Ok. That sounds way more provocative than this post actually is. Also? That’s what she said!
I know. I’m twelve. But you all knew that already so really, it’s your own fault for not expecting it.
Anyhow, we made it to the Taiwan and are mostly settled into our apartment. It’s very spacious and modern and has all new amenities and I’m a big fan of the clean, modern look. Too bad my kids are going to ruin it but oh well. Them’s the breaks.
While prepping for the trip (as well as during the traveling portion), I kept hearing that I was so brave or whatever, but let me just set the record straight (as well as show you how I have utterly failed in the first 24 hours of our trip so far).
I am not brave. Just determined. And committed. (Because thousands of dollars have literally been paid at this point, so what else can I do even if I don’t want to do it?) And also incredibly deficient in the memory department.
Also? I have lots of help. Some solicited, some not so much. But all of it has been helpful! (Even when I have to grit my teeth and be thankful when I’m not.)
Anyhow, I guess what I mean is that I’m not Super Mom or Super Woman (but perhaps, Super Stupid) and here are just some of the thoughts and things that have happened in the past few days.
1) Even though I made this same trek two summers ago (and an easier version of it a year and a half ago), I was still apprehensive. I mean, I was certainly LESS frightened and terrified than I was in 2014.
But still, lots of new variables this year such as traveling alone with three kids while 5-6 months pregnant. (I know, I know. I still have no idea exactly how pregnant I am. Sorry!)
Plus, we were staying in a new area and going to new schools and camps and living by ourselves instead of with friends. Lots of new things despite me having done it before (which, don’t get me wrong, helped a LOT).
2) Gamera woke up the morning of the flight with a deep, yucky sounding cough. I was hoping it was just a minor thing, but it has now progressed from a nasty cough to a nasty cough with a fever. Poor baby girl.
My mom and aunt of course freaked out and for a brief moment, I worried she had strep throat. But thanks to Dr. Google and its accompanying images, I don’t think she does. If she’s still miserable after a few days, of course, I will take her to the doctor. That should also be an adventure. Sigh.
3) Our flight was delayed a little over an hour. Obviously, no one enjoys a flight delay – but people with small children REALLY do not enjoy flight delays. That’s just more time we have to occupy our kids and pray and hope that the waiting outside of the plane doesn’t eat up all the good behavior INSIDE of the plane.
4) At least United offered family boarding for families with kids aged 2 and under. And so we were the second people on the plane. We certainly needed every minute of it since Glow Worm refused to sit without me.
But because of the way the plane seats are arranged, there are three on each side and three in the middle. I booked three seats on the side and then an aisle seat in the middle right next to them. My original plan was to sit by myself in the aisle and have the three kids sit together.
Glow Worm was not having any of that shit. I begged Cookie Monster to sit in the lone seat and he absolutely refused, crying and about to throw a tantrum. I begged Gamera and she agreed reluctantly to sit by herself, a mere foot away from me. Turns out she got the better end of the deal because she did not end up having to share an iPad or have Glow Worm use her as a pillow and kick her in the face.
Incidentally, I always forget how small and vulnerable Glow Worm is because he’s such a rough and tumble kid. But he kept telling me he was scared and held onto my arm or hand for the first hour of the flight and periodically when there was turbulence and when we landed. I almost teared up. My baby boy!
5) Kids barely ate any of the food. Picky little shits. They ate some snacks but they quickly got sick of the snacks I brought, too. I tried to tell them it was their own fault they were hungry, but what can you do? They were hungry. Thank goodness they slept for a few hours.
6) Speaking of sleep, I am pleased with the flight timing. We left at 3:15pm (although it was supposed to be 2:15pm) and arrived around 7pm in Taipei. The ride to the apartment took about an hour and then we got settled in and ate and kids goofed off for a few hours.
Oh, what was I saying? Yes. Sleep on the plane.
Glow Worm slept the most on the plane at about 5-6 hours. Gamera kept coughing herself awake but got an intermittent 4-5 hours. Cookie Monster, in keeping with what I expected, slept at most 2-3 hours.
And yet, Cookie Monster was the LAST to sleep on our first night. I don’t think he went to bed until 2:30am. Glow Worm was once again, the first to conk out at around 12:30am (he put himself to sleep looking at YouTube on my phone) and Gamera fell asleep around 1:30am. She kept waking up periodically throughout the night and around 4:30am, she was up for good. (Plus, she had a fever.)
Glow Worm woke up around 5:30am and Cookie Monster showed up around 6:45am. All in all, I got the least sleep out of everyone. I was pretty cranky.
