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Chimpanzee on Benadryl

(I think this photo is so cute of a chimpanzee going into outer space. Thanks Nasa)

So, for the flight over from Los Angeles to Zurich, with a stop in New York, Brad and I knew that Chloe was going to be our biggest challenge of the trip. Here are some tips on traveling with children just fyi.
   

At two years old, she has the attention span of a gnat and the energy of a chimpanzee.
   

We had heard that Benadryl is great for knocking kids out. Someone recommended that we test it, since it can also occasionally have the opposite effect, but we didn’t get around to that. We figured we’d fall into the general populace part of the statistics.
   

Yeah, that was a mistake. We fell into the .02 percent of the statistics in which the child given Benadryl does not approach a REM cycle or anything resembling one, and instead is wide awake. For hours. And hours.
   

Remember, we’re on a plane on a transatlantic flight. In coach, of course.
   

For eight hours . . . or was it 18 . . . or 318 . . . we played little games ad nauseum. Read the same five books twenty five times. Ate bizillions of packets of Saltines. Took multiple trips up and down the aisles following Chloe, who alternately stared and cried at other passengers. The boredom was epic, if I can just say it.
   

Half an hour before we landed in Zurich, Chloe fell asleep. And then . . . and then . . . there was nothing in the universe that could have awakened that child. She was out cold.
   

She slept while we gathered our bags and books and empty Saltine packets and Jake (who had fallen asleep on cue, thanks to the Benadryl). She slept while we staggered through Customs and down to Baggage Claim. She slept when we put her in the carseat and set it on the buggy.
   

She slept through the noisy welcome by our hosts, a Swiss couple who came to meet us and take us to our new home. She slept through the ride from the airport 40 minutes to the little medieval town that would be our new stomping grounds.
   

She slept in the middle of the sparsely-furnished living room, in her car seat, while we brought our luggage upstairs and said goodbye to our hosts. She slept for the rest of the afternoon.
   

She woke up at dinner time: stiff, confused, disoriented, and grumpy.
   

Oh.my.gosh. By that time, I was EXHAUSTED. I had managed to stay up for the day, knowing that the best thing to do for jet lag is to stay up until it’s actually bedtime. Which meant that by bedtime, I had been awake for about 24 hours.
   

It was the same for Brad. Neither of us had slept much at all on the plane trip over.
   

We were both running on fumes.
   

So there we were with Chloe, who had refused to go to sleep the whole plane trip, then refused to wake up that whole first day in Switzerland, and was now wide awake. Again!
Lord!

I can’t really tell you how me made it through that first night. Pleasant it was not. At least we could lock the doors and Chloe could move around while we tag-teamed watching her and trying to stay awake. Thank God that first night is over!