Since I am not a huge fan of my current city of residence (notice that I do not want to call it "home") and that I am not going back to work this year, I decided to take an extended trip back west to visit our family and friends. This means Sacha and I would be solo for over 2 weeks before my husband would arrive. I have traveled alone with Sacha before when he was a scant 12 weeks old. This, however, has been a whole different ball game.
Things I have learned about traveling and holidaying with a 1 year old:
- Most people do not employ child-proofing measures in their home, giving Sacha free reign to play with bottles of alcohol (empty and full), glass figurines, pretty plasma HDTV screens, electrical outlets, scissors, pens, razors, needles, and other devices of baby torture and instruments of parental neglect.
- The lay person does not understand the the Werewolf Effect: Although I would LOVE to go out for dinner/movies/drinks/evening hutspas with you, I really can't because Sacha will turn into a total werewolf and possibly begin devouring any and all persons who attempt to make him laugh, smile, or even just placate his ferocious evening ways. I am sorry, but if you want to visit, you'll have to do it in the daytime. When we aren't at risk of being eaten alive.
- Car rides should cease and desist after the Witching Hour of 5:00 pm, when the Werewolf Effect starts kicking in. If not, rabid biting and snarling are sure to follow. You have been warned.
- I can Mom-my-Ride a pristine rental car in under 60 seconds.
- Contrary to many posts I have read, flying with Sacha has been relatively easy, thanks to the very patient passengers on board Air Canada's flights. This is not to say that Sacha doesn't get grumpy and jerkish. Only that the others on board seem to empathize with me rather than try and slip my child a sedative in his sippy cup or make snarky remarks about my jerk of a kid. Only I may do that.
- One should not expect a toddler's sleep to be hunky-dory when changing sleep arrangements on a weekly basis. Although I am extremely annoyed that he has resumed multiple night wakings and resisting falling asleep without me in the room, I must remember that the surroundings are all new to him, and he must be shitting himself to be in a strange place, strange bed, with strange smells and sounds. Ok, so maybe he still shits himself anyway, but it must be terrifying to be so little and feel so alone at night.
- I should really try and remember the previous point whenever I just want to shake him silly in the night for crying so damn much. (Not that I ever would, so please don't call social services on me.)
- There is not much point to packing toys to play with when pots, utensils, tupperware, and cell phones will do the trick. Save yourself some luggage space.
- If possible, staying with friends or family that also have young kids is your best option: playmate, kidproof house, and ADULT CONVERSATION for the mamas makes for excellent days and evenings.
- Alcohol adds to the enjoyment of the above point.
- Starbucks is a mother's best friend. Having one within a 5 minute drive is even better. If you're really lucky, the little dude will fall asleep on the way there. Excellent...