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Two in Tow


Our plans after the Expo were for Sianna and I to return to JiuJiang while Hubs and Schäfer continued to host the engineers on one additional hydro power excursion. With all of Hubs travels, Schäfer has been missing his Papa so much. We decided that since this trip only involved hosting, Schäfer was old enough to come along.

Neither of us factored in that after the Expo, Schäfer would be worn out. I knew he could not continue. So, I traveled back to JiuJiang with both kids – by myself. The six hour train from Shanghai to Nanchang wasn’t bad except that it was crowded. We didn’t buy either of the kids a ticket because we figured there are always extra seats.

Well, there aren’t always extra seats. Lesson learned. For six hours, Schäfer sat at my feet while Sianna sat on my lap in a space about the size of an economy seat in an airplane. Thank goodness the iPod keeps Schäfer entertained.

Traveling alone with two tots age 3 and one isn’t difficult. I can manage them both just fine in the taxi, through the train station and on the train. The challenge comes when someone has to go to the bathroom because we all have to go & I need to bring our bag in case someone should want to permanently borrow something.

Managing two kids + a big bag in a squattie potty bathroom on a moving train is a real challenge. We accomplished my main goal: Nobody fell in.

Once we arrived in Nanchang, I went to the ticket hall and purchased the next ticket to JiuJiang. On that train ride home, Schäfer crashed about 10pm. Sianna didn’t sleep a wink. Instead, she “talked” to all our neighbors with her loud “Ahhh! Ahhh!” Yes, Sianna is very loud. The other passengers on the train even commented on how loud she is.

We arrived in JiuJiang just after midnight. Schäfer was dead asleep and I could barely get him off the train. Sianna was tucked in the Ergo. I had one hand carrying our bag while the other hand was trying to convince a three-year-old zombie to walk. Several kind men stopped and offered to carry Schäfer from the train all the way to the taxi, but he wanted me to carry him. Unfortunately, my arms were already full. (A stroller would not have helped in this situation because the train station has a lot of stairs.)

Eventually, Schäfer woke up enough to walk to the taxi while holding my hand. All the while, he moaned a very loud, exhausted type of sound. All of the train station employees looked at me in a most pitiful way and told me, “He’s tired! Go home! Put him in bed.” My thoughts exactly.

Normally, when we get to the taxi area, there are a bazillion taxi’s sitting around, but nobody will take us home using the meter. On this late night arrival, a taxi driver came up and asked where we were going. After giving him our address, he insisted that we get in and he offered to carry Schäfer, but Schäfer wasn’t willing. I asked if he would use the meter and he said yes.

Unfortunately, Schäfer fell back asleep in the taxi so it was equally as difficult to get him from the taxi to our apartment. Note to self: try not to travel alone after midnight with two kids.

The kids and I had a quiet Saturday and Sunday at home. We were all pretty wiped out from our travels. The kids easily went down for afternoon naps. Normally, while Hubs is out of town, I love to stay up late and work on projects. This time, however, I found myself in bed asleep each night by 8:30pm.

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