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I am daring to write this post again, after trying to write about a typical day about a week ago, and then having the day go to hell (you can read about a bad, not typical day on our trip)!!
For anyone who didn’t read my last blog post, this is why I am writing this post:
“I am mindful when writing on this blog that I may be giving the wrong impression. Mainly, that travelling with a family is ultra easy and life is all roses. When blogging, it is easy to stick to the highlights with some really low lowlights thrown in occasionally. It’s not like anyone wants to read about the more mundane aspects of our lives. However, naturally a lot of our day is spent on mundane and, at times, unpleasant tasks. Our kids are just 1 and 2. They are a lot of work and, at times, very frustrating. Just like they are at home. There is just some different challenges and much bigger rewards.
“The impression that I do want to give is that having young kids does not make travel impossible. In fact, it is still lots of fun and quite accessible. Just different to what you may be used to. I think one of the keys to success of travelling with kids is having realistic expectations. So, I thought I would write a post about a day in our lives to give a better picture of what travel with kids is like.” from a bad, not typical day on our trip
There is no typical day at the moment. Every day is different which is part of what is so fantastic about travel. This is a reasonably average day, although usually S would have a nap as well and we’d be out of action for most of the afternoon. Anyway! Here it is!
We were woken up at a leisurely 8am by Z. Since taking the late night flight to Singapore two nights previous, the kids have stopped waking at 6am which is a relief! It also helps having decent curtains for a change. S did wake up screaming at one point (maybe 3am) and woke up Z and it took awhile to get them both back to sleep.
Breakfast was some weetbix in the room. S had some milk she didn’t like right at the beginning in KL and now refuses to have any milk. She has hers with water, and Z with his formula.
It takes seemingly forever, but eventually we are all dressed, breakfast dishes and bottles are all washed, valuables are locked up and we are packed to head out for the morning. By now, it is about 10am. We have to take quite a lot out with us – nappies, wipes etc, change of clothes for each kid, bibs, high chair insert for Z, hand sanitiser, a couple of toys (for while they are waiting for food), guidebook, sippy cups, water, bottle and formula, money etc. It’s crazy!
We leave with S in the stroller and Z in the carrier. We are heading for Fort Canning Park. It looks like a short walk away, and it sounds like it has some interesting attractions, plus the kids can have a chance to play.
The walk is pleasant. We see more of the area around our hotel and find a market. I am a bit disappointed as I would love to go back and visit the market, but I know there probably won’t be time. We also walk through the colonial district. Very nice. We pull the map out as it seems like we are walking for too long. Thankfully, we are not lost and are only a block away.
The block away turns into quite a few as we can’t access the park from where we are. We realise the park is on a big hill. I start getting sweaty, tired, very hungry (I should have eaten with the kids) and over it. At that point we find the park entrance – up a billion stairs :-/ S gets out of the pram and we walk up. With a lot of encouragement, thankfully she walks all the way up herself.
J and I are regretting the morning’s activity. We look at a map and find that if we walk to the other end, we will be right by the MRT station which can take us the short distance to Little India for lunch. We head off.
The park continued to be very hilly. Thankfully, we were able to avoid further stairs, but we were going up and down heaps of steep paths. Great work out!! The park was pleasant, but not for children, and we don’t come across anywhere they can play. I apologise to S (as I promised her she could play) and thankfully, she doesn’t care much as long as I keep talking about the “water park” we will go to later.
We finally get to the other end. There are taxis right there, so it seems like a sign and we hop in one for the short distance to Little India. By this time it is 11:45am, and we are all starving.
We are at the Tekka Center, and it is full of food stalls. We initially have trouble finding one that is serving Indian curries. Bit weird, but anyway! We hit jackpot in the end and buy 4 different curries, some rice and heaps of roti for SG$15! It was soooo good and we all pig in.
Only problem is, that despite being told they weren’t spicy, a couple of them are. Only mildly but enough that the kids are coughing and grabbing for the water, and poor Z is all red. We just don’t give them any more of the offending ones and load them up with roti, and they are fine.
We discuss what to do next. We want to go to the water park, but it’s nap time. By the time S gets a nap in, it could be too late to bother as they will be starving and need dinner, and then it’s too late to go. S seems happy and ok, so we decided that I will head straight back with Z in the pram while the other two finish eating. I’ll try to get him down for a nap as soon as possible, and we will see if we can give him a shorter nap than usual, and then we can all go.
So off Z and I head. The hotel wasn’t far away, but the first few streets I hit in the right direction are way too busy for a pram, so I keep walking. I finally walk down one but at the end is a construction site. I have to walk a loooong way round, and I regret not taking a cab. I do get back eventually, but only just before J and S who had to walk at 2 year old pace! The pram can be a pain.
We thankfully get Z to sleep pretty quickly. S watches the ipad. She takes at least an hour to wind down and get her asleep, so we have little hope of getting her to nap in time. An hour later, we wake up Z and head to the water park. It is about 2:30pm.
We catch the MRT all the way to the end of the line, which takes about half an hour. From here, we feel a bit lost but thankfully head in the right direction and are soon at the water park. It looks perfect!! We all get in our bathers, lock up our bag and head into the playground part (more about the water park in Singapore Stopover).
We play for a couple of hours. Mainly, we stick to the playground. Both kids just love it. There are lots of water slides that they can both go on. Initially, S is very cautious (as always) and we do them altogether, but by the end we are racing each other down. Z just loooves them and gets annoyed if they aren’t fast enough for him!! It is a bit of a work out going up and down all of them with him though. We try the river rafting bit, but it terrifies S, and Z just keeps pointing at the slides!
We get S out of the pools with a promise of a special treat for dinner. We get dressed, and then S gets quite upset as there is no longer a balloon lady in the park – when we arrived there was a lady making balloon flowers. S loved hers, but we had to leave it by the locker when we went into the pool area, and it wasn’t there when we got back. I tell S that she has gone home, so S wants us to go to her house. Poor darling doesn’t understand.
We eat some yummy Malaysian food for dinner. S has a banana waffle for a treat and the rest of us eat an ice kacang. yummy! We walk back to the MRT station and get back to our hotel no problems. It’s 7:30pm by now, and it’s off to bed for the little ones.
Despite the long day without much sleep, they are pretty worked up, so it takes a little while for them to go down. Z has a cot, and S is sleeping on her inflatable mat next to the bed (well kind of, she always seems to come off it and sleep on the floor).
I work on this blog, and J works on getting a job. We then watch a survivor episode together with ear phones on the laptop and then go off to sleep!!
So that was our day. Lots of fun!! There were lots of little sulking fits by both kids along the way, but they are generally very happy and content, they just like to test us! I actually find the toughest thing is just finding the time to do things, as they are sleeping or getting to sleep maybe 15-16 hours a day. They are then eating about another 3 hours! And then there’s another couple of hours lost to getting ready/packing bags/ etc. It doesn’t actually leave much time to do things, especially anything that’s a bit of a commute. It’s very much worth the effort though, and it’s far less effort than the housework/washing/cooking/getting to activities effort that I put in at home.
If you would like to read more about what it is like travelling with young kids, you can read about a typical day on our Deep South road trip.
You can also read our full guide to visiting Singapore with kids.