Our family of four made it to India. At midnight. The flight was horrible as the kids were overly tired and sleepy. Immigration made me wait in a different line than Bob and the kids because they were first time e-visa holder and I had a sticker visa. The kids didn’t see me for an hour in the middle of the night and were losing it. I could hear their screams all the way where I was waiting in line. Grandparents were waiting at the airport with our rental car and driver. We didn’t know but Okra had peed through his diaper and pants while waiting to get through immigration. By the time we settled down in the hotel with the kids in bed, it was already 3:30am local time. We booked a suite but appeared to have been upgraded to a even bigger suite.
The first morning, Okra woke up with a mildly swollen eyelid. Since it was mild and his energy level and appetite were great, we took a wait-and-see approach. The next morning Okra cried for me at 5am. I normally would let him cry a bit, but since I was concerned about his eye, I went and got him. His eye now had swollen to a point where he couldn’t open it. We were alarmed and felt that it would be the right thing to seek medical attention. So at 5ish am, we got ready quickly, woke up Bunny, and packed the kids into the hotel shuttle to go to a nearby children’s hospital. We got seen right away. The doctor there said it most likely looked like a bug bite.
However, since she couldn’t see into his eye and whatever she could see it looked red, she felt that it would be best to give him antibiotics in case there was an infection. She asked if we wanted to give him some bloodwork and admit him so we could administer the antibiotics through an IV. I almost laughed out loud because I couldn’t imagine Okra willing to lie in bed for an IV to drip into his vein. Later, the doctor changed her plans and said to give him oral meds to see if the swelling would go down. I was shocked at the cost of the ER visit and medications. It was less than US $15. Bunny’s ER visit was about $2000 in the States. Anyhow, I was concerned for most of the day but luckily Okra’s eye was showing more and more towards the evening. It has already been hard to take care of twins while traveling. On top of that we also had to give him medications and eye drop a few times a day. I am so glad that the meds were only for three days. On the third day, the swelling totally cleared up.
The kids got to spend Diwali with their grandparents. The night before, they sat with their dad on the couch in our suite and watch fireworks. It was so sweet to watch them sit like that and be excited about new experiences.
On Diwali, we all took a shower and put on new clothes before we visited with my in-laws. The kids wore all new Indian outfits. We had special Indian treats and visited with Bob’s uncle and aunt. The fireworks and firecrackers both scared and excited the kids. It made for a memorable Diwali this year.
This was a dessert plate that the hotel had left for us in the room.
Four more days before we leave India.
Two Mondays came and went, and I hadn’t updated my blog.
Traveling internationally with twin toddlers is no joke. I had very low expectation to begin with, and it has still been very hard to be so far away from home and living off of suitcases. We are lucky enough that we stay at my parents’ and have their help, but it continues to be difficult to navigate a foreign (to the kids) world with them. The kids have tasted freedom of no stroller and no high chairs/boosters and they fight us every chance they have if we put them in one. They refuse to hold hands when crossing the street which often results in us carrying them while they are kicking and screaming. They have watched one too many shows on a digital device everywhere they go and I know that the road to detox screen time will be brutal at home. The public tantrums are sometimes too hard to bear.
But, everything is worth it when I see my grandma’s smiles while interacting with my kids. It is worth it when I see how comfortable the kids are with my family. It is so worth it to watch the twinkle in their eyes exploring the world many miles away from home.
We are leaving for India this evening. There is a whole new world out there for the kids to see. I hope I am able to focus on the positive rather than the hard work of the next three weeks.
This blog post is late for about… 14 hours.
I was trying to make a decision this weekend. This decision was weighing so much on my mind that I didn’t have the mental capacity or time to write a blog post.
We have been scheduled to leave for my home town in Asia and India this coming Sunday. I didn’t mention about it in my last blog post, but one of my worries of this upcoming trip was the unrest in my home town. There have been protests for democracy since June there and things have been escalating in the last week. Still, things seem to be fine if you avoid the usual hot spots for protests… until this weekend. Extreme violence and large scale damages and vandalism took place over Friday night that the mass transit there had to shut down the whole subway system. My dad had a difficult time finding public transportation to go home after dinner and he had to rely on my cousin to call him an U.ber. Some ATMs were smashed so my dad couldn’t get money. Banks, malls, and supermarkets were closed. Clashes continued to happen throughout the weekend. Subway system continued to be shut down due to damages. Honestly, during those two days, I felt that if we went as originally planned, I didn’t feel that I could protect my children. My gut was telling me to skip my home town and just transit to India directly and back. However, emotionally it would be heartbreaking for me to just transit there without entering to see my family. And I have been so looking forward to my grandmother meeting my kids. After all, my grandmother is going to be 100 and who knows when we would have the opportunity for my kids to meet her. I spoke with my best friend and my dad. Both felt that it would still be safe if we stay home and around the areas of my dad’s house and my grandma’s house. I wavered with my decision throughout the whole weekend. Finally, I posted on my college’s parenting group on FB about my quandary. Some of my fellow alumnae actually live there currently so they gave their perspectives. I’d say 100% of the people who responded said we should go. I prayed about it and talked to Bob, and we both agree that seeing family is more important. And we will exercise caution. Once the decision has been made, I feel that a weight has been lifted off my shoulder. I can now continue to pack our stuff for this first international trip/plane ride with our twins.