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    International toddler

    I’ve been away for awhile, but with good reason: we’re out of town. Let me elaborate: we’re more or less on the other side of the world, in a timezone 10 hours ahead.

    While this trip so far has been easy in some respects, it’s been brutal in others and I’m having serious thoughts about doing another family trip of this magnitude with any child under the age of 5. We did this cross-over with a ratio of 3 adults to 1 toddler and I admire anyone that can do it in less. As far as I’m conserned 2 kids ounumber 2 parents on these types of journeys.

    I’m envious of parents that have the luxury of road trips. Right now an 8 hour drive in a private space, and option to pull over sounds heavenly.

    20 hour travel day: one 14hr flight, followed by a 3hr lay-over, followed by another 3 hour flight on the other hand? Not so much fun. As an adult, this is a tiring trip. I don’t blame my toddler for having his scram-fest fits.

    G did pretty well flying actually. It helped that our trans-Atlantic flight was a red-eye and he slept through just about all of it. The carseat onboard was def. helpful, but he couldn’t sleep in it comfortably. Well, if you sat, restrained for 4 hours in one spot, you’d get pissy too. MY butt hurt after sitting that long, and I could shift my bum around. His 5 point harness on the other hand, didn’t give him that option. So he slept in my lap for a good few hours, pretty much sprawled out. It was the best sleep he had on that flight. Me? Not so much.

    The time shift has been difficult. G’s been waking up routinely for 2 hours each night from 2-4am wanting to play. It’s been brutal. His naps are all over the place too, and I’m torn between keeping him on his regular schedule or following the sleep-begets-sleep rule. He’s been bed sharing with us too, which is also challenging (He can’t seem to sleep in his pack and play.)… for the parents mostly. G does 360s in his sleep. And kicks. I have a nice, welty bruise on my arm courtesty of a size 5 foot. S avoided a black eye last night, by miracle, as G slept with his head in my arm-pit and feet at S’ face. As I write, his feet are at the headboard and he’s literaly upside down. But he’s at least sleeping.
    I am starting to wonder if our son really sleeps through the night. Or if he wakes up and chills out in his room without asking for us.
    I’m also realizing that he’s not ready yet for a big boy bed. I was hoping that when the baby arrives it would move into the crib and G in a big-boy bed, but observing his sleep patterns these last few nights rules this out for me. He sleep-crawls/walks on the bed, and those little side rails won’t keep him from falling off the bed. S used to sleep walk as a child, and I think G might be too. I also have no idea how to keep him in said bed until he falls asleep. Luckily we have until Nov to figure this out, but my grand designs about using this trip as big bed training is a massive fail. And here I thought G would sleep in the other apartment room by himself. HA!

    On the bonus side though, he is doing SO well culturally. He’s eating the food, which is a big bonus. My family adores him and he’s been so good to them. He also got to meet some new cousins, which is really heart-warming for me. He’s been in a great mood while awake, even given his lack of toys.

    Now here are two travel tips I’ll put out there for parents. Bring masking tape and balloons.

    In my McGuiver thinking, I knew we needed to child proof the apartment we rented. We can’t do anything permanent and with no international guidelene you can’t exactly bring outlet plugs from home, or know how many you’ll need. Hence the
    masking tape. You spend 15 min covering outlets, taping down drawers and cabinet doors. It peels off easy, without taking the paint off too. My curious toddler isn’t onto this yet, and hasn’t managed to open anything I didn’t want him to. AND he’s tried! No, don’t do this at home, but in a travel pinch it works.

    Item 2: balloons. They pack small, and when blown up give you hours of chase around, safe fun. Safe as in ‘it keeps the electronics safe’ from harder items thrown at them šŸ™‚ I thank S for that idea.

    So there you have it. My thoughts on the first few days. We have a memorial service to get through (which as it turns out G and I can’t go to – bad juju for pregnant women and kids under 3 to go to a cemetery here) and another week, but we’re getting by.

    On my side, I am having somewhat of an identity crisis, but I need some more self reflection before I can share my thoughts. S and I are doing great, but I’m struggling with how I define myself culturally.

    On the baby front, things are OK, I guess. Still no kicks, and I’m hoping that’s just the anterior placenta talking. I shouldda brought my monitor. I could use the peace of mind right now, rather than plotting which one of my mom’s doctor friends I can visit for their stethoscope. Silly me.

    3 responses to “International toddler”

    1. Ariel says:

      Iā€™m struggling with how I define myself culturally: I have been there girl and it is hard. And I imagine quite a bit harder for you since you are even closer and visit there quite a bit.((((HUGS)))))Just remember we all love you no matter who you are culturally because you are a wonderful, carring person.

    2. alison! says:

      I miss you guys! I hope you’re taking lots of pics of your (mis)adventures. Sorry to hear about G sleeping, but I am glad he’s getting along with your family well. I also hope everything else is going smoothly. Can’t wait to see you when you get back!

    3. becoming-mom says:

      God, just our 4 day trip to cape cod (involving no time change) threw Jasper’s sleep off to the extent that he now can’t fall asleep without one of us in the room.. I can’t even IMAGINE what you are going through!

      Some day you’ll look back at this trip and remember the smiles and warm moments with relatives and hopefully won’t remember the screamfests and lack of sleep šŸ™‚

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