Happy New Year!!
Ah, on this the third day of 2018, I reminisce on the times before baby where the New Years Eve plan was the highlight of the end of the year. Which party was going to be the hottest? Who was going with who? My nights of working at the nightclub PRIVA were just as hyped… I mean, it’s New Year’s Eve. In a nightclub.
Since baby, my Old Years Night plans have calmed down a bit.
Well, a lot.
My first New Year’s Eve after having Liam in 2015, I still had a pretty fun night planned. My best friend and Liam’s godmother, Shakira, was coming over. We had planned to do our makeup, do our hair, dress up, get all fancy and….
…..stay home, watch movies and eat snacks.
What? I didn’t have time to bedazzle Liam’s carrier for a night out on the town.
I kid, I kid.
But seriously. This is what my New Years Eve plans had become. John was working a job that night and when it came time to ring in the new year, Shakira, myself and baby Liam (who was fast asleep) went out on my balcony and watched the fireworks all across the island.
Then I fell asleep on the carpet within the hour in the middle of a movie.
My second year was a little more adventurous. By this time, Liam was a year old and a lot less dependent. John agreed not to work this year so, joined by some friends, we went down to a popular beach spot for watching the fireworks with a blanket, prosseco and homemade pizzas. Liam had a whale of a time playing on the sand and it was fun to socialise and ring in the New Year with friends.
I didn’t fall asleep this time.
This year, John and I repeated last year’s tradition alone with Liam. It wasn’t as bustling at the spot and Liam probably turned up more than we did, dancing with tourists on the beach and stealing balls from older children.
Well, the child was kind enough to give it to him after Liam held it hostage.
He also took home a lot more sand.
For me, I think since having Liam, I’ve gotten over going to the hottest party and the fancy dresses and makeup to ring in the New Year only for it all to be over in a matter of hours. Enjoying New Years Eve with a toddler has proven to be just as fulfilling, and it can be for you if you have these things in check.
Location, location, location. Location is important for obvious reasons. When choosing a place to celebrate New Years Eve with your toddler, aim for a quiet location without rowdy crowds. Granted, any place where fireworks are going off a few meters away fails to qualify as quiet… Liam spent the entire firework display holding me in a vice-like bear hug and his face in my neck. Besides that, quiet, open areas with minimal crowds allows you to enjoy your New Years Eve get-together without the worry of your little one getting lost in a crowd or feeling too confined.
Does it defeat the purpose of New Years Eve celebrations if you bring your toddlers tablet along? No, no it does not. You see, two year olds have the attention span of, well, a two year old. There’s only so much sand on a beach or grass in a park to keep them occupied before they start getting into mischief. I didn’t have Liam’s tablet this time around but my phone with his favourite kids app did the job. It also allowed John and I to have a little “alone” time to enjoy the first sea breeze of 2018.
Change of Clothes
This section may not even be necessary. If you’re a mother to a toddler and you don’t walk with a change of clothes WHEREVER you go, you, my friend, are living life on the wild side. It’s literally an essential to have a change of clothes on outings with toddlers. Nothing ruins a day or night out than shit-soiled, puke-soiled or piss-soiled clothing and no back-up plan.
Trust me, I learnt that the hard way.
For some reason, while on our trip this year to New Orleans, Liam’s diapers which would usually withstand a bit of extended soiling without leaking, leaked every time we went out. Possibly because 85% of his time was spent sitting in a stroller. Either way, it put a damper on the days activities every time because I rarely had a change of clothes for him and I hated the idea of him being in dirty clothes.
In this instance, we were on a beach after what had been a relatively wet and rainy day. Needless to say, I had to undress Liam about 50% and dust him vigorously with a towel before putting him in the car.
If you’re going to bring easy toddler-friendly finger foods out on your New Years Eve expedition avoid snacks with high sugar content. I know, I know, we’re celebrating, right? Why stress about sugary snacks? It’s one night!
But unless you want to be celebrating New Years all into the next day deprived of sleep, then by all means, bring the M&Ms. Cause that’s exactly how you’ll be spending it once your toddler infuses his natural hyperactivity with that sugar rush.
Or… Forget everything I just said! It’s the last day of yet another year. Let it all go. Don’t stress about your toddler up at 1:00am getting sand in all of his body orifices and gorging on candy. Reminisce on all the good times of the year and how the New Year is going to be even better for you and your toddler. Spend this time looking forward to them gaining their independence, learning new things, making friends…
… and hope by the end of 2018, they actually enjoy fireworks.