I realize I’ve been a bit MIA recently. Damon was gone on detachment in Australia for three weeks, the better part of which either Elisabeth and I were battling illness at home in Japan. We’ve been busy with other things as well: I hosted Damon’s squadron for Easter brunch, which brought out first-birthday party levels of Diana Craziness. And we’re going on vacation to Beijing tomorrow. Which I sort of forgot about.
Okay, I didn’t actually forget about it. I just kind of pushed it to the back of my mind. Party planning will do that to me. Easter brunch > Beijing vacation. That’s not really true. Only sometimes in my head it is. I know, I’m twisted. To be fair, we did have a very helpful travel agent organize pretty much our entire trip. All I had to do was approve our itinerary and fill out unholy amounts of paperwork to secure our visas. Let me tell you, securing visas to China is no easy feat. Especially when you have a toddler who does not want to have her visa photos taken. See below.
So last night I had a moment of, “Oh, crap! We’re leaving for China in two days and I don’t even have a guidebook!” Who goes to a foreign country for the first time without even a guidebook? I could say I’m just really adventurous and like to fly by the seat of my pants, take the road less traveled, see where life takes me. But that’s not true. I like a plan. And I like guidebooks.
So today’s quest became about finding a guidebook. But first I had a spouse club meeting. Then I had a luncheon planning committee meeting. Then I had to go pay some road tax. I have no idea what exactly a road tax is, all I know is that paying for it is a somewhat tedious process. First I had to wait in a long line to present all sorts of documentation that proves… I dunno. That we have insurance? That our car is fit to be on the road? Whatever, I passed. Then I had to wait in a second long line to actually pay the tax. I got to my turn, only to realize I’d forgotten my wallet in the car. Fantastic. Once I retrieved my wallet and paid the road tax, I had to wait in a third long line to receive a decal proving I’d paid. Or something like that. This time I got to my turn, only to discover that my Power of Attorney had expired. I won’t get into how this is wrong on so many levels, but for some reason I need my husband’s Power of Attorney to get a little decal and stick it on our car. So, yeah. An hour of fun in lines, and no decal for me.
But at least now I could go buy my guidebook. And do all sorts of other pre-trip errands that I left for the day before the trip (because I forgot about the trip). I was successful in procuring a guidebook. Thank goodness. But the other errands, not so much. Because right after I purchased the guidebook, I got a call from Elisabeth’s daycare informing me that she had a fever of 102.
Babies and fevers and air travel don’t mix. Babies and fevers and air travel to China especially don’t mix; once you land in China, they (whoever “they” are) use some scanner thingy to take your temperature. If you are caught trying to enter their country with a fever, they… I actually have no idea what they to do the infected air travelers. Nor do I want to find out.
After rushing to pick up my ailing daughter, I immediately called our medical clinic and got an appointment to secure her some antibiotics. I don’t think Elisabeth ever fully recovered from her ear infection a couple of weeks ago. Probably because I accidentally spilled half of the bottle of amoxicillin down the drain.* (I did try to get her prescription refilled, but the doc on call said it wasn’t necessary.) So this time I wasn’t messing around. Ear infection or no, I wasn’t leaving for China without meds for my baby.
Luckily the doctor that saw us was the same doctor that treated Elisabeth last time, and determined that more antibiotics were in order. Potential medical crisis, averted. (I have spent time in German and Thai hospitals; I have no desire to spend time in a Chinese hospital).
But my day was shot. Sick kid > errands. Piles of laundry awaited to be folded. Suitcases remained unopened.
And then I shattered a glass, just because it was one of those days.
And then when I was cleaning up the shattered glass, I looked up at Elisabeth (who I had strapped in her high chair lest she slice herself on shards of glass – see, I AM a good mom!) and she was eating a napkin. Now I’m pretty sure my kid is going to be the weird one who eats glue in class. *Sigh*
I think this (very unplanned) vacation is coming at a good time.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon enough. I have lots to update you all on, like why you shouldn’t offer to host a brunch for 40-50 people just because you have cute decor you want to display. And why my husband is awesome. (Hint: it relates to highchairs.) But now, I must go pack.
*May I suggest not trying to balance a crying baby in one arm and a bottle of antibiotics in the other at 11:30PM after indulging in a few adult beverages.