The plane tickets have been purchased.
This is really happening.
Today marks six months in Singapore. Which kind of blows my mind…in some ways (just like E’s babyhood) it’s blown by. On the other, part of me is like “isn’t it time to move back to the US yet?” Sure, there’s stuff I love about Singapore, but part of me longs for the familiar and easy (although I have no warm or fuzzy feelings about shoveling snow). So I’m very lucky that I will have the best of both worlds over the rest of this year. I have a few weeks left to do what needs to be done here, a month back home, and then I escape back to the warmth of Singapore before the blizzards start bitch-slapping the Northeast around.
No, I am not looking forward to traveling alone with E for like 30 hours straight. The 14 hours from Tokyo to Chicago will either prove to be brilliant (once she’s asleep, Elanor can sleep like no one’s business) or a disaster (14 hours of nowhere to go but up and down a cramped aisle could be asking for trouble. I’m trying to plan for as many distractions and contingencies, but I’m fearful at some point she will morph into evil toddler. I simply have to remember that a plane ticket only promises passage from one location to another…it doesn’t promise good movie choices, edible food (or any food), that no one will puke, that other passengers will have the good manners to shower or refrain from excessive perfumes, that no one will get drunk and obnoxious, or that toddlers won’t act like toddlers who are being confined for 14 hours straight. Luckily we have a 3.5 hour layover in Chicago and once through customs I should be able to let her run around a bit. Also thankfully, the flight from Chicago to Boston is short.
The car seat solution was a painful one, but it was the least painful of all the scenarios. Basically the problem is that I wanted a new Britax car seat as the just released models have much higher weight limits and in theory are easier to remove the covers from for washing (old models–NIGHTMARE). I tried to get a used car seat here, on the idea that I just needed something for the plane…my in-laws could buy the new car seat and get it installed for me…we’d just chuck the used one at the airport or into the trash. But the issue is that my traveling accessory requires LATCH to work (an American safety feature) and the used car seat didn’t have it. No one here sells the Gogobabyz travel accessory, which is basically a dolly for your carseat. So I’d be stuck with a toddler, a car seat, and no way to manuver either of them….not a great recipe for my back. This was a FAIL
Only one store locally carried American Britax car seats (as opposed to British models), and they’re not getting the new models until some time in 2011 and at the usual SG markup of 25+%. However, they were willing to sell me the old model for a 20% discount (still more than 20% its base price in the US before any markdowns for being discontinued, but less than that price plus shipping from the US for the same car seat). It works with my travel accessory, turning a carry-on (with wheels) into a de-factor stroller. If I don’t like it, I’ll buy a new car seat in the US and consign this one for store credit at a store I’d be dropping major cash at anyway. If I do like it, E is likely to fit in it until she’s old enough for a booster seat (or at least until the sibling is big enough to take over this seat and E can move up to a higher weight limit one…although the day we worry about E being too heavy for something she’s supposed to fit into is a day I’m not holding my breath for) which in MA is 5 years and 50 lbs.
Flying with a toddler is not for the faint of heart…but my mantra will be (as it ever is when E is trying) “this too shall pass”…it’s just 30 hours to get 30 days at home.
And yes…I have lots of Elmo locked and loaded for the plane too…..what do I look, stupid?