If I was late with last month’s toddler update I’m even later with this one. In fact, I am not sure I will have this published before I am due to write the next post… (Update: I’m two days before she is 21 months.) I’m sure no one but me really cares about this, but the thing is that it becomes increasingly difficult to remember what happened and find photos the longer I wait. Talking about photos, my desktop is currently a mess with photos that are waiting to be organized – deleted or put in folders sorted by event, month and year. It’s a noble resolution* for this year, but whether it is gonna happen…
As said in my previous toddler update, we traveled from New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur and then to Jeddah in November. New places, different climates, different time zones, other beds – I expected a lot of difficulties. But Maria handled everything wonderfully. Of course, she was jet lagged the first few days (or was it weeks?!) in Saudi Arabia, but so were we, so when she was wide awake and ready to play at 3 in the morning – so were we!
One of the things we found difficult to deal with in Jeddah was whether to keep our routine or adjust to Ahmed’s family’s (and the country’s). We usually woke up quite early, around the time Saudis go to bed (if they don’t work or go to school). By the time they were ready for lunch Maria really needed to go to bed. And when they sat together late at night it was time for us to hit the hay. The fact that shops and restaurants close during the prayer times – often for no less than 45 minutes – made it even more of a juggling act to do an activity.
Maria and I flew without Ahmed to the Netherlands. I was a bit worried before we left, and to make things worse Maria had a very bad sleep the night before we traveled. But, as so many times, all my worries turned out to be unnecessary. The flight was not busy at all, so we got four seats for the two of us, and Maria even had an extra child seat as well. During the first 6.5-hour flight from Jeddah to London, Maria slept two hours. The second flight was super crowded but took barely an hour. Overall, it was amazing for me to see how much assistance you get when you travel with an infant or toddler: no queues for us at the customs, plenty of luggage allowance (including liquids in your hand luggage), and friendly security personnel.
We received a warm welcome by my parents and sisters. Minutes after Maria had met them again, she laughed and played with them, despite the long day we had had. It was a lovely way to arrive.
The days after we spent enjoying being in Holland. It was cold, but Maria didn’t seem to be bothered. She was relaxed and happy, ate like never before and slept like a champ. Whether this lasted, I will tell you in my next toddler update (due on Wednesday).
*Talking about resolutions: Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you peace, love and prosperity. Do you have any resolutions this year? I jotted down a thing or two, but somehow I don’t have that New Year’s burst of energy to tackle the things I want to change or work on. I miss the focus. That said, I am confident I will feel more determined once we are back in New Zealand and settled down, which will hopefully happen next month.
Featured image by Hester Roth