First long haul trip with both kids to San Francisco – 4

Our trip is almost half way done and will be back to HK in a week.

This morning, J suddenly said to me at breakfast, “I miss HK! I miss my family, friends and classmates there. Are we going home soon?"
“Your family is here with you, my dear." I said.
“I know, I mean nana yeye, gong-gong, por-por, Camille Nadia, Laura Rachel, uncle Sean….Aunty Maria, Aunty gerlie and Aunty Rona." He counted the entire extended family including our helpers that he considers as part of the family which is nice to know.
“I see, well, we will be back next week. Soon, right?"
“Oh? Yes, but not too soon. It’s OK. Do I still go to school after I go back? I mean to the same class with same friends?" He looks a bit worrying about life back to HK whether they will still be the same as before.

See, even a 5 year old shows his comfort with his familiar life and anxiety of changes. I’m sure he’s pretty enjoying the life in San Francisco, seeing new places and trying out new experiences, but he still wants to go back to his “home" – his daily life. That’s something interesting to know.

My last 2 pregnancy-honeymoon travels (traveling on 2nd trimester) both lasted 4 weeks and both were to Zurich. First time was totally blissful, all about eating, shopping and photography and I remember I felt the first kick on the way to Geneva. We even managed to go to Florence for few days. Second time with J, it was different but still easy with grannies and helper around, and J was close to 3, it wasn’t hard at all. We even planned to fly to London for few days but canceled it because grannies against the idea and we all were down with a cold for a week.
This time, the trip is slightly over 2 weeks only, with no grannies and helper, just 4 of us. Sure it is definitely more tiring but feels so “real". Again, I believe we are too spoiled with life there’s always a helper around that made us believe it’s impossible. I think it’s manageable – as long as you give up certain standards, can tolerate the messiness of living room and a kitchen with piling dishes to do at night when kids sleeping. It’s OK, actually. But, I do not wish it’s life time though.

J has been taking care of A more. Since we are sharing room, they entertain each other when they wake up in the morning and echo goodnight many times before falling asleep. The first night we arrived, both kids sleeping with me in the big bed, I was so exhausted, but still having my both hands crossing over my chest patting on both kids, and I felt the little one swimming like a fish inside. It’s truly a life-time experience only, to me, I’m pretty positive. It feels great!

A never sleeps on car rides back in HK, maybe twice the most. And here, she’s used to doze off on car rides now. If we were lucky, she would fall asleep quietly without us noticing, or she would scream to sleep, or fuss then fall a sleeping to our patting and singing. She’s comfortable in stroller and being pushed around by her brother. I doubt she would remember this trip but she has learned and grown a lot these days, more vocabularies and better communication skills. Not saying the trip has made her grow, but I think there are stimulus that helped.

A is being her usual self that I think it’s still too early for her to understand the difference of traveling and living. J, again, has amazed me with his adaptability and tolerance on this trip, especially when he had to listen to his sister screaming next to him for 40mins on car rides when we couldn’t stop to comfort her and she was just too tired, not just once, he sat there silently and didn’t say anything. Even adults, like us got really irritated and stressed by hearing her scream, especially me, that I wanted to yell or slap her, J was so calm. At one point, he said, mommy don’t be angry at her, because I like her.
I was stoned.

There are lists of things that we can do with them in San Francisco but we agreed it’s no hurry to finish them all, can save for the next time. And now there’s a list of things to do when back in HK – and it’s a plan of switching back to “normal" life, mainly for A, less so for J:

1. Back to sleep in her own bed and room.
2. No patting or singing at bedtime, sorry you have to go back to “just me falling asleep on my own" mode.
3. No more snacking or candies on car rides, especially once get on the car after buckling up, A already automatically asked for candy like it’s a cue to switch her on.
4. No all-you-can-Pad (iPad) time when mommy doing chores.

These are the downside when going on a trip, mind you (me), it may take months to switch back to “normal", giving the experiences with J, such an easy-going kid, it took him a long time to get used to sleep on his own back in his own room when he was younger. So what can I expect on A?
The positive insight learned from this trip is – it might be do-able to put them in one room from now on.

Anyway, we will see. A lot of post-work for mommy to follow up after a long trip. For daddy, it’s not much difference, I guess. He only needs to look at his credit card bills carefully to make sure all the damages were caused by his wife. That’s it.

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