Sunday, December 26, 2010

Istanbul (day 2)

Stebbs was right.

Packed in the back of a taxi cab somewhere in Istanbul with my youngest son throwing a fit beyond anything I've even observed as an outsider, Stebbs said that sometimes you get to a point where you either have to laugh or cry. "They really are the same emotion. They just come out in different ways."

At the moment I wasn't sure I agreed with Stebbs. Laugh? I think not. We had taken a beautiful boat toar of the Bosphorous that morning followed by a cable car ride down a beautiful hillside. While Elijah had done well on the boat ride, sometime on the bus ride between the boat and the cable car, he lost his mind. We think it was fatigue. And heat. And being squished. (Kids are free for everything in Turkey if they do not take up a seat but this often means big ol' Elijah sitting in a less than ideal spot on our lap.) He had sobbed. Thrown his body around. Screamed. Yelled. Begged. JB and I were completely at our witts end. Each of our travel companions had taken a stab at calming Elijah to no degree. We think he was just so over-tired (which is our fault) that he had moved beyond the ability to reason.

I felt like crying. In fact, I think I teared up on a few occasions. I was incredibly hungry and not feeling well myself. Eljiah wanted nothing to do with JB, and while I wasn't fairing much better, it was a slight improvement with him on my lap over his Daddy's. I tried letting Elijah stick stickers all over my arms and face. I tried singing. I tried lollipops. I tried pacifiers. I tried games and stories. Nothing worked.

But laugh? No Sarah. I don't feel like laughing.

And then we got into McDonalds, and JB put Elijah into a corner to sit down. He wouldn't sit on any of our laps. His pacifier didn't help. Toys didn't help. Food (which always helps him) didn't help. So he gave up and told Elijah he'd just have to sit in a corner next to JB until he calmed down.

And calm down he did. He fell asleep sitting up. The poor little guy. He wouldn't let us touch him. When his head jerked forward, and he woke up, he got mad at JB for trying to fix it for him. He wanted nothing to do with any of us. He just wanted to be by himself and sleep.

And as he nodded off, I found myself starting to ... well ... laugh.

Stebbs was right. Sometimes the way you are feeling can only come out in one of two ways. And when it isn't crying, it's laughing. Which feels much better in the long run even though you are laughing at your own child in a most unfortunate situation.

Christmas Eve in McDonalds in Istanbul trying to communicate that you want nuggets of the chicken variety not a sandwhich of the same meat with your son sleeping sitting up in the corner.

Gotta love an adventure don't you?



AW said...

Oh Elijah! I too have had days like this. In fact, yesterday this could have been me. Bless you, sweet boy.

Wen, just love this.

Ryan and Sarah said...

You should begin every post the way you began this one-"Stebbs was right." Just a good motto for life, don't you think? Hee hee. BTW-I giggle every time I see this picture-what a precious, precious boy.

Joy Z said...

That is just priceless!