Saturday, February 12, 2011

Urban nomadism for babies
Packing up the babies again. In 8 months of life they have been in six different countries and if I count the connection flights, have flown eighteen times.  I wonder what kind of life would they have, if it started with moving from the USA to Russia, via several trips to the Netherlands, visiting family in Bulgaria and we haven't even started with the holidays as a family yet. What is next? China, Brazil, India, the Moon??
The babies love it. They get to enjoy the full attention of one parent all for themselves, socialize with strangers, receive gifts from the attendants, eat their favorite foods, sleep on parent's laps, all these divine pleasures of life. 
For mom and dad, that's a bit of a different story. I don't wear anything warmer than a t-shirt and water is pouring down from me. No wonder, as I am lifting a good 9 kilos of baby ups and downs and lefts and rights and that's not including the diaper bag that's easily another 10. I haven't been in a better shape since my early twenties. I am popping fish-oil like there is no tomorrow, no less than 4 a day that is, and I despite my utmost determination I can't wear anything but flat, comfortable shoes. 
I used to look picture-perfect when going on a trip before. Make-up, color-coordinated outfit, perfectly coiffed hair. I would finish at least a book and a magazine, write a bit, listen to some music, especially since I got the God-blessed Bose noise canceling headphones. I wish the inventor of that Life-saving creation a happy, rich and successful life, and also to his wife, children and his twice removed aunt, from his step-mother side. Ever since I could switch on the "Quiet comfort"I can actually hear my thoughts in plains, I can ignore snotty teenagers at the beach and I can even get some sleep when hubby is kindly taking over a night feeding. Bless you, bless you, bless you. 
But back to traveling. Now I travel pretty much like that: The night before I neatly fold some decent t-shirt and jeans to wear on the plain. I put them on in the morning. By the time I finish with preparing the babies, diaper bags and my own bags, my t-shirt is already wet. So I change to some ridiculous other t-shirt that I find in the wardrobe because everything else is on the bottom of my bag, of course. By that time my jeans are also falling off my ass because of all the lifting, moving, kneeing etc and because I also refuse to wear a belt since hey make you take it out at security and that's a task too many. 
Make-up? Forget it. After everyone is happily installed in the car I can put some make up, but that usually results a rather strange choice of colors, smeared mascara or some other unpleasant mirror surprise, so I think twice before start applying. And shoes, oh, shoes... I have never wore more Nikes since the twins. I have Nike-boots, white Nikes, brown Nikes, Nike for walking, Nike for walking on ice, Summer Nike, Nike flip-flops etc. And I used to be the sandals girl, the girl that did not squeeze the holly MoMa in a two day visit to NYC, but did go to the Jimmy Choo store and bought a pair. Well, because visiting a store only takes 15 min, but that's another story. 
In the plain, if my dedicated baby falls asleep after her meal, I can read a few pages, from a magazine, since articles demand much shorter attention span. Papers are off-limits as they make a lot of noise. No books. I do manage to read the safety instructions since Marceline loves to chew on them. If I dare to listen to some music, I constantly imagine that I hear the baby crying, so at some point I just give up. 
Having children makes you humbler, I knew that. I just didn't know that this involved some serious  traveling style compromises. I only hope that one day, when they are a bit older they might be able to pack their own bags, pick their own outfits and I might be able to put some lipstick using the comfort of my own bathroom mirror. But then, they might be just old enough to start banging on the door and demand attention on some profoundly serious, life-changing choice of shoes. 
Then? ...Then I can always switch on my Quiet comfort. Ha!

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