the Arabs have a saying that roughly translates as, “Tjere are 7 Benefits to Travel”. I suspect no one ever spelled out what those 7 are supposed to be, and that would be smart…leave each person to contextualize (as I say in my latest Hybrid Ped column, The Trouble with Frameworks). If I had to make some general ones, they would include meeting new people, learning about new cultures, exposure to nee lamguage and technologies…and relaxation… Or something 🙂
It’s different traveling alone, with your spouse, with parents, with friends, and with children. I have been to Europe with my parents (as a child, teen and adult), alone, with friends, with my husband, and now for the secomd time in the UK with my child. You see the world differently through a child’s eyes, especially when they see something new.
The first time I came to England with her was when she was 2. I was here defending my thesis (viva) at Sheffield. She was still breastfeeding and on diapers (had a potty training reversal and i was too stressed with my thesis to both wean her and push the potty training). My mom and husband were both with me, and took care of her for about 3 hours max while i went to do my (quite quick) viva and came back. She loved the gardens outside our hotel and the escalators in rhe malla (stuff she had seen before, but still), and the toys in the hotel lobby and the children’s library. She was pickier than her usual pickyeating so she nursed like crazy and barely tasted anything at all.
It was much simpler than this time around. This time around, potty trained and weaned, having had diarrhea for 2 days before coming here, she had it during the trip and still has it now. Still picky eating. So she mainly drinks lots of milk (which is even her normal in Egypt) and this isn’t helping the diarrhea.
When I was around 10 coming with my parents here, i noticed for the first time that couples kissed each other in public and pointed it out to my mom. I feel like I don,t see that any more. All I am seeing (and looking for) are the places with the clean toilets and trying to stay near tem, and make sure I am near a supermarket to get fresh milk if she needs it. Because otherwise…meltdown. And carrying pints of milk in my bag (even wrapped in a bag) is both dangerous (spillage) and not treat (milk could go bad).
So…fun stuff, aside from the above…
- I dropped my glasses (well, they FELL) into the potty right after my child had peed. Ugh. Thank god it had not been diarrhea or I would be scarred for life. She still remembers this story. Eek
- My kid doesn’t like wrapping her legs around my slippery raincoat so this makes carrying her really difficult, gotta get a new one, but aren’t all raincoats slippery?
- I swear we have gardens in Egypt, but there is somethng about the brightness of the greenery here that attracts her like crazy. I am glad we are surrounded by parks.
- She has always loved pigeons, as do I, and I did a lot at her afe… But she also is so obsessed that each time we walk down the street she stops when she sees pigeons and wants towatch them or run after them. It is a bit much
- At Hamley’s (which we have one of in Egypt, but anyway) I picked out for her a cheap kaleidoscope at some point and a twisty lego thing and she kept looking through the kaleidoscope
- That meltdown because we didn,t have milk one time? It happened. I actually smuggled some milk w me from Egypt coz she is picky about brands but coz of diarrhea i am getting her skimmed from here hoping it’ll make things a bit better. Ah well
- Every decision is about her, where to go. How to go. what to eat. Except the wifi. That is for me 🙂
- I want to show her everything i love about London but there is no time and she is too young
- I think she is gonna go nuts when she meets Rebecca but I can,t know for sure. I will though. Excited but also anxious about that and everyone else
So much to write, so little time