|Sophie loving her new headphones|
This time next week, we'll probably be sound asleep in Jude's parents' place in Singapore; we would undoubtedly still be reeling from jet lag but relieved to have survived the 25-hour journey from Ann Arbor to his parents' doorstep. And that's what worrying me the most right now- that dastardly flight. It's actually making it a little hard for me to get excited about being home because all I want is to get the flight over and done with first. A combined 21 hours on the plane with a rambunctious 2 year-old who *needs* her fresh air and run-around time (even in winter), and for whom only a fine line divides pure euphoria and a total and epic existential meltdown. If that doesn't send shivers of dread down any parent's spine, then I don't know what does.
I know the flight is only going to be as stressful as I allow it so we're going to try to be as prepared as we can, but also not to get hung up about it too much either. Sophie's actually traveled well on planes the last two times we've traveled recently, but they were only 2-hour long trips and we timed them during her afternoon nap so she slept most of the way. This time though, we're going to have to make sure we have enough to occupy her with or she's just going to go all banshee-crazy with cabin fever... So this weekend, we're going to the Dollar Store to get a bunch of cheap chachkies, wrap them up in newspaper, and give one to her every hour to just unwrap and play with. Hopefully, the novelty will be fun. I'm also packing crayons, a coloring/sticker/activity book, and a couple of "search-and-find" books that usually occupy her for quite a while (like her favorite of the moment, In the Town, All Year Round).
Between Jude and I, we have two iPads with a combined battery life of 16.5 hours, identical sets of kiddie apps, all three Toy Story movies, and as many Kipper episodes as I could download from YouTube. We got Sophie her own kiddie headphones (which she LOVES) so she's all set in the entertainment department. I know, three movies and a whole load of cartoons might seem a little excessive but I've reconciled myself to the notion that a long-haul flight is NOT the time for interactive intellectually-stimulating books or carrot sticks. Sophie's going to get all the mind-numbing animation and whatever snacks she wants/needs to stay calm. Thankfully, her dairy allergies mean that the snacks she loves are mostly crackers and gummies, so they're not even really that bad for her... I'm also packing her favorite snacks because I'm not holding my breath on the vegan meal option I got for her as part of her ticket. I dislike airplane food enough as it is, I can't imagine what the vegan version is going to be like... I'm thinking, what's the worst that can happen? That she has nothing but soy milk, saltine crackers, chocolate bunny rabbit crackers, fruit gummies, and a bowl of udon during our transit in Tokyo over the course of the entire journey? I mean, honestly...