The first was to London – a half hour walk, the same on the bus, four hours on the train and then a couple of stops on the tube, all with a weekend bag as well as the normal accoutrements travelling with a toddler entails.
The second was flying to Dublin from Exeter for a family wedding an hour or so outside the city.
I’m sure these trips would’ve been possible with a pushchair, but I couldn’t quite fathom how I would’ve managed pushing the pram whilst also pulling a suitcase. Or getting on and off the train. Or negotiating the steps on the underground.
Not to mention the fact that early starts and long days meant Arthur really appreciated the cuddles. And the easy access to my milk: there would have been an awful lot more stopping and starting if I hadn’t been able to feed him on the go.
He’s generally a pretty easygoing soul, but even his patience was tested at times. And when his mood began to unravel, nothing could be better for bringing him back to himself than strapping him close to me – where he was warm, and safe, and could feel my breath and the beating of my heart next to his.
There was the conversation too – for both of us. There were so many new things to see, especially travelling so close to Christmas, and our journey was punctuated by his little voice asking me ‘what’s that?’, then telling me when something similar appeared again. When we did see Daddy again he was amazed at all the new vocabulary Arthur had mastered. I had mainly just been grateful to have someone to talk to along the way.
I love to travel, and I love that Arthur is proving himself to be such an accomplished little traveller. But I’m really not sure we could manage it without the Connecta. And it definitely wouldn’t be so much fun.