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The Joy of Traveling with Kids

Date
Jul, 17, 2012

Fredrica Syren

Now, if you did not detect the sarcasm in the title and you think this is an article about how perfect our 18-hour journey to Sweden was, you might want to stop reading. I guess that, on one hand I can tell you that I’m lucky to have kids who are fairly good on long flights since they never cry or scream or even kick the seat in front of them.  And we’re talking about kids who have been traveling since they were 6 months old.

On the other hand, though, this year’s trip started out so bad that it should have been an omen. On the Wednesday before our travel day (Saturday), Noah woke up with a stomach bug. He threw up and had severe diarrhea. On Thursday I woke up with a cold and Bella, with pink eye. Yeahhhhhhh. You think this is bad? Just wait. On Friday Bella woke up with an ear infection and I, with Noah’s stomach bug. Poor James had to do all the packing and arranging with my helping a little whenever I could. On Saturday Noah and Bella both seemed better, so we felt confident that traveling would not be that bad. Right!!!! Halfway into our flight, Bella was sound asleep while Noah threw up all over himself, his poor dad, and me. We were frantically trying to clean up and comfort him when, at the same time, a steward asked me if I would like some tea or coffee, completely ignoring the fact that we were in pickle. I guess he took his costumer service work seriously. A better question would have been “Do you need a towel or napkins, or do you need help?” But, nooooo. Poor Noah didn’t sleep at all, so neither did we

 Of course Bella felt like million bucks after her night’s sleep, so on the next flight from London to Stockholm we worked hard to entertain her. This is when the iPad is genius. I personally never understood the importance of an iPad until — voila! — it’s the perfect thing to keep the 5-year-old busy with games and movies.

As we approached Stockholm, Sweden, and were getting ready to land, my entire head started hurting due to my cold. It felt as if I were being stabbed in my ears and sinuses. Wow, that was pain worse than childbirth! By the time we finally arrived in Stockholm, I had no hearing, which turns out to be good when you can’t hear your kids whine, but bad when you speak loudly like your 90-year-old deaf grandmother.

So what is the moral of this story? Never travel with sick kids. And I travel with a cold absolutely never again. IPads are God’s gift to parents, YES.  Always — I mean always — expect the unexpected when you traveling with kids

 

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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