What I mean to say, is that this is my first vacation with my son and we spent eleven hours in the car. I am currently sitting in a Disney Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I am drinking enough scotch to properly ensure I will soon be forgetting all about sitting in the back of my truck with my kid watching Bubble Guppies for an entire day.
I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from my son, my husband, or myself from this trip. I have the world’s smallest bladder, my husband has the world’s shortest patience with other driver’s, and my son….he’s a straight-up delight and anyone who says otherwise is a filthy liar.
My cool kid.
Every vacation starts out with a plan, right? Our plan was an easy one. Wake up at 3:30am, transfer my peacefully sleeping angel from his crib to his car seat, be on the road by 4:30am. Completely miss Washington, DC rush hour traffic and cruise on into our resort a comfy 9 hours later.
It’s like I can hear the collective laughter of you all coming at me through my laptop. THANKS.
So, let’s talk reality and not what I dreamed would happen.
First, my plan to be in bed by 9pm did not come to fruition. I was in bed and asleep by 11:30pm, which all things considered, wasn’t terrible. I was still feeling positive about this trip. Until roughly 12:47am.
What happened at 12:47am? Well, friends, my kid who is seriously an amazing sleeper (at least 11 hours every single night without fail #BRAGGING) woke up whimpering and with snot pouring out of his nose. This is when I learned a lesson every experienced parent on the planet is aware of, kids will always get sick right before vacation.
Now, lucky for all of us, he isn’t SICK-SICK, he is having some vicious allergy issues though. So, allergy meds applied and a lot of snuggles with Daddy later, it was now 1am and we have to be up in two hours. But that’s OK. He’s OK, we’re OK.
Until we slept through our alarms. But we were still OK!
We got through the Mixing Bowl in Virginia before traffic hit (if you don’t know what the Mixing Bowl is, YOU’RE LUCKY). Things were looking up. Then my son woke up and I realized there are a few things to consider when traveling with a toddler.
Is This Necessary?
You do sometimes have to ask yourself if it’s *really* that important to go away on vacation. As I looked at my son’s frustrated and frankly pissed off face, I asked myself if going away on vacation is really THAT important for good mental health.
How Much Do You Value Your Mental Health?
I am not a perfect parent. I won’t even pretend to be. That’s why when I found out we would be going on vacation I immediately downloaded my son’s favorite TV shows. Bubble Guppies, all the Story Bots episodes Netflix has to offer, Pete The Cat, Little Big Awesome, Dave and Ava, and Super Simple Songs. Was spending the day watching annoying kids cartoons fun? No. But, it made him tolerate the ride down the East Coast, so I call it a win.
If you don’t care about getting catchy children’s songs stuck in your head, I suggest you download enough programming to last a week.
At the end of the day, my kid won’t remember this vacation but I will. He won’t know that I spent all day wiping his nose because it was running so badly. He won’t remember the nine-hour car trip that took eleven. He won’t know that I used his favorite shark stuffie to prop his face up while he slept. He won’t even remember how excited his grandparents are to be able to spend so much time with him.
But that’s OK. I’ll remind him of this trip when he has a toddler and decides to take a nine-hour car ride with them.
Have you ever taken a vacation with a toddler? Did you survive? Asking for a friend.
We’re in Hilton Head, give me some ideas to keep this kid entertained!