Monday, July 29, 2013

The Anticipation is Killing Me! (or, Long-distance Flying with Twins)

We are 37 hours away from boarding our first flight for our long, long journey back to India. So, that means we are in the process of saying goodbye to friends and family, we are in the middle of packing, and I'm starting to get nervous about our flight back to India. My mom said to me today that our kids always rise to the occasion when we travel, and I find that is true. The flight from India back to the USA in May was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

So, what did we do on a 14-hour flight with twin 20-month-old boys? First thing was get strapped in. Chad had the brilliant idea of getting these harnesses, which worked wonderfully for Cedric. He acted like he was in his car seat and sat almost three hours until he fell asleep. Ezra needed to be more mobile, but it was easier to deal with him since Cedric was taking care of himself. After we ate dinner on the plane, the boys fell asleep and stayed asleep for about six or seven hours. They were the fussiest right before they fell asleep because they had a hard time getting comfortable. When they woke up, they ate a little bit and played on the floor in front of the seats. We made several trips to the bathroom to change diapers as well as several walking trips up and down the aisle. The boys played with the iPad a little (they weren't very interested in it). They were awake for about three hours and then, they took about an hour-long cat nap. By the time they woke up again, we were close to arriving in Newark. 

Really, it wasn't that bad! I even got to sleep a little.

For anyone who is making a long flight with little people, I have several suggestions. 

First, be informed about what the seating arrangement is on the plane. The Boeing 777 we flew on is configured with three groups of three seats. Cedric, Ezra and I were sitting in the middle group of three, and Chad was right across the aisle. For the last half of the flight, he came and sat with me so we could block the twins in while they were playing on the floor in front of the seats. It would have been better had we been seated in one of the window-side groups of three. If you're traveling with twins ALWAYS take two diaper bags in case you get split up, one parent with each child. 

Second, buy your child his or her own seat. Don't try to have a 20-month old toddler sit on your lap for 14 hours. I've seen parents attempt this, and no one ends up happy. 

Third, get up and move around. Walk around the plane, or even take an unnecessary trip to the bathroom. Changing your space will break things up for you and your baby. Plus, it's better for your circulatory system when you get up and move around. 

Finally, realize that your child is going to cry and fuss a little. No one will die or be permanently injured because of your child's fussing. In the scheme of things, crying babies just aren't a big deal. 

Happy Flying, 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Is Over

It is the saddest happiest time of the year. It is sad that we have to go back to work, but we are happy to settle back into our own home. This summer has been more relaxing than usual. We have taken it a lot easier this time around and done much less running from one place to the other.

We have spent the majority of our time in Indiana and Ohio visiting family. It has been wonderful for the boys to have huge yards and pools to play in. The weather has been perfect for outside time during our entire visit.

We took a couple side trips also. Our first trip was to visit our long lost friends in Atlanta. We learned that in the south just about anything will fit into a bikini, and that too much fast food can put me in the hospital.

Douglas and I headed out to San Francisco for a few days. Cedric and Ezra got to hang out with my parents while we were gone. The twins love their Mimi and Papaw! SF was so much fun. We did some touristy things and then some relaxing things. It sure was nice to have a few adult meals where we could enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner instead of asking for the check after appetizers.

We had a little visa scare that anyone heading to India should be aware of. We needed to get "fresh" visas this year since we have been in India for more than five years. This can only be done in your home country so this summer we had to send our passports out for new visas. I don't know the background behind the switch, but the Indian Consulate has changed the company that processes Indian visas. My advice is to apply early since it took us four weeks to receive our passports back. Also I recommend using Travisa to walk your passport through the process. It costs a bit more but if there is a problem they handle it.

We head back to Delhi on Tuesday night. If anyone is passing through Newark keep an eye out for the circus!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Should Have Known Better

Ezra's center of gravity is his head.

When we were singing Ring Around the Rosies, Ezra was singing in-tune on the last little bit, "All Fall Down," which is a remarkable feat for a 20-month old.  So, I let my music-teacher instincts take over, and I repeated that last phrase again and again hoping that I could get him to match pitch with me and get a video recording.

The result was not what I'd hoped.

No Ezras were (permanently) harmed in the making of this video.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Do Children Need?

We've been staying with family for the past few weeks, having a great time seeing friends and relaxing. And, yes, we certainly enjoyed the court rulings last week, although I wish they could have/would have gone further to end discrimination and institute marriage equality for all. I've also been thinking about what life after India will be like. Will we come back to the US? Will we go to a different country? What will our jobs be like? Where will our children go to school? Honestly, I should stay more in the present, but I've had fun letting my imagination run wild. If I imagine it, maybe Chad and I will be able to manifest it.  We'll see. 

But all this imagining and the reverberations from the political echo chamber about how children need two opposite sex parents has me wondering what children really do need. And I've been imagining all of these different scenarios, trying to think about which one will benefit our children the most. I feel like a weatherman trying to predict which cloud will rain on which field.

At the school where I work, we talk about our belief that everyone needs safety (this includes physical needs such as food and sleep), power (including feeling successful), fun, freedom, and love and belonging. I see my students go about getting these needs met every day. Parents play the most important role in helping their children learn how to meet their own needs and to respect the needs of others. 

After a week of listening to pundits talk about what children need, I've been trying to pinpoint the feeling that I have when I hear  the soft bigotry of pundits cloaked in the religious zealotry that passes for holiness. And I've come to the conclusion that the feeling is not resentment. I'm not resentful of the people who think that my family isn't as optimal as a family with a mother and a father rather than two fathers. I am more saddened by the lack of understanding. People just don't understand how much our family is just like every other functional family with parents who love their children beyond measure.