x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Deck the child with funny clothing

My life has snowballed into Christmas chaos. We're supposed to jet back to our home country, England, in 24 hours, but we've got a little problem. Charlie has no passport.

My life has snowballed into Christmas chaos. We're supposed to jet back to our home country, England, in 24 hours, but we've got a little problem. Charlie has no passport. He does, however, have a very fetching babygro with "Santa's Little Helper" emblazoned across the front. I wonder if the immigration officers might give us a good old season's greeting and let him through on the grounds of looking cute? Perhaps not. My husband is not pleased with me. It seems that the passport issue was a bit of an oversight on my part.

Well, my son is only three and a half months old. It kind of slipped my mind. And I have been focusing on other, more pressing matters, like sorting out Charlie's Christmas wardrobe. I've always thought that I demonstrate an element of class when it comes to dressing my little boy, or myself, for that matter. Particular labels are adhered to, no clashing colours, no denim for newborns, you catch my drift. But that has gone out of the window, along with my minimalist home interior. I've been feeling the festive cheer just a little too much. I realised that fact when I was standing in Mothercare in Marina Mall clutching a bright green and red Santa's elf outfit. Pre-baby, I would have dismissed it instantly as tasteless, tacky, tat. But I found myself at the cash desk handing over my dirhams while fantasising about how Charlie would look in the Christmas Day photographs. His glowing, contented face peeking out of the top of his themed outfit, sitting in between the Christmas tree and an open log fire. My purchases didn't stop there. Piles of bibs, booties and bears telling the world that it's my son's first Christmas, mysteriously found their way into the shopping basket.

In addition, the subtle, seasonal sparkles that usually adorn the house in December have been replaced by perspex flashing reindeers and an oversized pine tree. The tasteful holly and the ivy have been replaced. All of this an attempt to please my seemingly oblivious son. I'm facing the dreaded prospect tomorrow morning of queuing at the British Embassy to pick up Charlie's newly processed passport. Actually, it's not the queueing that's causing me the problem. I'm not exactly relishing the thought of seeing the finished result. Let's just say the photograph I handed over of my son does not bear a striking resemblance to his real life face. The picture was taken in a nanosecond and he looks like a very young version of Buster Bloodvessel. Fat and bald, with shining polished cheeks.

Aside from that minor setback, I am becoming increasingly worried about the amount of luggage needed to accommodate my recent Christmas purchases. Airline baggage allowances obviously don't take into account the paraphernalia needed when travelling with my small baby. Capsule wardrobes don't exist in the world of kids. The multiple suitcases I have packed would fill a branch of Mamas and Papas if they were emptied. That doesn't even include Mummy's essentials, my make up and toiletries could take up an entire overhead locker. My husband stated sarcastically that we may have to hire a private jet to get us home as the minute portion of a jumbo jet's baggage hold is completely inadequate. At this rate, a larger version of Santa's sleigh might be a more viable option. That's not a bad idea. At least we wouldn't need that blinking passport.