I-don’t-know-how-many but I think about 2 days in, “hold my finger” and “close your eyes” are the two phrases I’ve probably uttered the most so far. The former because there never quite seems enough hands to hold bags and buggy and small people and the five trains your toddler must travel with (the small wooden magnetic ones which he attaches together than walks along with them hanging vertically ás they dangle off each other; a recipe for loss / upset but makes him happy all the meanwhile so, #itsallgood) and the latter because sleep – heck, even closing your eyes, for the little ones and for us adults, is the number one priority. It is the difference between toddler melt downs and pointless adult bickering; the difference between achey adult knees and overtired children’s bloodshot watery eyes. Even as I write this I have one eye half closed.
We left our home at 3pm on Tuesday and I could not have been more excited to close the door on the weetabix encrusted highchair and load of laundry stuffed behind the cupboard door. Piling into our car having finally realised that the best way to get our bags and us to an airport is just to drive there ourselves. There’s been too many moody taxi drivers, hassle with car seats and frazzled public transport journeys to go any other way. It’s kind of annoying that holidays abroad often start with airports because, much like shopping centres, kids seem to really hate them. Just as Jack was mid meltdown (and we bumped into some of my colleagues – great timing), Sam made a discovery that turned our lives (in that moment of course – when travelling, you really can only be in that very precise moment) upside down: Heathrow has soft play. Next door to a Pret. Now I am not a fan of soft play but in this scenario, it was slap bang amazing. The next thirty minutes were pretty magical (cannot believe our first magic moment on this trip was soft play but hey).
The plane journey – all 12 and a half hours of it – was, overall, mixed. Jack ate and slept, Sonny ate and slept and cried and ate and slept and cried and cried and cried and…. you get the picture. The British Airways staff were brilliant (free Ella’s pouches? Yes please) but it’s true to say, Sonny is not a fan of their bassinet. We made it to Kuala Lumpur and the rest is a bit of a blur but next thing, we were on a golf buggy, Jack is laughing his heart out and we’re whizzing along a glass corridor to our airport hotel. The next 12 hours were just what we needed; the boys cooled off by the pool, we took a long bubble bath and we tucked into a buffet dinner which INCLUDED SUSHI
We managed to keep the kids up and all flopped into bed before the inevitable middle of the night jet lag hit us. Cue a 2am Thomas the tank Engine session before we all finally fell back into a slumber just in time for our alarm clocks to go off, a mad scramble to pack everything up (how can we make so much mess in so short a time and why do dummies just disappear?) and swing by the breakfast buffet / surreptitiously nick a few things (thank gosh for continental breakfasts because noodles and congee do not transfer so well)
Bring on three nights in one place, Vietnamese coffee, seeing the sea and a cookery course. I’ll keep you posted.