Jet Lag and Your Two Year Old

Its Wednesday morning in hot and steamy Abu Dhabi. I have to stop and think about what day it is — with the 11 hour time difference (from Arizona, 8 hours ahead from Eastern time), it feels like we essentially lost a day during our travel. Of course, the day wasn’t really lost, but it feels that way. The work week here in the UAE is Sunday through Thursday so when we arrived at noon on Monday, the work week was already in full swing. It also means that Tony’s orientation is scheduled Tuesday-Thursday and off Friday for the start of the weekend.

Last night after Tony returned from work, we were all struggling badly with jet lag. We all ended up giving in to a nap by late afternoon. Because we needed to get some additional food essentials for our picky eater child, we decided to head out to the mall once we were awake. Grocery stores are housed in malls here — sounds weird, but its actually fairly efficient.

First item on the pick-up list was an outlet converter — the hotels we stayed at in Dubai and Abu Dhabi last spring all had converters built in so we were expecting similar here, but only one outlet has the converter. We decided to get dinner at the mall and after passing several fast food restaurants that reminded us of home (Wendy’s! McDonalds! KFC! Pizza Hut) we settled on TGIFridays. After dinner, we hit the supermarket where I was quickly reminded why I always went to the same store at home for weekly grocery trips — I hate not knowing a store’s layout! Thanks to those who came before us and warned us to have produce weighed in the produce department before heading to the register to check out.

Last night was a rough one. I was hoping that Matteo would be able to sleep well after our busy afternoon/evening at the mall, and while he fell asleep quickly, he woke at midnight and never went back to sleep. Tony had to leave at 7:30 this morning for his ride to a local university for more orientation/training, so we all went to breakfast together before he left for the day. Now it’s just me and Matteo in a standard sized (but very nice!) hotel room for the rest of the day. I’ve already broken out a new jar of play doh and a fresh pack of stickers — and its not even 9 AM yet! This does not bode well.

I think the biggest struggle for me right now is rest — I am just not a nice person if I am not well rested. I knew that the 11 hour time difference would be difficult for all of us, particularly Matteo. I also realize that we’ve only had 2 overnights here; reasonably, I should expect it to take at least a week or so for some sort of schedule/routine to emerge, but still. I’m tired. I want to avoid another night like last night but I know that neither Matteo nor I can go all day without some nap/rest. I’m also trying to do my best to make sure Tony, the only one who actually has to get up and go to work, gets the rest he needs to do well at his job.

So the plan is to spend some of this morning googling “minimize jet lag toddler” and then give in and take a nap when my eyes just can’t stay awake another moment. Hoping to know more about placement when Tony gets back this afternoon, so that we can potentially start the house hunting process this weekend.

Until next time…

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