Sunday, October 11, 2009
Vacation is an interesting experience with children. Travel is often long and tedious and it takes all my reserves to keep the kids happy and occupied. Food is different which can mean minimal eating. Holiday accommodations don't have all the comforts or kid paraphernalia of home. Everything is an adjustment. I don't know about you but in our family, change and kids doesn't always go together well.
On the flip side - new things and new places are often exciting and interesting. Vacation is usually filled with treats - like daily ice cream. The six year old has thrived. Besides the ice cream - she has Grandad for constant entertainment. We have walked around a treetop walkway which made us feel like squirrels. We saw Grizzly bears on the top of a mountain. Beluga whales and their babies at the aquarium. We have bought treasures with our holiday spending money. It's just one fun thing after another.
Then there's the baby.
She has missed her naps, slept in a travel crib, spent far too many hours in her car seat or stroller. I have been feeling guilty. She has to go along with whatever we decide to do. Her routine is completely disrupted and her favorite foods are not in the markets here.
She has remained her usual cheerful, jolly self but I can see the effort involved.
Last night we went out for dinner. It was already her bedtime when we sat down at our table. I had brought food for her so she ate while we ordered and waited for our food.
Inevitably by the time our food came she was ready to go.
To add insult to injury the six years old's food arrived in a fabulous paper pirate ship. In a slot on the deck was a gold piece of eight - foil covered chocolate. The six year old was delighted.
The baby reached for it. At first I thought she wanted the food. I retrieved her a few bites. She tossed them on the floor. Then she started to get VERY cranky. My dinner started to get cold. I tried everything - songs, crayons, a book I had stashed in my bag. Each lasted less than a minute before she got cranky again.
Then I had the light-bulb moment. I asked the waitress for a paper ship for the baby.
She sweetly agreed.
It is a moment imprinted on my brain and heart. As the ship was placed before the baby she raised her arms above her head in victory and shouted a victorious cry. She was completely delighted. She put things in and out of it for 20 mins while we ate.
I need to remember - she wants everything her sister wants. Of course she does. Her age is irrelevant. She wants to try, do and eat in unison. She does not see limitation. As long as I do everything in duplicate, change might not be so difficult after all.