While this trip is intended to be a break from our real world, Sandeep is still working. Although not full time, he’s putting in 20 hours per week on average with Surya. That inevitably means that I am on kid duty a few hours each day. As hands on as I try to be as a parent, I struggle taking care of my two wild ones alone, and I wouldn’t even try to do so around and about Chiang Mai. For starters, it takes two adults to keep their four limbs inside a tuk tuk.
We asked our concierge about babysitting the day after we arrived. No response. We asked again. They were trying, they said. We waited a couple of days and asked again. Still nothing. When I pressed more I realized that there were babysitters, but no one they knew that spoke English.
At this point, I was tired of entertaining the kids in the apartment and decided I’d try the babysitter, even if she didn’t speak the same language.
When she arrived, I asked “What is your name?” She looked at me and apologetically shook her head. She really doesn’t speak ANY English. Somehow, with elaborate hand gestures, we manage to get through the days. Ava at first thought it was funny that an adult didn’t speak any English. Kayan didn’t seem to know the difference. She’s a pretty lady and that seems to be enough for him.
Kids are more adaptable and less judgmental than adults. When I watch Ava and Kayan with Pang (I finally figured out her name her third day with us), it doesn’t seem odd that she’s chatting away in Thai and they are responding in English.
Together, Ava, Kayan, Pang and I have been exploring Chiang Mai while Sandeep works. Somehow I trust her enough to leave the kids in her care while I do some shopping or take a solitary walk. And the kids have already grown fond of her and look forward to our mini-adventures around the city.