Monday, December 24, 2012

Phuket Adventures Day 4: Firsts

The thing with kids is that their lives are filled with new experiences and as parents and often, jaded adults, it is great and often quite joyful to see the world through their eyes.

Every day is filled with new experiences for them. And take them out of their comfort zone and that increases their new experience quota exponentially.

Phuket was like that. And it was interesting to watch, especially with increasingly cognizant Muffin.

1. Muffin has his own plane ticket and seat. 
Muffin now flies under his own ticket which means he gets his own seat. This means fighting over the window seat with his siblings. Note to anyone travelling with young kids; it it is indeed possible, pair each child to an adult and seat the child by the window. This separates the kids, reducing conflict which will be plenty, and entertains the kid without the help of any sort of media device. Of course, this doesn't work if the flight is 23 hours long to the USA, but for short flights especially with budget flights, the window seat reduces much aggro.

2. Elephants
Jordan loves her little stuffed elephant, Ellie who recently was renamed Amelia. Anyway, she goes everywhere with it and has a soft spot for elephants. So when we saw a baby elephant lumbering along by the pool, Jordan went nuts. I think it was a bigger deal to her than seeing Santa.

Of course, Muffin followed suit and the two of them were thrilled with the elephant swishing her tail at them and kissing them with her trunk. Eventually, Jordan and Muffin managed to wrangle a ride on the elephant. The elephant was truly like a toddler, Muffin's age. When the elephant lifted her tail, apparently her sign for needing the bathroom, her handlers rushed her down by the lake and got her ready to pee and poop. We do the exact same thing with Muffin. Evan refused to go anywhere near the elephant. But the other two stalked the pool every morning for a sighting of the elephant. They also learnt that 100 Baht bought lot of bananas to feed the elephant and that despite it being a baby, it ate a lot of bananas.
3. Discovering new forms of transportation

The kids are early risers. So, they are always the first to get the limited kiddie bikes that can be borrowed out from the kids' club. They whiz through the resort, even Muffin, who up until then had not been on a pedal bike before. They love the freedom because they can get anywhere fast. When I rang the room to say the elephant was out by the pool, they appeared almost as if they teleported.

Then there was the buggy cart that took them to the beach and back. Of course, if they could, they would have driven it themselves but that would be too reminiscent of Crazy Taxi or any other crazy game where the aim was to knock down stuff rather than avoid it. The Trunki at the airport was the same thing. It seemed as if it were programmed to head towards where the biggest crowds were. But we saw a dogged side of Muffin. He wouldn't give it up, no matter how tired he was or how heavy his sister was. He would try to propel it forward, if not by scootering, by physically shoving it along.

4. Trying new foods.
Vacations mean that food rules get relaxed because I don't have the time or access to everything I need for them. They still had their staple milk, yogurt and cereal stuff but a lot of other stuff, we made it up as we went along. Evan discovered a great love for sushi. JED got brain freeze because they all tried a milk shake and buzzed from the sugar all the way home. Jordan fell in love with dragon fruit and Muffin with green noodles. When Muffin demands 3 servings of green, spinach noodles from the buffet table, I put that down as a hit.

The day we left, because of the long wait at the airport and the lack of access to proper food, we let the kids have an ice cream. Lesson learnt, always give it to them in a cup because a cone is messy. Muffin got his first ice cream cone, courtesy of Jordan who willingly shared it with him. Evan would have his ice cream cone melt into rivers down his arm before he let Muffin anywhere near him.

5. Free time
This was the first vacation we have had where we didn't have any free time or couple time to ourselves. Every second of the day, we were with the kids or doing something for them. It wasn't exhausting then. But now, on hindsight, in the midst of the Christmas rush and I wonder why I am so tired, I realise that it is remnant exhaustion from the vacation.

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