So after four years of not traveling without the kids, we finally decided to go for a no-kids getaway to Bangkok for 4 days.
Before we get to how the trip was (pretty great!), let me tell you about getting to the trip. Remember that time when we left all the kids at my mom’s house and went for Coldplay? It’s when I discovered that my threshold for not seeing the kids is like half a day max. Anything more than 6 hours makes me all antsy and twitchy.
I think it’s because I’m spoiled after being a stay home mom for so many years, having access to all the baby cuddles anytime I want. Like when I’m having a rough day, I can just stop and go hug my babies until I feel better. Anxiety coming on? Closing my eyes and inhaling some of that delicious baby smell makes it go away. My default stress coping mechanism is a rabid munching of chubby baby rolls, it always works.
This condition makes traveling without babies such a dilemma. I mean, I want to do it – I know that I’ll enjoy it when I’m there – but my baby withdrawal symptoms are severe. My brain is all “Just go! You need a break, no, you deserve a break so just take it, the babies will be ok.” but then my everything else will be like “84 hours without baby kisses and thigh roll munches? The babies will be fine but you won’t.” Underneath all the bravado, I’m just a huge pile of mushy baby-needing mess.
The night before we left, I was putting the kids to bed and smothering them with extra kisses to make up for my mom guilt when the realisation of my impending departure started to sink in for Finn and Theo. Truett and Kirsten were very cool, like “Have fun, mom! We’ll miss you so much!!“, but then the two boys were like “Wait, what?? You’re going to Bangkok tomorrow morning??? I did not agree to this!! Can I go to Bangkok too? I like Bangkok I will go wherever you go…”
Both of them started tearing up with great big sad tears. “Please mommy please please please can I go??”
I almost went online to buy 2 more tickets for the flight right then because I have no resolve. Just look at this face.
And this face.
Okay wait, I actually did go online with every intention of buying 2 more tickets but I discovered that the price for the extra 2 seats were 3 times what I paid for our original tickets so ummm, that’s a hard no. What am I, some kind of oil tycoon? They will just have to learn to deal with disappointment like us normal humans, with giant hugs and sobby whispers of “I’ll miss you so much!”
Bangkok was excellent for a quick getaway. We went shopping, we ate Thai food, we went for massages, we sat in coffeeshops to read. I had time to finish two books while we were there: Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly. We took walks around the city like two people who didn’t have five kids. **Here’s where I should put up some pictures but we took a total of zero selfies. Sorry, zero points for blogging effort.
It’s a strange feeling to not be in mom mode for four whole days. There’s the silence, which I didn’t realise how much I had missed. We were on the plane and I turned to the husband to start a conversation only to see him enjoying this rare moment of silence with such bliss that I decided to enjoy some of it myself. Over the four days, we had fun conversations, but we also had long, glorious extended periods of silence and it was really nice.
There was also a constant sense that I forgot something. I’d be walking along Chatuchak market and there would be a flash of panic, thinking that I left something behind because why is my life so easy right now? Then I’d see a frazzled mom holding on to a sweaty, squirmy, screamy baby and realise that why yes, I did leave something behind and it’s called responsibilities.
Most importantly, we could only have done this with the help of my in-laws and my mom who had to watch the five babies, so thanks dad and mom and mom!