September 21 2007
Can you smell it, hear it, or see it? Usually when I fly over the Atlantic to any Mediterranean country I can smell the history as I walk. My shoes scrape the dusty rubble on the streets and the wind makes swirls that twirl in the air in front of me. In Istanbul I find none of this smell. Perhaps the waters of the Bosphorus clean off the smell. The air is clear for a city of 12 million. We arrived in the middle of the night. I could go on and on about the two or three poopy (not entirely literal) events of the trip but overall the kids were excellent. They were very popular in Milan where they were spotted pulling their Thomas wheel backpacks up and down the airport terminal. During the thirty six hour trip the kids did not sleep as much as we would have liked them to but upon arrival at the hotel they did.
Outside the hotel window the clouds sped by at light speed. I’ve never seen clouds move so fast except in those commercials where they use special effects. If you are a cloud watcher, come to Istanbul.
Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts:
1.Don’t give your kids candy on the trip. Everyone that sees your kids will try to give them candy. Believe me, they’ll get enough. It cuts down on the budget too. Yesterday we went to get some food to go at a local restaurant and while we were waiting the manager watched our kids for us while they played with their cars in the front of the restaurant, we took a rest, and the waiters showered our kids with suckers. They gave one to our 7 month old baby, and even put one in Shermans’s pocket to make sure he had one for the road.
Another reason for not giving them candy on the trip is that kids seem to get sick on any trip you take. When we were on our last flight of the three Atticus got diarreah. (No, it wasn’t fun pushing the flight attendants over in attempts to make it to the bathroom on time.) It was probably because kids never eat well on a plane. Try to feed them as healthily as you can. They need all the vitamins they can get.
2. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer. Airport security is a stickler on liquids now but you need this especially when you have kids. Looking back, bringing some anti bacterial wipes for the airplane tables and arm rests would have been a great idea.
3. Even if your kids are potty trained I suggest bringing a few diapers anyway. Sometimes you are in situations where there is no bathroom, tree, or even grass and you can’t get to them. Just make them do it in a diaper. I know it sounds gross but do you even have a change of clothes if they just go in their pants?
4. This piece of advice if for people who don’t have children with them.
IF YOU CAN’T STAND SCREAMING CHILDREN, GET FIRST CLASS TICKETS!!!!
My children were angels but there were other children who were having serious issues. These two guys a few seats back said “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!” whenever this little girl would cry. It was kind of annoying and I felt deeply for the mother of the little girl and would have offered my help but when your child is not happy or comfortable, there is usually nothing that anyone else can do that you haven’t done already. The only thing I could think of was to go beat up those evil men that were too cheap to buy first class.
5. If you can avoid it, don’t fly with your children if they are between the ages of crawling and 2. They are harder to contain and keep engaged in activities. If you have to, I would recommend trying some of those mild drugs that make your kids sleep. Go through a practice run two weeks before to see if it even works. Benadryl worked for Atticus when he was a baby but I tried it this trip and it didn’t seem to work. There are other medicines that other people use but I am not familiar with them.
6. Try to help your kids be adaptable. Having to sleep in different places other than a bed can be difficult for some kids. Practice camping out in the backyard in a tent, pretend you’re having a sleepover, or sleep on the floor downstairs. If you’re really serious you might want to make a day of it and try to get the little ones to nap on the grass at a park. Atticus, Sherman, and the baby slept on a plane, a bus, a taxi, a stroller, a kelty, and on the benches at the airport, and now we are all sleeping on three twin beds pushed together in our hotel room.
Sherman in the stroller.
Sherman in the stroller again.
Atticus on the bench in Milan.
Cincinnatus in the kelty.
6. If you are coming to Turkey, don’t bring a double stroller if you are planning to be in the city center.
Obvıously the pictures dıd not transfer. Oh well.