We just got back from a road trip in Australia, and yes, I will soon write all about it on my travel blog Hopscotch. Though this is Xena's fourth vacation (Perth at 8 months, USA at 17 months, Phuket at 20 months), this particular trip, at 2.5 years of age, is when she was truly involved and interested in what was happening around her. Over the two weeks that we travelled across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, her running commentary was on all the time and would cease only when she was asleep.
Here are some snippets:
Pre-road trip briefing for Xena:
Me - Xena will be a good girl?
Xena - Xena will be a good girl.
Me - Xena will not trouble anyone?
Xena - Xena will not trouble... everyone!
She was very excited to see the aeroplane from the waiting lounge before we boarded. Once we were inside the plane, she looked all around in utter surprise and exclaimed, "Aeroplane kahan gaya????"
We don't have a car so she was very excited about our rental car. She happily got into the carseat and declared, "This is Xena's carseat." Over time, she learnt to belt herself up and refused to let me do it anymore. She'd say, "Xena apne aap seat belt pehnegi!" and once she was done, she'd say, "Apne aap seat belt pehen liya!" Then she'd look around and say, "Hum log kahan ja rahe hain?"
When we were on the road, she was very curious about who the strange lady accompanying us in the car was, so I explained to her that it was the 'GPS Aunty'. She can't say 'G' yet and says 'D' instead, and the next time the Aunty spoke, Xena said what sounded exactly like "Depressed Aunty kya boli?"
Whenever she spotted Viv using only one hand to drive, she'd immediately chide him, "Both hands!"
Sometimes she'd get restless in the car and ask to be released. Then I'd tell her something like, "Brisbane jana hai na? Then you have to stay in the carseat." And without knowing where/what Brisbane was, she'd say, "Brisbane jana hai, abhi jana hai." and stay put.
Close to her naptime, she'd start to cry and then soothe herself saying, "Brisbane bolega - don't cry."
The first time she saw a kangaroo, it had a joey in its pouch. She said, "Can I touch the soft soft joey?"
She saw a duck busily eating at the Collingwood children's farm in Melbourne and asked me, "Can I disturb the duck?" Then she saw some horse poop and said, "Horse poop is just like Xena's poop!"
We were at a playground where bush turkeys were roaming freely. She was fascinated by it and said, "Momsie, look! Turkey ne yellow necklace pehna hai!"
Photo credit: Wiki commons
She also made me laugh hysterically by referring to the baby swings with the two holes on either side as "Diaper wala swing!" She made a friend there and they had a fun time digging the ground with sticks together. When some dirt flew from her stick on to the other kid's mom's shoes, I pointed it out to her. She looked very apologetic and said to the lady, "Aunty throw dirt on Xena's shoes!" The lady was very amused at this invitation for revenge.
She had a great time aboard the Puffing Billy train. Later, when she pointed to the steam coming out of the kettle I had put to boil and said, "Just like Puffing Billy!"
Viv was showing her the changing colours of the lights on the Story bridge in Brisbane and they kept saying, "Yellow ke baad red ho jaayega, red ke baad green ho jaayega, etc." The next day, when we were waiting to see sunset at the Mount Coot-tha lookout, she was curious what we were there for. So I showed her the sky and I said, "Abhi sun yellow hai, phir orange ho jayega, phir red ho jayega!" She retorted, "Red ke baad green ho jaayega!"
On the flight back, she heard the pilot's announcements and looked up in surprise. Then she asked me, "Uncle kahan hain?" I asked her the same thing back. She pointed to the overhead luggage compartment and confidently said, "Uncle iske andar hain."
There was a baby crying on board and to distract her from messing with her seat belt, I asked her, "Can you hear the baby crying?" She put her hand behind her ear, listened intently and with a distressed look, asked me, "Uski mummy kahan gayi????"
When the stewardesses started serving the food, she pointed to them and said, "Soooo many aunties bringing khana!"
She got bored after a while and said, "Aeroplane mein nahin baithna hai. Baahar jana hai." Ummmm. I told her we couldn't get out in mid-air and had to wait till the plane stopped. When our flight landed, she immediately said, "Apna stop aaaaa gaya!"
When our flight landed, we unbuckled and stood up. The aisles were full so we couldn't get out. She looked around at the people and loudly declared in their faces, "It's too crowded."
As we were leaving the plane, the stewardesses waved to her. She said bye to some and was too shy towards others. When we were out, she suddenly said, "Oh no! Woh wali Aunty ko bye nahin bola!"
She is still talking non-stop about the trip, and I'm trying to capture her version of the events on video.
Here she is, describing how cold Melbourne was:
And this is what happens when a toddler adds bits of her imagination when recounting her vacation. Apparently the Philip Island penguins board a boat, do a jungli dance and sing, "Row, row, row your boat." :)