That little phrase can strike fear into the hearts of the bravest souls.
For good reason, you have to be NUTS to travel with small children.
Ok, so we traveled with six of them…repeatedly. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
No, and it was awesome…well it sucked too…I mean in the nastiest, messiest & most teary way possible…sucked. But, life/parenting is about those little glimmers-of-fabulous tucked into a big pile of poo. Literally…
One of our journeys involved:
a half-dozen offspring (aged 12, 10, 8, 4 & 2 year old twins)
the dynamite parenting duo (me & Cam)
Janelle …our super-hip nanny
ON a seven week adventure in South East Asia…I have already admitted to being certifiably insane.
Upon our late night arrival in Siem Reap,Cambodia, greeted stonily by several armed guards, we hovered nervously in line to be granted permission to enter the country by a PANEL of ten immigration agents . Sooo, there we are…three tired, sweaty adults not-so-patiently shush-ing the six wired, sweaty kids…rather successfully UNTIL the eight year old pipes up in her VERY LOUD sing-song voice “Is THIS the country with all the LAND MINES?” She’s. A. Peach. We made it through, despite her best efforts to have us thrown from the country.
Oh, but it gets better…
We were checked into our retro 1950’s hotel, after a few very cold, well-deserved beers…the adults were chuckling over what has to be the BEST piece of writing I have ever seen! The Country Guide to Cambodia. Along dire warnings about recent outbreaks of HEMORRHAGIC DENGUE FEVER, sign me up!, instructions on what to do if you are bitten by a monkey OR strange human, there were also strict rules about who you were allowed to bring into hotels. Yes, very specific…clearly defined rules…
Here’s the thing about traveling with kids…you are always with the kids and sometimes (exhaustion+heat+beer) you kinda forget they are there…listening to everything you say. Cam, Janelle and I are describing the rules about “Lady Joiners” (aka prostitutes) entering the hotel, and of course…the aforementioned, precocious, eight year old Isabel pipes up ‘Mommy, what’s a lady joiner?’
CRAP! ‘Uhm, it’s a lady who joins other people in their travels honey’. Smile…nod…move on.
You know what’s coming. Our last night in Siem Reap, while enjoying a delicious bowl of pineapple chicken (recipe here), our lovely waitress, thrilled with our blonde brigade, asks if all of the kids are ours…without a MILLISECOND hesitation our darling child BELLOWS out…
‘YES! Except Janelle…she’s a Lady Joiner! Yep, she’s a lady, who joined our family for travel…right…I’ll end the story there…let you mull over the levels of embarrassment and shame that passed over our table all evening. Poor, sweet girl probably still blushes bright red in memory. Don’t you just love how kids are so…clever?
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ~ Franklin P. Jones