I’m not going to lie – while lying back in a still, shimmering sea (with your tot merrily paddling next to you) is soul food, my worries about getting actual (healthy / non chip) food into said babe cause me a lot of stress.
Despite being a foodie who loves to (or used to love to) unwind in a kitchen, trying new recipes, or concocting self-inspired meals, food ideas / cooking / eating have always been my biggest mum stressors. But we finally had a good thing going at home, where my sometimes fussy, often sceptical tot was getting more adventurous and trying different meals I put in front of her, and I had a decent repertoire of meals that she ate well and that gave me peace of mind that she was eating a healthy, balanced diet. So my biggest worry before coming to Thailand was whether I could continue feeding her well and relatively easily, knowing I wouldn’t get most the stuff she’s used to and likes. And since arriving and trying to convince (and often attempting to bribe) her to eat the Thai food we ordered at restaurants, I realised how founded this worry was. To start with in Bangkok she ate some rice, gingerly tried some noodles, and once even wolfed down a ton of cauliflower and broccoli, with repeated “more” requests, while refusing to eat any tofu or other veg. But the more meals out we ate, the less she ate.
So once we were in Samui, and since our local Family Mart didn’t have any fresh fruit or veg, and not much more than soy milk and crisps for us to buy food wise, I was excited for our big trip to Tesco Lotus. And the expedition started off excitingly, as we shopped for beach towels and a blender for smoothies (a sure fire way to get fresh fruit and protein supplements into a fussy about fruit toddler – so, yes, this is an exciting purchase as a mum!). We were on our way to setting up a new life! But as the supermarket sucked away our day, and the hours dragged on while we scouted isle after isle looking for things they didn’t have (lentils, nut butters, soy mince / other meat substitutes etc), taking turns chasing after a toddler who thought she was in an amusement park, and then whizzed through the fresh produce section, which didn’t even have peppers, my excitement started to wane.
And the hefty £100 bill at the end also left us feeling rather glum – things were starting to feel a lot more expensive than we’d anticipated, meaning we would be digging more deeply into savings than we’d planned to.
But I keep reminding myself that we have an amazing opportunity to travel like this and do things we’d never be doing at home, and that the time will pass so quickly and I don’t want to look back with regrets, wishing I’d made more of it and enjoyed it more. Mine are definitely spoilt first world problems. And when I’m wallowing in a beautiful warm sea, with a happy husband and joyful child, squealing with delight as she paddles in the shallow waters, the worries fade for a while…until the next meal at least.