We're going on a trip
In our little "rocket ship"
Ethan and Daddy, Ethan and Daddy
We're gonna have so much fun
Father and son
Ethan and Daddy, Ethan and Daddy
So goes the theme song of Ethan's favourite TV show, the very musical "Little Einstein" but these are of course our own words... This is our first Father and Son trip! I have been thinking about an overnight trip with just Ethan and me for a long time, and finally thought it was doable when Ethan just turned 3. He is easier to manage and put to bed, well behaved with Daddy, and of course loves spending time with his favourite Dad as well as anything to do with little black Subaru R1.
So I planned it, booked one night at nearby Thistle Hotel, Johor Bahru and started getting Ethan excited about this special trip with Daddy. "It's only us boys going!" I told him with great fanfare. He got the picture, "No Talia!" he roared with pleasure that temporarily overshadowed his love for baby sis.
After stuffing him with as much lunch as I could manage without being accused of treating him like foie gras, I bundled him in the car and prayed fervently that he would go to sleep. As you can see, he gets a fantastic view of the road even in the back seat of the R1 cos the front seat folds all the way down and acts as his foot rest and table! It's business class all the way if you're a toddler in a Subaru R1!
Finally, sleep happened after 15 minutes of crawling along the highway, and I took some detours to make sure he slept some more before we hit the causeway. True enough, he woke up at immigration but he was happy enough and we made it through after a long traffic jam on the Malaysian side.
The hotel is very near the causeway and we were there in a jiffy. They upgraded us for free to the seav/pool view room which is really quite nice. You can see our fantastic view of the pool from the 10th floor and the lovely bathroom with a huge window into the bedroom area.
After a quick rest and admiring our room, we got changed and packed our things for a swim. It's amazing how many things there are to pack for little 3 year old! We had a great time at the poolside where fluffy towels, brand new deck chairs and umbrellas awaited us.
After a roaring good time, replete with squeals, yells of laughter, insistence on "I swim alone Daddy," yelps of "I'm scared Daddy," and precious "Daddy's so much fun, I love you Daddy," we ordered some food and dried off. Great little chicken fillets coated with sesame seeds on a stick were served with various sauces on a beautifully presented tray. The fresh-cut-off-the-potato french fries were the best and all in was reasonably priced and a great hit!
It was mid-afternoon, the sun was disappearing behind clouds and it was getting cold. So went back to the room, showered off, watched TV and played with the best toy... the room itself. Yes, when Ethan is in a new place he loves to check out every switch, hinge, and fiddly thing he can find. His favourite was the walk-in closet cos it had automatic lights that turned on when you opened the doors and it had 4 doors and you could go in one and out the other.
I thought all was dandy and I could laze until dinner until the dreaded words came, "Daddy, I want to go home!" Yikes!! I bundled him up with promises of going out and having more fun. We scouted the hotel for more activies, but the only thing for kids is the pool. Since Ethan wanted to drive we loaded up the car with GPS and went driving. After Ethan "drove" for 5 minutes (on Daddy's lap in stationary car of course) we went for a car wash!
Ethan loves washing the car with me. In fact he wanted to wash it this time too. I tried to explain that we were actually paying someone to wash it for us this time. I don't think the weird concept got through to him. After all, why would you pay someone to wash and vacuum your car (even if only costs 8 RM) when it is the most fun thing in the world to do with your daddy?
I don't have pictures of what happened after that cos it was too stressful! Dinner was a total failure and almost derailed the whole trip! Being totally unfamiliar with Johor, I was heading towards "Claypot Chicken Rice" on my Garmin GPS but it was nowhere to be found. So rather than heading back to the hotel for pizza, I picked a simple place. Unfortunately we sat down and they ran out of this and that, and what we ordered was really not to his liking. He's normally not a fussy eater but he's used to good tasty food of many varieties and none of these fit the bill. You could see the dissatisfaction written on his face as he nibbled on the noodles and only had a few mouthfuls of soup. Then it came again, "Daddy I want to go home!" I may be a grown man, but I got a bit terrified...
We quickly finished what we could and I distracted him more activities as we walked around somemore and I hoped to find something tasty around the corner for him. Hooray! A bakery saved the day and we got a hot dog bun and sugar roll which made him happy. Once the carbs and sugar got in him he was a happy camper again.
As we drove off he very helpfully repeated all the GPS voice prompts and gave me clear instructions. "Daddy, your phone says turn left. Can you turn left okay?" We neared the hotel and I pointed it out to him. "Ethan that's our hotel. A hotel is our new home for just 1 night and tonight is boys only." A grin spread on his face, "Can I sleep with you in the hotel daddy? Can I sleep with you in your bed?" Hooray, the day was on its way to being saved...
Here is Ethan relaxing and enjoying himself after we got back to the room, finished off our bread and enjoyed music and a fun bath time with Daddy. After this came milk and story time and we were settling down to the difficult task of bedtime. I read one of his favourites, "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and then the most dreaded question of all erupted. "Daddy, where's Mummy?" What could I say? I tried explained that we're on holiday and Malaysia is far away and that they already charged my credit card for the room but he still wanted "home and Mummy!" We were only a few minutes away from tears which is the point of no return... I don't know what happened next exactly. It was a combination of more stories, insistence of boys only fun, prayer for HEEEELPP from God, and he calmed down. After lots of restfulness demanding all the different N! permutations of lights to be on/off (where N is the number of lights in your hotel room), he finally settled when I turned off all the lights and drew the curtains so it was pitch black.
He fingered around for my hands, head, and mouth and managed to stick his fingers up my nose but we laughed and quietened down. 10 minutes passed he was fast asleep, after which he turned over and wrapped his arms around me. We stayed like that for a long time while I thought of all the things I could write about today.
Night time went okay, and apart from being a little cold and coughs happening we made it through to morning and the long awaited breakfast. It was actually quite a nice breakfast but hard to enjoy when there's only one adult taking care of one toddler. Here he is enjoying sausages and chocolate milk!
After breakfast we went for another round of swimming which brought us to 10.40am. Since breakfast was just closing we managed to sneak in another round of prata and juice for free! One clean up and a big bubble bath later, we were happy and ready to go home...
This is our final picture taken in room just as we were all packed to go back in our little black "rocket ship". Thank you God, for helping me when it was really scary at times ! And thanks for giving us this special FIRST FATHER AND SON trip together!
After we arrived back home in Singapore later that night, Mummy put Ethan to bed. He told her, "I love my Daddy..." That makes it all worth it huh?