BootsnAll Travel Network

she might only be two…

by Mama
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

…but the opportunity to travel is not being “wasted” on her.
One thing that has surprised us about our youngest is her recognition of details. After even only one time visiting a place, she will tell us about it the next time we are about to pass. “Here comes uncle’s house,” she would declare when we were still a few metres up the road in Malaysia. At first we thought it was a fluke, but she kept doing it no matter which street we approached from, so we awarded her genius status! It happened far too often to be coincidence 😉
She can spot “our” tuktuk driver (the one who has taken us somewhere before) before anyone else even notices him waiting out on the street.
She picks out the stall we frequent from a row of near-identical ones….whether it’s the sandwich lady in Laos or the pineapple lady in Phnom Penh or the BBQ black chicken man to avoid in Bangkok.
And it’s not just our guesthouses and regular eating establishments and markets… day I walked with her to the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh, passing a three storey white building across a smelly canal, out of which were pouring navy blue and white uniformed children. A few days later we returned with the rest of the family, and as we entered the lane by the canal, she informed whoever was listening, “There’s a school up here.”
Told you she’s a bright cookie! She obviously takes in more than we would ever have given her credit for.

That is not to say she benefits from each experience in the same way the older ones might. But, along with Tgirl4 and Mboy6, she has enjoyed some of the most magnificent sandpits in the world, including Angkor Wat, and some of the more dreadful as well, like the Killing Fields – and that is totally appropriate!

Travelling with a two year old is good for the rest of us too. It forces us to slow down. Returning to the guesthouse each afternoon for little person naps provides us with time to reflect on the day’s events, record musings in our journals and update the blog, keeping us in touch with family and friends. Needing to be back at a not-too-unreasonable hour most evenings means we have even more unoccupied time, ensuring we don’t get overloaded with too many other-world new experiences every day. No doubt this is particularly important for long-term travellers – there is only so much you can take in and process day after day after day. Certainly, when our friends were travelling with us we packed more in to each day, and when we had family arranging our time they tried to show us *everything*, but that pace is unsustainable over the long haul. Whenever we forget it, the two year old reminds us – so we’ll keep her on for that reason alone. Plus she’s cute.

BTW, Playdoh might not seem like the best travelling-substance, but our Bangkok-purchase has been fantastic – our one small tub has been shared out amongst four or five children at one time – children who have never played with it before have spent hours together with our little ones making up all sorts of games I didn’t understand! It’s been turned into roti and noodle soup and a camera and bird flu chickens that no-one is allowed to touch….while the bigger kids process their experiences through their journals, the little ones *play* their way along.

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3 responses to “she might only be two…”

  1. grandpabear says:

    Got to agree – she is a real cutie – but how go the ‘hissy-fits’? I suppose a genius is allowed to be temperamental!
    Good to hear you guys are slowing down a bit – it won’t be long before I have to try and keep up with you. (ever heard of a sheet-anchor? That’s me folks)

  2. Sharonnz says:

    Awwww….waves to Miss E-R from afar. A LOT is going in through those deep, deep eyes! As for Grandpa slowing you down? I can’t imagine that for a moment!

  3. nova says:

    i can *still* picture places i went when i was 3.5, so phooey to anyone who even suggests that it might be ‘wasted’ on her! and even if she doesn’t retain all the specifics, the *lessons* will stay with her for an age! 😀

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