Jet lag. When the local time says one thing and my body says another. Arriving in Milan in a fog we find a taxi big enough to fit us and our bags. A miracle, really, since we had been under the impression we could each take two checked pieces of luggage we have a herd of black suitcases accompanying us. This discovery at the ticket counter in our home town airport had been a minor “oops” in comparison to the washing machine choosing the morning of our departure to create a swimming pool on the laundry room floor. Given that some( hopefully nice) European couples will be using it shortly this created a minor kaffufle. It would have been “major” but for the kindness and competence of a couple of key people who know who they are!
If you’re me, jet lag feels like a head of thick cotton, a slow-moving brain and a body that feels like it weighs twice as much as it does. If you’re my daughter you are uncharacteristically quiet, and to her it feels like her body is “arguing with everything”. My son has turned into an ocean mussel and wants to be clamped onto one or both parents. Normally an endearing trait, it is hard to feel accepting of constant arm and neck hugs, and kisses in warm and muggy close quarters. I think he just wants some reassurance and I am using all my resources to be patient with that. And honestly, I know I should be curious about my husband’s experience as he navigates our transport to our borrowed Milan flat, but in my grumpy state all I can really process is that it’s “his turn” to look after things since I offered him the seat to himself while I sat in between the kids on the 9 hour flight.
My son doesn’t cope well with exhaustion and heat, and seated again in the back of the taxi with the kids, I suddenly realize the air sickness bag I had the foresight to bring off the plane is needed for him. The taxi careens to the side of the autopiste while I am feeling like a good mother, or at least a prepared one, while my youngest gathers himself on the side of the road with my husband. I don’t do well with lack of sleep and like when my kids were babies, my mood is mercurial. This time I am feeling loving toward my husband again now that I perceive he is sharing the parenting . Poor man. It will swing the other way before too long until this jet lag situation is resolved.
We stagger through the next few days…the “hop on, hop off” bus tour we thought would be a good idea on our first full day in Milan should, at the risk of displaying my corny sense of humour, be better named the “nod on, nod off” tour. 3:30 pm seems to be our sleepiest time and therefore the most dangerous since I’ve learned from past travel experience that late afternoon naps are detrimental to getting on local time. So we resort to scheduling the 250 stair climb of Milan’s Duomo for that time…never mind it’s the hottest time of day. To cope with that my youngest is drinking about 5 liters of water a day and we are visiting every “toilette” he sees a sign for. My husband is resorting to chemistry to help him with jet lag since he needs to be “on” for business pretty soon. And my daughter is being good natured, understanding, and accommodating. And I am being what I call a bag. I think I would divorce me. I need an attitude change. In fact, I am realizing that more than at new year’s, I have “resolutions” for this trip. So I’d better get my act together and be a better traveler. And come up with some resolutions that make me better company. And reconnect with my sense of humour…