We’ve been planning for months and months on end… Until so much further delay we finally managed to take our little family to Ukraine.
The wanderlust-er in me knows what to do weeks before our trip. What to pack, what to list down in order not to forget and all that jazz. Travelling is like breathing for me. I always enjoy the long commute whether by plane, bus or train little did I know that having a 20-month old who runs like a Energizer battery would turn my sweetest dream to a nightmare.
Can you imagine lifting not one but two luggage weighing 20 kg each and two hand-carry and 12 kg little boy who won’t stand still. We were eating our brains out finding ways to pacify him.
Departing Dubai was pure bliss when we took the taxi going to the airport. The little one was so excited to leave the house with no idea that what lies ahead is a long journey of a thousand steps quite literally. We took Air Arabia on a full fare despite of our Staff Travel privileges. It’s now or never for this trip actually so the peak season left us undisturbed.
We never thought that Sharjah airport has a playground so the waiting game for the boarding time was easy for us. Sasha was playing in the slides with other kids while the hubby and I took turns eating our breakfast. Expectantly, Sasha was asleep when we boarded and finally both of us slept while there was still chance. After a two-hour cruise Sasha woke up, and that’s practically the time when all hell breaks loose. He wanted to walk, jump and touch other passengers. He wanted to get out from his seat and take us with him in a stroll inside a tiny aircraft. When we said “no” he screams like he was the only person in the plane. Sleeping passengers gave us death looks that prompted us to hide in our seats. A five-and a half plane ride felt like eternity. We tried everything we can do to stop him from crying. We did everything to give in to all his idiosyncracies. Pure madness and stress on high levels. We were just on the first part of our journey and we were already feeling depleted.
When we reached Kiev we were all starving. Hubby was still very patient and helping me with Sasha as he arranged everything for our five-hour train ride to his hometown. We ate to a nearby Dominos since as much as we want to eat anything except junk food unfortunately our current predicament with the luggage left us with limited option. Sasha was happily eating his slice of pepperoni crust and gazing at fresh flowers and stray cats to which he took adornment leaving us relieved that somehow we can eat before we head our way to another pain-staking ride with him later on.
Hubby booked us a second train which was more comfortable than his previous. He booked for us a cabin that leaves at 10 pm and as soon as he saw an early train departure but no cabin we still chose the latter. We wanted to arrive early so we can rest early. The seats were lined up comfortably with much leg room and a bar a few steps from us. It was full with almost half of the passengers who are in their teens ages 16-26 more or less. I can’t help but notice how young and good-looking they are as they talk on their mobile phone probably with their moms and boyfriends. At first Sasha was beaming with excitement as the trains roars for departure. Then the next thing we know he was telling us to jump, run, get out, and watch videos on Youtube which we couldn’t provide. And the worse part was we forgot to buy water for his milk which left us begging for the conductor to help us get water for him. In the end, we managed to pacify him for a few minutes until he sucked his dairy to its last drop. That moment, I felt guilty for letting my poor little one drink milk out of a sparkling water. Imagine drinking Perrier but milk flavor. But since he was hungry, he finished two servings on that five-hour stint.
He wails and wails every 20 minutes or so. Leaving us flabbergasted despite our efforts to make him happy. We checked every nook and corners to entertain him, sweeping all the dusts and germs in the train just for him to be quiet. If you can only see the look of hate we receive from passengers whenever he screams on top of his lungs and the look of joy when we finally reached our stop.
The both of us were dying of heat and exhaustion but the child remained powerful as he wrestled with us to play outside.
When Kolya, my hubby’s stepfather found us in the train station, it took Sasha less than five minutes to doze off in my arms just when we needed him to be awake. Mama was delighted to see her first grandchild. And we were in complete sense of victory to finally arrive in our destination in one piece and not having a nervous breakdown.
When we reached my hubby’s house we scrubbed each and every inch of skin in our bodies, ate my mother-in-law’s delicious cutlets to our heart’s desire and drank a few beers and climbed to bed like there’s no tomorrow. I kissed my husband goodnight and hear ourselves talking to each other how travelling may not happen more often as we thought it would. Not with Sasha I guess.
And then there’s still another strategy to formulate on the way back to Dubai…
Stay tuned for more crazy stories in our recent Ukraine trip