Saturday, May 5, 2018

Princess Easy Pleasy!!!

We are in Bhutan.... the land of Gross National Happiness for our summer family vacation!! “Family vacation” is more like a business trip for parents with lists and inventories made out for all kinds of contingencies and emergencies that one might face while travelling with kids! Sometimes it feels like all you do is run around managing your kids’ needs, moods and tantrums that it hardly feels like a vacation at all!!!! That said, it would also be difficult to leave them behind  and enjoy the vacation sans kids.....especially when you get on the plane and   served your children's favorite pasta, or drive through your son's dream view of snow capped mountains, or try your hand at a local sport that your son would sure love, or try out the local costume that you bet would look perfect on your daughter, or taste the local flavors of ice can you possibly enjoy without your kids!!! Isn't it?

The biggest challenge during any travel with kids is of course food ...and  finding the kind of food that appeals to our kids palate always keeps one on tenter-hooks!!! In keeping with our family travel tradition that began during our travels with Abhay, we’ve continued to pack our travel size rice cooker, albeit as a back up as our little one is more open about experimenting with different cuisines (touchwood!) when compared to our older one who had an appetite only for “curd rice”!!!! 
But believe me, the back up plan during the first couple of days always ends up being upgraded into the mainstay during the final days of our travel...and for all you realise.... it’s not only the little one who is craving for some Anna-Sambhar!!! 😊

As a prelude to our travel, I had picked up a wonderful book that highlights this exact plight of parents planning a travel with their young kids. A surprise find .. really.. but we’ve latched on to Princess Easy Pleasy ...ever since I chanced upon this book at Kutoohala that I later managed to save during its closure sale. So much so... that inspired from the original story, we’ve also tried to spin off a few other anecdotes in Princess Easy Pleasy style...just to keep our little princess from being displeased!!!!   
Princess Easy Pleasy” a Karadi tales publication by Natasha Sharma and pictures by Priya Kuriyan revolves around a sprightly and a stubborn little princess who does not find anything up to her expectations as she travels with her parents, the king and queen, to various countries from Hong Kong to China to Singapore to Cambodia to Thailand to Srilanka (considering their choice of destinations... I wonder why they didn’t travel to Bhutan!) In each country,  she seems to have a problem with the milk served, or the vegetables cooked, or the mattress laid out, or the pets around or even the elephant brought in for a ride, having  her parents pander to her almost impossible tastes, finding a scapegoat in the royal packer who’s ordered to add to the packing list, each time the princess throws a fit!!! So in their effort to appease the not-so-easily-pleased princess, the ever expanding list includes a cow, their own chef and their own vegetables and so on and so forth... until things go horribly wrong when the exhausted royal packer quits and all travel plans cancelled by her equally  exhausted parents!!! As the bored princess pleads with her mom to change her mind, her mom yields, however “on one condition” ( and we love this part !) and we all know what it might be... don’t we?? A hilarious take on what is common travel woe of most parents!! In fact, this book provides a great parenting tool too... as the  “on one condition” strategy has come to our aid as we try to get our terrible twos toddler to toe our line!!! 

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