Jet lagged toddler


Unfortunately Chuck’s work trip is more of a pan-Asian tour so I’m actually spending most of the Singapore trip (6/10 days) alone with Thea. Eeeeeek!

After landing at Changi I took a cab to our hotel – dragging my luggage, carrying a backpack, a toddler wrapped around my waist and clamped in place by my upper arm, and pushing a buggy with another large hand luggage bag – the very definition of a multi-tasker!

I would have had Thea in the buggy but she flatly refused to go into another seat after 16hrs of enforced sitting.

The can journey was easy. We had a double room at the Park Avenue Rochester Hotel – S$250 a night (approx. £125) which I imagined would be relatively spacious given the price tag. How wrong could I be!

Our room was an absolute shoe-box. Well appointed but with the minimum of moving about space. No baby bed either. I requested a second duvet so I could make up a bed for Thea in the wardrobe.

This is a trick we learned in Japan where we didn’t have curtains and Thea wouldn’t sleep in the light. I put all our stuff away too. A very over-wrought Thea would not be put down so I decided to take her out for dinner despite the fact that it seemed like we’d only just eaten breakfast – besides night was already falling, it gets dark early in Singapore!

Half an hour of trekking later, I had five mosquito bites (no mozzies in Singapore my ass!!) no dinner and a sleeping toddler so I headed back to the hotel, transferred Thea to the wardrobe and went to bed.

She woke up two hours later in time for daddy to arrive and we spent the next nine hours taking it in turns to try and get her to sleep again. Hideous.

Just a quick tip – shouting at each other and crying with frustration does not make a jet lagged toddler any easier to cope with!

I had more of an excuse, not only had I just completed the single most stressful plane journey of my life but I also had jet lag, an empty stomach AND I was due on. If ever there was a set of circumstances that call for careful and sensitive handling it’s surely these?

Instead Chuck demonstrated his renowned efficiency in falling asleep in even the most challenging of environments – for example: wailing toddler plus near weeping wife. No probs, just need a pair of earplugs and a t-shirt to through over the eyes!

He had got in very late from Kuala Lompa too and he’d been working but still!!! Plus he insisted that he hadn’t slept when clearly loudly snoring next to me as I rocked a thrashing Thea would suggest otherwise!

So when I say “took turns” I mainly mean Charly would take over, Thea would scream harder and we’d be back to square one. He tried but it didn’t really work.

Infuriatingly when I asked (and I dare say the sheet desperation in my voice would have been detectable to even the most insensitive and unobservant in the land) for Chuck to take her out for a walk he didn’t want to. So I went.

The following night was much the same – except this time Chuck did take her out so I could get a quick nap in too. We each did an hour. And she eventually did go to sleep, still clinging to my neck, in between us. We got three hours – or rather she did.

There’s only so much of this a couple/person can take and I tapped out early! We got on to Trip Advisor found the best family hotels in the city and booked the most reasonably priced non-awful looking one where we would no longer have to share a room with our terror toddler.

The Somerset Bencoolen was actually the hotel of our dreams!

Still expensive (S$260 per night at time of writing) as everywhere is in Singapore – it meant we were paying just about S$10 more a night than at the shoe-box but for a sitting room, double bedroom with walk in closet, bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen!

The hotel is actually serviced apartments with it’s own roof top pool complex (toddler pool, baby crawl pool, jacuzzi, swimming pool, playground(!), indoor playroom(!) and breakfast is included which wasn’t the case at the Park Avenue shoebox!

If there’s a lesson here it is DO NOT SHARE A ROOM WITH A JET LAGGED TODDLER! Book two adjoining rooms at a cheap hotel or if you can find an affordable “suite” or apartment do that instead!

Thea has been sleeping close enough to 10 hours a night since we moved and though she cries a bit when we put her in the crib – she only manages 5 minutes before she’s fast asleep. Heaven!

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