When our NCT teacher asked our group what we were most looking forward to about having a new baby my response was “taking her to her first festival”.
I’ve been going to various festivals since I was 13 and I’ve always looked at the babies, toddlers and young children at these events with a certain amount of envy.
It looked like kid paradise! So much to do, so many amazing sights and sounds, it must have been incredible for them.
Obviously I’m not talking about Reading or V festival or any of the dodgy teenagery ones that are little more than a booze-fest followed by a fight in a field – don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed those too but that was back when I was a teenager.
The ones I’d pegged as perfect for little people were WOMAD, Bestival but most of all GLASTONBURY.
Glastonbury, in particular, makes a huge effort towards catering to kids with an absolutely magical kids field! And that’s before you’ve explored the circus/theatre field, run about in the green fields, or seen any of the amazing spaces and acts on show there.
You could literally not see a single band all five days of Glasto and yet still feel like you’d had an incredible time.
I absolutely can’t wait to take Thea.
However, I didn’t want to take her this year. She would have been under a year and I want her to at least be able to walk by herself when we eventually go.
So instead of Glastonbury or any of the other big names, Thea’s first festival was The Ealing Blues Festival.
It’s a great little mini festival in Walpole Park with lots of bands you’ve never heard of playing across two stages.
Thea and I went on our own as Chuck is still studying. We were joined by Our NCT buddies, our pregnant friend Leia and her husband Del, Carol and Jordan who are trying and their friends Abbie and Marcus who have a 9month old.
Thea was three weeks old and Abbie 6 months pregnant the last time we saw each other at Carol and Jordan’s wedding. It was so lovely to see he with a beautiful healthy baby boy. She actually thanked Chuck and I for telling her about Hypnobirthing too. I’d forgotten all about that but vague memories of enthusiastically and graphically explaining it to her at the wedding are coming back! One glass of champagne after an almost 10-month hiatus and I was perhaps a little more zealous in my praise than I’d normally be.
Still I stand by Hypnobirthing. It’s genius! My friend Imogen, who had an emergency c-section after 2-days labour with her last baby who was 10lbs and back-to-back, has just successfully given birth to a 9lb baby completely naturally thanks to Hypnobirthing.
Anyway back to baby’s at festivals!
We had a beautiful big rug and a picnic table and everyone was sitting or lounging with cold beers, nice food and babies playing everywhere. It was wonderfully relaxed and so different from normal festivaling – but in the background you’ve got a tent with bands playing and stalls selling all sorts of stuff.
Thea was in her element crawling about, playing with the other babies, trying out everyone’s food.
I wish I’d taken her about a bit more but as I was on my own (Chuck was studying) we mostly stayed on the mat and enjoyed everyone’s company.
Very unlike everyone festivals of the past everyone (in our group) pretty much packed up and left by 6pm.
Our mates Ellen and John took Thea back to Northfields for me and Charly met them there so I could enjoy the festival with Leia and Carol… Awesome! Or so I thought…
At 7 months pregnant Leia had had enough so went home 20 minutes later and Carol, very un-characteristically, decided she was knackered and fancied an earlier one too.
I was absolutely gutted. I thought I was going to get a night out at a pretend festival 😦
Still, on the plus side, my spidey senses are tingling and I suspect Carol is having a “maybe” month so I have all my fingers and toes crossed for her!!!
I’ll keep you posted on that one.