Saturday 28th January 2017

After today there are two more days until I leave. I wish it was tomorrow. I’m fed up with the anxiety, and I know I won’t relax until we are actually on our way, so bring it on!

I’m not anxious about anything specific. We haven’t packed yet, but I have a list and most of the things that we aren’t using in the meantime have been collected together in the plastic crate that the backpacks live in. I’m not really concerned about anything that might happen once we’re there either – I mean we’re not going anywhere or doing anything dangerous, and Alyssa can talk to people so it’s not even like we can’t communicate. I’m just anxious because it’s a big thing to be doing, and I can’t really predict how it’s going to go.

One thing I’m uncertain about is having Emma with me this time. Again, not worrying about it, but just wondering how it’s going to be. At thirteen she’s not a child, but she’s not an adult either, and I don’t know how that will play out in the reality of travel. I don’t want to spend the whole trip having to parent her, like constantly reminding her to keep track of her belongings and use sunscreen, or coax her into eating foreign food and getting enough sleep or whatever. At the same time she’s only thirteen and this is her first big trip – I need to remember that if she gets overwhelmed and needs help finding her equilibrium there. I think the biggest thing will be making sure she TALKS to me and Alyssa, which isn’t always a given with Emma. Her standard “I don’t know” isn’t going to cut it! She’s going to need to tell us if she’s hungry/ thirsty/ uncomfortable/ tired, and if she’s asked what she wants to eat she’s going to have to pick something. Anyway, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about it while we’re waiting and on the plane and waiting and on the plane, ha ha. Hopefully knowing that it’s not bratty or demanding to be vocal about her needs and feelings, on this trip especially, will be helpful for her.

Anyway, like I said, we’ve got most of our stuff ready to pack, if not exactly packed. I spent today organising things, which basically meant backing up my computer, deleting everything I’ve read off my Kindle and adding other stuff, and reminding Troy where I keep all my computer passwords in case I die while I’m overseas.

Nicholai had cricket this morning, the first match after the Christmas-New Year’s break. It’s a two day match but they’ve already lost, so I don’t think that went very well.

Troy and I went to Costco this afternoon. None of the kids wanted to come, which I was quite glad about since it meant I got to talk to Troy uninterrupted for a couple of hours and didn’t have to listen to any whining! Although Costco is actually a kind of irritating place to shop, with the way people just seem to block the aisles and move around completely oblivious to other shoppers.

I also had a moment of sheer parenting judgement, when I saw a baby in a pram, who must have been no older than nine months old (like seriously, tiny, not even really sitting up properly) watching tv on her mother’s propped up phone. They weren’t even shopping, they were just parked next to their full trolley at the tables, with the phone propped up against a box of crackers. I don’t know…I usually try to hold back judgement because you never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives, but a baby that little doesn’t need to be watching a screen. I don’t know, I probably sound horrible, but that wasn’t the first kid I saw watching shows on phones at Costco and she was just so little that it seemed like madness! Perhaps I’m jealous though…I had my children in the dark ages before smart phones, so the best I could do to entertain them when I was shopping was a chew toy or a board book.

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