No, not THOSE travel plans (you know where we go to Vietnam), but plans related to them. For a while we have been wondering about the arrangements we would need to make for the five children we were leaving at home. Very close friends of ours offered to watch them. (In fact we had taken care of their children while they were in China last month.) But, that would give them 10 children, 14 and under, with one of those children recently home from China. In order to make room for the 5 extras, some common space would have been needed to be used for sleeping space. I know they were genuine in thier offer, but we somehow felt those of us in Vietnam with the grieving toddler and traumatized 5 year old would be having the better time.
But, we a have a solution. I wish I could take credit for the brilliance of it, but the credit has to go to the above-mentioned friend. So, the answer to our child care conundrum is that we will be taking M and B to Vietnam as well as TM. This solves our problem in multiple ways. First, it lessens the number of children requiring care. Three children will fit in our friends' home much easier than five. It could possibly lessen the trauma that TM will experience, and having a big brother and sister along will at least be distracting. We will have two pairs of extra hands for carrying, entertaining, and various other sherpa-like duties. M and B are old enough (14 and 12) to remember the trip. They are both excellent travellers and both are adventurous eaters. Plus, they are both excellent company and can be very entertaining. M, exhibiting her oldest daughter traits, has already started planning, down to details such as what will be going on the IPod.
There are only two negatives to the whole plan. The first is that it will obviously cost more money. But, hey, at this point it's only money, right? The other downside is that we can't take everyone. A in particular is feeling that life isn't very fair right now. But, she's only 9 and she's got time for other trips in the future. (Still, it was very sad to have her break down sobbing when she heard the news.)
I'm feeling much more at peace about travelling since we made this decision. Having come to this point I can say I'm ready...really, really ready...to get that call that we have provincial approval.