About a month ago, I mentioned to Adrian that I thought we should rent a cottage in the Highlands for a few days between Christmas and New Year.
I had visions of taking snowy nature walks as a family by day and relaxing around the fireplace at night. It was as though I had never been to Scotland, or indeed spent time with a baby before.
Here’s what happens when you take a Highland winter holiday with a baby:
- You pack a car with ALL THE THINGS, including multiple snowsuits, a high chair, approximately 100 nappies, a giant travel cot (which the baby sleeps in for a total of one hour in three nights) and a white noise machine (which you put on every night even though it does f**k all).
- Snow? More like rain. And wind. And a baby who is very confused about why you’ve strapped them to your body and are forcing them to look at a field of sheep while gales slap them in the face.
- You make plans to see a historical site, visit a cafe, whatever. Then the baby falls asleep in the car, so instead you drive down single-track roads aimlessly for an hour and a half while listening to 90s music.
- Instead of sitting around the fireplace in the evening with a dram of whisky in your hand, you spend most of the night trying to convince the baby that their travel cot is a really nice place to sleep. They disagree. A battle of wills ensues. They win, just as they always do, and sleep next to you in the bed with their fingers buried in your hair.
But you know what? It was still amazing. Because the Highlands look like this.
And if nothing else, we helped the Popple embrace her culture by doing the most British of things – taking nature walks in terrible weather and looking out over the landscape while rain obscured our vision, saying, “This is great” and genuinely believing it.