Our family doesn’t do a whole lot of traveling. Justin and I started our lives young and quick, and frankly, we can’t afford traveling right now. Just this year have we really taken a couple vacations. Justin’s dad and step-mom took Barb, Justin and I (along with Justin’s brother and his wife) on an Alaskan cruise before they depart on a three year missionary trip to Niger, Africa so we could all spend some quality time together seeing we won’t see them for quite some time. Coincidentally, my cousin was getting married the day we ported back in Seattle, so Barb and I drove over to Vancouver with my sister in a rental car the day we ported for the wedding.
And, if you don’t already know, allow me to tell you, traveling with children for extended periods of time is a total blast, but holy hell, is it ever the experience.
I know my seven year old, “Barb,” pretty well. However, traveling and spending 24/7 straight for 2 weeks with someone can remind you, or show you a few other sides.
What I learned traveling with Barb for two weeks:
– Kids move A LOT in their sleep. I crashed with Barb in a roll-out couch for a few nights and the kid was like a hurricane with a mix of MMA to sleep with. ((rolling, rolling, THWACK to my head with her tiny, yet powerful left foot, or a completely unexpected left hook to the eye socket.))
– Children have severe mood swings. I’d imagine this one has a lot to do with their sleep schedule, but WOAH. This kid went from Barney the happy dinosaur to SNL’s Debbie Downer “Everything is terrible” in the blink of an eye.
– More ideas travel through a child’s brain than I could ever imagined. I know that kids ask a lot of questions, and furthermore, I know that Barb is related to me, so likely suffers from my bout of UCOADHD (Undiagnosed Case of ADHD), but HOLY HELL. Maybe seeing that Barb and I are not together when at home 24/7 as she participates in activities and plays with friends, I didn’t realize how many OFF-THE-WALL questions she asks. “Do elephants breastfeed?” “Do mermaids breastfeed?” “ Wait, are mermaids real?” “Can you Google that?” “What is Chinatown?” “If you’re Canadian, can I be a Canadian?” “Do you think Hablo Eskimo is having a good vacation?” “Do you think other people bring their dinosaurs on vacations?” “Do you think Hablo thinks that I am his mother or do you think he feels like you are his mother? Because I really think that I do a better job taking care of him than you do.” “Did dinosaurs wear clothes back in the day?” “Can dinosaurs swim?”
– You are reminded of your child’s shitty eating habits. I like to think that I do a decent job feeding Barb. I buy organic when I can, I try my best to feed her fruits and shove vegetables down her throat, but it isn’t until you are seated at an authentic Chinese food restaurant that you REALLY realize how NOT diverse your child’s palate is. I mean, who the hell doesn’t like LEMON CHICKEN!? I made a mental note “Add cultural variation to meals.”
– Kids don’t walk very fast. Or, it’s the exact opposite and they are forty-three times faster than you and as you chase them down a street while you carry your purse that carries any and all things (that you swear you will burn the moment you set foot back home), their backpack that weighs more than you do that houses anything they might need at any given moment (Barbie, Skipper, Skipper’s best friend, and all three of their Barbie Jet-Skis and accompanying motorhomes) and all the crap you’ve bought while in that particular city.
– Traveling reminds you how similar your child REALLY is to you. I mean, this photo pretty much captures both Barb and I in one snap. Right?
– It’s difficult to travel when your child goes by two names. In crowded spaces like giftshops and ginormous cruise ships, it’s best not to lose your child. When my youngin’ was out of eyesight for a split second, I found both my husband and I yelling “BARBBBB!!!!???” “HAYDANN!!???” only to have Barb right behind us hollering: “I’m right here!” I suppose as we left the giftshop, the people glancing figured we were either leaving “Barb” or “Haydan” behind seeing each time we exited and/or left, we did so with only one child—not both a “Barb” and a “Haydan.”
Even funnier, my aunt came up to me and said “Did you know that Barb will also respond to ‘Haydan’ still?! I called her Haydan by accident and she responded!” That made me laugh and smile—because that means that some of my family actually DO read my blog!!! 😉 hahaha!!
– No matter how hard you try and how much you teach them, children are NOT always politically correct. “Wow, Chinesey Town is SO beautiful!” ((In the Zen Garden at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden))
– You will pack a swimsuit for everyone in your family. However, you will only remember to bring your child’s when you actually NEED a swim suit. You might be grateful for this if you find yourself at a swimming pool after spending seven days on a cruise with endless buffets and every and all food groups available to you at any time, day or night.
– Depending on the duration of the trip, you are guaranteed three emotional breakdowns; either you or your child. It will happen.
– When searching for your wallet to purchase Tylenol at the gas station/gift shop/ grocery store, you will realize that you are equipped with more antibacterial hand gel and Wet Wipes than any person on the planet. Seriously, I had enough to handle an ebola outbreak.
– And lastly, you will pack enough outfits to last you an entire month, maybe two, and you will ultimately wear the same variations of three different outfits the entire trip. As for me, again, this may be in part to one particular pair of pants being stretched out enough after my cruise–and they were the only ones that fit.
And, there you have what I learned spending two weeks straight with my Barb. If you like my tips, please do me a solid and click the banner below and give me a vote! Clicking that brown banner helps me out more than you know!! 🙂 Just a click!! I missed you guys! Back to the grind!! 🙂