Sofia is already well travelled this year and another adventure beckoned to France for my dad’s 70th, my parents, me, Em, Sofia, my two brothers, wife and 4 children. It’s a sign of how well Sofia has grown up over the last few months alone that she knew for most of the week she was going to France on an Airplane. The “airplane” being an important part as she points them out constantly and loves the thought of going on one. So she was super excited as we left via Luton to Bordeaux. She also now has to have her own seat. This is great as we can now reserve a bank of 3 seats for us. Of course we have to pay more now and have the added complication of hold baggage. Even better she managed to sleep most of the way to France which was great.
We had a car hired. Interrent (an offshoot of Europcar) for information are pretty poor when it comes to customer service but are cheap. The child seat was luckily not the one covered in rubbish but did take time to fit. If car companies want to improve their image, besides their rip off insurance they really should help or fit the car seat for you. Not only would it be safer, it would also just be a nice thing to do. Given that every panel of the car was scratched and the clutch barely functioning this was probably the least of the cars problems. Going from a sporty home car to something that can just about get up a small incline is also something that it takes time to get used to. It was fine though, did the job and the Punto was far more economical than our car.
We all met up on Saturday at a farm house and everyone else was already there. The week was great for Sofia, surrounded by her cousins really helped her both speaking and also just becoming a greater daredevil than she already is. Not only was she happy chasing round the large farmhouse, playing hide n seek with everyone, she also choose to slowly shed her rubber ring and try and drive in to the pool, first from the steps and then from the side of the pool, she even momentarily tried to put her face in the water. If you didn’t know this is a miracle compared to those early swimming lessons where she screamed once in the pool. It also didn’t matter that the pool was not heated! She doesn’t seem to feel cold (well except for after being in the pool a while, teeth chattering and not being able to speak). Daddy however does feel cold, it usually takes about 2-3 hours to get in to the sea when visiting home. However this also made me slowly learn that jumping in quickly is the best option.
One thing about being around older cousins, is that you get introduced to the later Sofia. YouTube is the rage, some interesting YouTube characters are watched. Luckily like any remote rural location the internet connection was terrible so it internet, gaming and videos was limited. Pool games was the norm. It was nice being with my brothers as well. They both live close to each other and I live a few hours away. So it was good to spend some time and mess around together. Something we didn’t really do as kids unless we were trying to kill each other.
We didn’t get any real non-Sofia time and it didn’t matter. She is pretty good now on trips out. She can eat mostly what we eat and is also conversational enough to know what she is thinking, whether wanting food, toilet, play or sleep. She is also very happy to see an animal and get a few moments to play. When she isn’t walking around then she will chill in the buggy, asleep or watching the world. The Yo-Yo as a buggy is everywhere. We set this trend buying one early, ours now looks a bit beat up but walking the local towns you saw them everywhere. When we were choosing, it was all about the Bugaboo but now the Yo-Yo is the norm. Probably because it can be carried as hand luggage and everyone knows what make it is and let’s it through customs and on as hand luggage no questions.
One thing Sofia doesn’t do yet is top on demand. We have managed to get her to hold hands when near a road but when she goes “running”, she definitely isn’t listening, something we’ve also had fed back on her daily nursery report. It takes a lot to get through to her when it means she has to stop doing something she wants to. She now has proper opinion. Says “yes” and “no” to things. I think the constant Pepper Pig episodes we had downloaded made her say “perfect” a lot when things went right, like a jigsaw or good food. On the subject of Pepper Pig, she can now swipe through photo albums, find Amazon Prime or BBC Iplayer and fire up a video. This is the new world!