Saturday, February 9, 2008

Travels with my girls...

Just a quick note from Britain, where we arrived safely a week ago after a mostly smooth journey. (Oh, apart from Jemima wedging her hand in the lift door in Bangkok airport for several minutes, but at least that gained us entry into the posh lounge for a couple of hours of being tutted at and frowned upon by besuited business men.)

Everyone seems shocked and full of pity when they hear I am travelling to, and around, the UK, alone with two children, but I can honestly say it would be a lot harder and a lot lonelier without them.

There is something utterly exhausting about travelling with your children and being a guest in someone else's home. Something about trying to balance my instinct to care for my children as I feel fit (especially when I am extra sensitive about the emotional and physical strain of carting them around this country far away from home), and while being dependent on others and not wanting to impose, with the needs of all my family and their expectations for the visit... well, it's knackering, as all other expats will know, and I find I lose myself every day somewhere between breakfast and getting dressed. I have found the odd moment for my writing or yoga in the early hours of the morning before everyone else is up (which absolutely goes against my nature)and this helps me stay grounded. But mostly it is my children who make it all ok. Every night as we all curl up together and read stories and take a bit of a breather after a long (lovely) day of being with lots of other (lovely) people, I just feel so blessed that I have them to keep me company as I try to fit back into life in the UK. I shall write about the whole experience of coming 'home', culture shock etc another time, when I have time. Now it is late and a cosy be-childed bed awaits me.

So I shall just say that it is freezing cold, my children have red rosy cheeks, chapped lips, and a passion for swings. Hoorah for green space, wind and play grounds! Bella has two teeth and is pulling herself up and about to crawl at any time. She is growing way too quickly and every night I snuggle up with her under the duvets and encourage her to stay a baby - at least until we are reunited with her daddy. But the next day she just wants to be with the big children again. She is still waking non-stop for feeds but something about the air here means I pretty much sleep through regardless. There is something about cold wind and duvets that makes sleep so much more exciting and rewarding. I do love the extra cuddles inspired by her waking actually. I might actually be disappointed when she does start to sleep through. (Although I think that might be a year or two away...)

As for Jemima, well she always does me proud on these visits. I could not wish for a more adaptable, sweet-natured, friendly child. She falls right back in with all her aunts and cousins, loves the novelty of gloves and tights and has shown her 'winter shoes' to a host of strangers on the street. She normally keeps going for a few weeks of this nomadic existence before crashing, but this time she seems more sensitive to it all. I have been fuelling her with echinacea, probiotics and herbal tonics, but I can see she is already exhausted.

And so am I, so good night and have a lovely weekend everyone.


A Taste Of Blighty said...

It doesn't do besuited businessmen any harm to be delayed or inconvenienced by children.

If you can get one to vomit near them, so much the better ;-)

Georgie said...

Ha ha! Definitely!