Friday, December 30, 2016


There's been radio silence.

There's a reason for it. Every couple of years, we take the kids on what has become a traditional odyssey of sorts.

To date, our odysseys have been to the North American continent and this one was no different.

It was meant to herald the beginning of Muffin's primary school life. We did a similar one to Hawaii when the twins were entering primary school.

Our vacation this time was unabashedly non-educational. There was going to be no value in it in terms of exposing them to new lands, new cultures, geography or scenery. We went with one intention; to go on the Disney Cruise, which itself was just about indulgence and comfort. Add on to that, being in the theme park city of the world, we spent the rest of our time in theme parks, riding roller coasters and soaking in everything make believe and computer generated. In other words, we did not go to the United States, we went on a themepark holiday.

But JED had a great time as did we. And it wasn't true that they didn't learn anything. This trip was a first for them in many ways.

1. They had to look after themselves and they did so in a myriad of ways.
In Orlando, they slept in the upstairs bedroom while we were downstairs. They were in charge of getting themselves ready in the morning without any prompting. Many a morning, they appeared at my bedroom door all ready to head to the parks.

2. They had to look after each other.
On occasion, we would leave them alone to get groceries, get dinner and even do a spot of shopping. My paranoid imagination had them fighting and hurting each other or me coming home to a house on fire. But none of that played up. They watched TV, cleared the table at the designated time (as monitored by Evan), brought everything into the kitchen with no mess and nothing broken (supervised by Jordan) and then trooped up to wash up (closely watched by a hawk-like Muffin).

3. They looked after their own things.
For children who have a helper in the house, they can be awfully spoilt and messy. But on vacation and with my declaration that I wasn't going to pick up after them, after the nth time they were unable to find their toys or their pyjamas smelt funky because they left them in a pile together with a wet towel, almost everything got folded away or put away nicely. It wasn't perfect but it was good enough.

Granted, there was the non-Facebook- non Disneyfied version. That included
a) a bout of food poisoning which required a jab and quarantine
b) a hacking cough (that lasted all holiday and made it back 3 continents)
c) bad food (Poor Chinaman Muffin had nothing much to eat except for fries, hash browns, sausages and chicken tenders and even that got old quite quickly)
d) the occasional bad weather (either too hot or too cold)
e) too much walking causing exhausted, painful feet, whiny children too heavy to carry
g) bad airport queues causing us to almost miss on flights on multiple occasions
f) 13 hour long transatlantic flights with our girl child who was unable to sleep, kept throwing up and eventually only settled sleeping on the cabin floor at the back of the plane.

But even then, we miss it.

So, posterity, the a video that JED and Packrat worked very hard to make.

It'll be a holiday we all will be talking about for a long time to come.


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