends in tantrum city.


    Worst plane trip with kid was my now 7 year old as a baby, She whinged all the way from Darwin to Brisbane on a midnight flight, only to fall dead asleep on approach, making disembarking SO much fun. Proceeded to sleep for the 2 hour layover on the floor of the terminal with her dad. I proceeded to stand guard wired out of my brain with exhaustion throwing death daggers at sleeping husband.

    Birthdays are so much better with cocktails and no kids. found that out this year in Thailand! Also goes for point 3… lots of that in Thailand too!

  5. teaspoonsandtinsel says

    Worst plane trip? When my daughter was 12 months old, we were flying to England, she was going through a screaming phase. Not because she was upset, just because she worked out the great reaction she got whenever she did it! And she had the runs. We were very popular on that flight.
    I’m a definite people watcher….and it irritates my husband too!

  6. Our worst flight experience was flying into Bangkok from London with our little 11 month old daughter (on her second London trip) where we kept feeding her ’cause she kept eating, then about 2 hours from Bangkok she did the most enormous vomit, all over us, all over the floor. We got moved, it was that disgusting! Then when we were getting ready to disembark we stood at our original bulkhead seats and she waved goodbye to everyone on the plane and they oohed and aahed over her. She had a complete change of clothes but we didn’t – then we had another flight to Chang Mai. I was very happy to get out of those clothes at our hotel!! Over all I think I prefer long haul to short with our children, at least on the long flights we get to settle in and watch a lot of tele, sleep and suchlike! Went to Hobart last school hols and they were both awful on the flights.
    I love birthdays with my kids – they give me the most delightfully ridiculous presents, and love nothing more than a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.
    Love people watching everywhere!!

  7. Happy holidays, Beth! It’s not a real holiday if you don’t switch off. x

  8. Oh I’m a poolside people watcher and story maker-up-erer. Best past-time ever.

  9. Reannon Hope says

    Totally agree with the spray tan theory!
    Now that I have a tiny baby I’ve told all my family I’m not getting on a plane to see them for many years to come. I can’t do it. I just can’t.
    And birthday wishes to you lovely lady! xx

  10. Worst plane trip – 30 hours to Ireland with a 20 month old. Need I say more?
    I turned 38 on the weekend and finally enough that age is one I strongly remember my Mum turning. Probably because that was the numbers she turned for the following 4 years claiming it was a good year it’s also the year she cut her waist length hair off short. It was beautiful long hair but she said with 3 kids it was impossible to upkeep. I understand it all so much better now!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      It’s something isn’t it thinking about our own Mum’s at our age…especially having our own children now too. And yes, we travelled to Paris with Daisy aged 20 months thinking it would be great because we didn’t have to pay for a seat for her. I still laugh at my logic!

      • That was exactly our logic! No one said she wouldn’t fit in the cot they provide and that she would sleep on me the whole way!

  11. I’ve got no stories to tell. But thought I’d just let you know that I love reading your posts and read them all (even if i don’t always comment!).
    By the way…..loving your new haircut!

  12. Linda Jenkins says

    My husband had a root canal a week before our flight to Thailand in 2007. Just after the drinks trolley came around the change in pressure caused so much pain he collapsed in his seat before he could tell me what was wrong!! The 3 kids were crying, I am trying to assess him ( I am an ICU nurse) and the flight attendants were trying to help but also but all we really had was some Nurofen and an Oxygen tank which he sucked dry. We arrived at Bangkok hours later but then had to board another flight to Phuket!! As soon as we checked into the Phuket hotel he went straight to a local dentist – which was fantastic and they sorted him out with antibiotics and more pain relief.

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABYMAC!!!! Love and smooshy kisses to you xxx

  14. I cried my eyes out on my mums 36th birthday when I realized she only had 64 years left before she dies of old age.

  15. I cried my eyes out on my mum’s 36th birthday. I must have just learnt how to do subtract ions and worked out that she only had 64 years to live.

  16. crazyspeedylove says

    So true – if you can’t tone it then tan it!!

  17. Denica Gorman says

    You are so ridiculously true about brown cellulite looking better. I swear I drop 10 kilos with the application of 1 x DIY tan. Scales may not agree but everyone knows scales are wrong.

  18. Oh, there is so much I love about this post. Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And secondly, beautiful photos. It does look like you totally relaxed and enjoyed your break. And yes, travelling with children doesn’t change who you are, or who they are! And yes, spray tans do look better. Have you seen an African with cellulite? Me neither! I hope you’re still relishing in your holiday. x

  19. As for trips with children. I thank the inventor of the back of chair televisions on planes. They’re a godsend.

  20. MotherDownUnder says

    Oh I love watching people too…thank goodness for sunnies…I like to pretend that people can’t see me watching them.
    I would say the plane trip from NYC to Brisbane when I had appendicitis and a four month old was about the worst ever. I literally got off the flight, went to the hospital and that GA was about the best thing ever…I was begging to be put to sleep!
    And happy birthday to you!

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