In fact, I am trying really hard not to nap, right now. But I figure, if I fall asleep now, I will have a problem sleeping later. (At least I got to see Deadpool on the plane!)
My goal is to have the kids in bed around 7:30pm tonight since that’s about the time I will be wanting them in bed when camp/school starts. That would allow for enough time in the morning to eat and dress and spray down with bug spray and sunblock at a leisurely pace.
Anyhow, wish me luck tonight. Cookie Monster better get his shit together and fall asleep already.
7) Of course, this morning, we had no food. The only food being the snacks I had brought with me on the plane. My kids were not interested.
So eventually, around 8:30am, I lugged my three kids and myself to explore the area around our apartment and find some food as well as buy a few things to tide us over.
Went to the local 7/11 and bought some milk and orange juice but for some reason, didn’t buy any ACTUAL food for them to eat this morning. I think I figured we’d find a breakfast place open. Nope. Also, the ones that were open had no pictures on the menus and lots of eggs. (Glow Worm is allergic to eggs.)
I forgot that I can’t really read Chinese and that sometimes, I only end up doing well at least a week in. I was a little overwhelmed and indecisive (especially considering kids are picky and have food allergies) and managed to buy nothing of actual sustenance that we could immediately consume.
Cookie Monster kept whining that his OJ had “lines” in it. Turns out, it was pulp and both Cookie Monster and Gamera were like, FUCK PULP.
I bought two bottles of the orange juice, too. And they were heavy. I know because I had to carry them back to the apartment along with some milk and a bunch of random crap.
Of course, I still forgot to buy food. (Unless you count mini M&Ms and chocolate Pocky sticks as food.)
We did manage to hang out at a local playground for all of five minutes. My kids were like, FUCK THIS PARK. (Well, all except Glow Worm. Of course, he was sopping wet because of dew. Sigh.)
Did I mention that I forgot to slather my kids with sunscreen because I figured we would be in the shadow of large buildings? Nope.
Gamera wilted by 9:33am. She was like, “My legs hurt! I want to go back to the other Taiwan!”
Beats me what the other Taiwan is. I think she means our apartments.
But yeah, that was fun.
8) We hung out at the apartment for another few hours and then my cousin came by and we went to a local food court wherein my kids couldn’t eat because they didn’t know how to use chopsticks and I had to feed them and when I went and asked for forks, a worker told me in an extremely condescending voice that in Taiwan, they use chopsticks to eat. Thanks, you fucking asshat.
Also? I managed to spill a bowl of noodle soup all over my favorite dress. If it stains with oil or grease, I will be severely aggravated.
9) Went to the grocery store after and managed to actually buy food stuffs. But not sure if I actually bought anything useful. Sigh. I’m the worst with grocery shopping.
Still managed to forget shit.
10) Oh, did I mention that for about 30-45 minutes EARLY this morning, Glow Worm threw a huge tantrum because he wanted to eat two soy sauce packets and I wouldn’t let him? He threw his iPad on the floor. His hair was sopping wet from screaming. It was awesome.
11) I realized that I forgot to pack the industrial strength bug spray Not Another DB MBA gave me. (Incidentally, she gave me two BOXES of bug spray because she’s both helpful and an ass. Love you!)
I just hope the essential oil blend I brought will work. Sigh. If not, then, well, essential oils can treat bug bites. Also, we will smell like dirt and trees. (That’s the smell of the blend.) And Irish Twins said her husband brought a ton of bug spray that I can take.
12) Sigh. Literally as I was writing this post, I realized that Gamera had been unusually silent and had been last seen looking for her stuffed doggy in her room and never reappeared. Sure enough, she was curled up and asleep in the bed. With no pull-up. Thank goodness she didn’t wet the bed!!
Anyhow, it was so sad. I woke her up and forced her to take a shower (which was heartbreaking). She kept shivering or saying the water was too hot. The girl hates hot water but for some reason, the temp in this apartment can’t stay at the fine line between cold and lukewarm so the water would turn freezing every minute or so.
But now, she is at least clean, in PJs, and a pullup, and watching TV. She hopefully can stay awake through dinner (we’re no longer going out and my cousin is bringing food). Just my luck, when it’s finally time for bed in 2.5 hours, she’ll be wide awake.
13) Kids are watching a TON of TV. I told them they could watch as much Chinese TV as possible. Their iPad time will be limited, but the TV can be on as long as the day is.
Also, I have a hard time understanding children’s programming in Chinese. That’s sad. I know it’s just a matter of time for my brain to switch to registering Chinese as the dominant language here, but sheesh. That’s SAD.
Alright, I suppose I have to get back to my children. (There have already been injuries and furniture re-arranging – not all voluntary.) Until the next post!