Sorry, but why do people travel overseas with kids? Crazy nights, no sleep, crazy kids losing their shite in the supermarket…Just kidding. I can totally see why people travel overseas with kids, especially when they are visiting amazing family in San Francisco – more specifically, Kentfield, CA, the most impeccable and delightful suburb I have ever set foot in. Even the geese are perfect. But we have been in the throes of jet lag, and truthfully, it sucks a bit.
The flight itself over was better than anticipated. I got in two movies, and my mum got in three plus a TV show. We had a seat beside us, and heaps of leg room, and Elka entertained herself most of the flight by playing with stickers, sitting on our feet or our knees, and talking to herself. She loved visits to the bathroom, and would dance in front of the mirror. She didn’t sleep a lot, which is fair enough, given that we were flying over in our day time. What kid in their right mind would sleep in simulated darkness? She eventually went off at what would have been her Australian bedtime, and was rudely woken three hours later by dinner, and then embarking the airplane. Considering she had the shortest night’s sleep in sleep’s history, she went so well through LA’s customs, baggage claim, baggage check, security check and breakfast at *Starbucks* or *Burger King* thank you very much. Only in the last 10 minutes of the connecting flight to San Francisco did she begin to fall to pieces. Poor little angel.
We arrived about 12pm Californian time. She napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and I am pretty sure it was a mistake to then wake her for dinner, as she was a complete mess, then refused to sleep at all. Eventually she cried herself to sleep in my arms, and proceeded to wake through the night, screaming. Miraculously, her sleeping cousins in nearby rooms slept soundly.
The second night was probably worse. She wouldn’t go to sleep, and when she eventually did, she woke only an hour later, screaming like crazy. No-one could calm her. I eventually got her up, and we watched the end of our movie. Getting her to bed at 11pm was impossible. I used all my tricks – bottles, singing, and even pacing the room with her in the sling. Eventually, she collapsed in my arms, probably after I had fallen asleep.
Her days have largely been fine. Her sweet 3-year-old cousin wants to hug and kiss her continuously, which Elka is slowly getting used to. She is obsessed with her baby cousins. She had a minor breakdown in the supermarket – I think it was over a confusion about whether to push the cute little red trolley or be pushed in one. I bustled her out of there, away from the critical gazes of the fiercely neat Kentfield shoppers.
Desperate for a normal night tonight, I have resorted to drugging my daughter. Not the Phenergan type drugs my father preferred, or marijuana or anything like that. I went with the wholesome, natural, hippy-type Valerian crossed with camomile, and she fell asleep as her head hit the pillow. Albeit she had a little spew, though I probably would have too after 1000 blueberries, 1000 strawberries, and two bottles of milk. She is sleeping now, and fingers crossed, she will stay asleep.
So here’s to the opportunity to diarise our San Fran trip so far. Have you ever travelled with children? What did you resort to?