Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Traveling With Twins: Part 1 (along with a lot of side comments)

We just returned home from our first official family trip. I say official because it isn't the first time that we have traveled as a family. This was however, our first trip for the sake of leisure (as if that is attainable with 7 month old twins). 

We decided early on (before actually having twins) that we didn't want to be parents who stayed glued home for the first several years of their children's lives (though there may be some sanity and wisdom in that). So in true Phil and Jen form- we decided that 7 months would be a good age (why- I have no idea); and we started planning our European vacation. After deciding on the South of France- we honed in on some quaint rustic towns and worked on finding and booking a villa. Once all things were booked and paid for, it was time to pack (and for me- time to panic).

As the 7 month mark approached for the boys, I began to realize that all of the little benchmarks I had been hoping for (and quite frankly, counting on) were not being met. When they were 4 months old and we were planning our future travels- I had this picture in mind that I would have 2 babies who were sleeping through the night, eating solids regularly, and an overall feeling of normalcy and freedom returning in my life. As our trip drew near- I was forced to contend with a very different reality. Instead of the above mentioned picture, I had two babies who were teething, sleeping horribly through the night, feeding every two hours 24 hours/day, and there was nothing normal or sane feeling about my life. My quaint and somewhat peaceful little vacation on the Mediterranean was becoming a looming nightmare. Instead of looking forward to France and all of the wonderful clean air and tasty food- I had resigned myself to think, "at least I will be miserable in France instead of China."

The first leg of our journey would take us from Shanghai to Moscow for a 1 night layover (a story that deserves its own post) and then we would head to Nice the next day. As we prepared for take off- the worst case scenario began to unfold. My two sweet little hell cats started shrieking for no apparent reason (and they continued to do so, on and off, for the next 5 hours). We were finally "those people" on the plane. The Old Catholic God of my mother's past emerged for a moment when I thought surely we were being punished by God for something.Four long hours into the 10 hour flight, I had convinced myself that once we got to Moscow- we would promptly find flights back to Shanghai, and I informed Phil that I was not going on to France. My saner half refused to accept this and told me to suck it up and deal with it. After all he reasoned, by the time we got to Moscow it would be a matter of another 4 hour flight before we were in sunny Nice and enjoying the beautiful weather (little hell cats and all).

I conceded, gritted my teeth, and walked the aisles of the plane for the next 6 hours...

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