travel: postcards from the midwest

(photo of home and nap time book reading)

My family is divided between the mid-west and the mid-east. I miss Faris but I know he is happy seeing his family and his home and old friends. The details of his travel I hope to share when the time is right…what a huge undertaking it is just for a Palestinian to get to Palestine.
Postcard from the plane rides:
This is how my son and I travel: heavy. Laden with white noise machine, baby monitors for my parent’s 3 level house, baby proofing accoutrement, and an entourage of wind-up toys, books, dvds (yes, I used them on the plane ride and praise be to Baby Einstein. You can see by the photo below that he looooved it).

Here we are finally getting the tired toddler to take a nap on the plane. I messed the nap up, however, because my ever shrinking bladder couldn’t be still more than 30 minutes.
(nurse to nap, thank goodness for the extra room his seat gave us)

Poor Sufyan had to be awakened rudely for a visit to teeny tiny on board bathroom.
What I learned is that I can schedule a plane ride to coincide with a nap time and that does not guarantee any shut eye or down time. Sufyan’s need to experience trumped his need for sleep and he did a marathon of sensory input sleeping only 20 minutes total from 5:am until 8:30pm the evening we arrived.
It was an excellent idea for me to get him his own seat and a travel DVD player. Thank you, Jenna for those ideas garnered from your own experience. I also got some cheap little toys I knew were his style and hid them until they were needed. And while those got a lot of mileage, it was crucial that I also had a toy and a book that he knew and recognized. Word to the wise: pack everything.

Postcard from the first week:
The first 3 days I swore I was going to call the airline and get my return tickets moved up. Sufyan and I discovered the true meaning of the word “tantrum” and have become familiar with it. I was wholly unprepared, but he seemed to have been practicing. We were out to dinner on night 1 and negotiating the need to return to his seat and take a bite when suddenly every bone in his body turned to rubber and he melted into a pile of screeching, kicking, screaming 19 month old. His voice became an air raid siren. His love for me turned to survival of the fittest (and there is no contest that he kicks my butt in the category of fittest).
Over the course of the next 2 days I saw variations of this: bones turn to rubber, face deliberately pounding into the couch, stamping feet at high velocity, and a love/hate for me that was leaving him confused and clingy. And me? Well, I pretty much just went along for the ride! I talked to him, loved him, and was totally bewildered as to how to guide him.
Here is the face that I saw a lot of (and this is pre-rubber baby, pre-worst of the tantrums):

But slowly over the last 2 days he has been coming around. We have slid into a routine, something he craves desperately, and we have figured out how to negotiate a little more comfortably. Which is this: instead of “we are going to do that just 2 more times and then we are going to change your diaper” and then doing whatever it is 10 more times, we now say “just a few more times, Sufyan and then…” and do it 20 more times, try to move on, get a protest, do it 5 more times and then we move on. In other words, transitions have been stretched out to last many minutes longer than before.

Postcard from baby missing Baba:
Sufyan sees a car that looks like his Baba’s car and says “BABA!” and then watches hopefully until the car is out of sight.
Sufyan wakes in the middle of the night and cries “Baaabaaaa” and then goes back to sleep.
He turns on my phone to see a pic of his Baba and smiles “Baba.”
I miss Baba, too!
(Here he was singing “Hi Baba Hi Baba!” to himself…so sweet)

Postcard from pregoland:
I have gotten sick. It’s not bad, and nothing to be worried about, and still it’s disconcerting because not only am I away from my usual remedies but my OB/Gyn (whom I would normally call to ask about being pregnant and having any kind of illness if I was concerned) won’t talk to me because I am having a home birth.
So I am dosing up on Elderberry, on sleep (meaning I take everything I can get and piece together 8 hours in the course of 24), and on fluids.
Layla seems great. She kicks and moves and squirms and feels like a strong baby.
I am nearly 6 months along now, and I can hardly believe it. Today S lifted my shirt and gave Layla a wave and a kiss.

Pics of the good things in life:
(he noticed a big bunch of hawks swirling in the sky above us)

(the birds he saw and was captivated by. they were pretty cool)

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3 thoughts on “travel: postcards from the midwest

  1. MISSING YOU GUYS!!!! Sounds like you're doing really great–Sufyan is looking so old and handsome! Get home soon and then lets get out butts together! Elliot misses you too. Oh, and about the tantrums…so funny, this week we had our first few too!!!! Yikes!

  2. Lucas smiled SO big and was very excited to see photos of Sufyan- we miss you guys! S is so cute in that red jacket! He even manages to be adorable while tantruming. 🙂 Glad things are starting to get a little better for you guys. Hope you feel totally healthy soon and we look forward to seeing you next week!

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