I’m going “home” to NJ for the first time in 6 months. I am so excited and cannot wait to be there. But the actual getting there part? I’m scared out of my mind.
Always on the run.
I’m flying alone with a toddler who won’t sit still. And this is the exact reason why I haven’t been home in 6 months – my longest hiatus ever. The last time I flew alone with Wyatt, he was 11 months old and not walking. It was a pretty miserable experience, and it would have been way worse if the older gentleman sitting next to me wasn’t so understanding.
I’m 100% sure he’ll be screaming and twisting to get out of his stroller the minute we get in line for security. I have no idea how I’ll keep him happy while waiting for the plane or how I’ll keep him still and quiet on the plane.
So, parents, I need your tips! I’m following my rules for traveling with a baby, but I have a feeling that flying alone with a toddler is much trickier.
I already bought new toys (including this magnetic doodler since he doesn’t get coloring with crayons yet) and booked the earliest flight out in hopes that he’ll be tired and fall asleep. But waking him up at 5:00 a.m. isn’t too far off his normal wake-up time, so I’m not sure that trick will work.
I don’t have an Ipad and I’m not talented enough to use my laptop with Wyatt on my lap, but are there certain apps I should get for my Iphone? Are there any (egg, zucchini, carrot, and soy-free) snacks that take a long time to eat that would keep him busy? What’s the secret to getting a very active toddler to sit still on mom’s lap for two hours? Please share!
Jumping out of mommy’s arms is so much fun.
I’ll let you all know how the trip goes. I’m reminding myself that most people are parents and most people will empathize with me and not hate me, but I still send my apologies to all of the other passengers in advance!
One of my mommy friends posted this in our Facebook group the other day. Go read it. It’s a pretty awesome post.
Basically, the author spins around the whole “just wait” warning we moms hear way too much.
When Wyatt was young and constantly screaming, I remember telling people “I can’t wait until he can crawl or walk. I feel like he’ll be so much happier.” And others would tell me “oh just wait, you do not want him to do that. It gets so much harder once they move.”
Well, now that he can run around he is much, much happier. As am I. He gets into everything, but I’d rather have a happy Hurricane Wyatt than crankopotomus Wyatt.
I can relate to what the blogger wrote. Motherhood really does get better – and honestly easier, too -- with each passing day. Wyatt hasn’t reached any of those milestones that she mentioned, but there’s been a handful of surreal moments that have occurred over these past 16 months. Some of these moments are ones I would daydream about and prayed that I’d be able to do with my child someday. Such as:
1. Wyatt’s first trips to Disney World. He’s been twice so far and so many people told us he was way too young to go. The first time – at 9 months – he screamed and cried when he saw the characters and it kind of broke my heart. But he enjoyed a lot of the other activities – like splashing in the pool and water play area at the Polynesian.
Then when we went during marathon weekend – at 13 months – he realized they were giant stuffed animals and squealed, hugged, and kissed them. It was seriously so awesome.
2. Our runs together. I really want Wyatt to find something healthy that he is passionate about. While I’d never force him to run, it would be pretty cool if he ends up liking running and we could race together. Obviously, he’s still too young for that. But seeing the joy he gets out of running is just so heartwarming. He loves being chased and he gets the biggest grin on his face when I cheer “go Wyatt go”! I hope he always feels that way about the sport.
3. Hugging. I know this sounds pretty boring, but getting hugs from my little man never gets old. Sometimes he runs over and hugs me for no clear reason. Or if nap time is approaching, he lays on the couch or ground and I say “night night” and he pops up, runs into my lap, and gives me the biggest hug and snuggles. I love it.
I can’t wait to experience all of the other wonderful moments that lay ahead. <3
It was a pretty long time ago -- 15 months! -- when I first shared Wyatt's nighttime woes. My little guy was not a good sleeper for a long time.
Now? He goes down so easily at night. It’s incredible that he’s the same child from back then. Even sitters comment on how easy it is to get Wyatt to bed.
I take zero credit for this. I've come to this point in motherhood where I've realized that none of Wyatt's challenges in the beginning were my fault. Which also means I'm not going to take credit for any of his successes. Sure you can do things to encourage good habits, but babies and toddlers have minds of their own.
We’ve been doing the same bedtime routine since Wyatt was about a month old. I used to dread it. Now it’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
I'm not sharing Wyatt's nighttime routine to brag or tell you what to do -- but rather for my own selfish reasons. I want to remember what this time is like. A time I never thought would come. I used to sit in the glider nursing him and praying that when I put him down that 1) he wouldn’t cry and 2) I’d have enough time to "cook" and eat dinner, clean up, and do laundry before he woke up for the first time.
It's 6:45. I know we should start bath but, as always, Wyatt wants to keep reading books. He jumps out of my lap and runs towards his dresser. He looks up to the shelf, points, and says "buh buh buh" over and over until I pull another book down. I sit on the floor and he dives into my lap for another story. Eagerly turning the pages and pointing out all of the "stas, daws, duhs, buhs, and birs" (that would be stars, dogs, ducks, bunnies, and birds).
Bath has to happen soon, but I keep reading. How can a mother ever feel good about cutting story time short? I love that he's so into books.
After another few minutes, I ask Wyatt if he'd like a bath. He hops up, runs to the bathroom, and bangs on the door until I open it. Inside, he looks and points up to the sink and cries "tchee tchee tchee" (that's teeth). I put toothpaste on his toothbrush and give it to him. My big boy insists on "brushing" -- it's more like sucking on the toothbrush -- his own teeth.
I turn on the bath water, he helps me toss his "friends" into the tub, and I lay his towel down on the bathroom mat.
With his toothbrush in his mouth, Wyatt lays down on the towel, I say "night night" to him, and he cracks up. He continues standing then laying down and brushing while the tub fills up with water.
I strip him, ask for his toothbrush, and place him into the tub while the water is still running. He scoots over to the faucet and tries to catch the water. Bath time is no longer a time for screaming. It's a time to play basketball, lay down on his belly and kick, and give toys to mommy. Sometimes it's fun to point out mommy's nose and ears and grab her tongue.
When he's had enough he says "all done" and puts his hand on the drain. He helps me say "bye-bye" to his friends as we place them in their bin until tomorrow. I give him his toothbrush back, dry him, and sing to him.
Then we make our way into his room. I lay him down on the floor and we play peek-a-boo with the towel. I put a diaper on him and start baby massage while he lays perfectly still. He always asks for the moisturizer tube, puts it in his mouth, and then tries to put it in my mouth. I start singing and he smiles and shakes his head in rhythm.
I tell him it's time to get in his pjs. As I zip them up, he kicks his feet up to see if there are any animals on them. His favorite pajamas are his reindeer ones. It's April and, yes, his Christmas pjs still fit.
I say it’s time for night-night and ask him if he wants to nurse. He says “niy niy”, I pick him up, turn on the fan, and head to the glider.
Nursing starts out like every other session of the day. His foot in my mouth and fingers somewhere on my face. But then he relaxes, and I lay back too. Sometimes if I get too comfortable and stop looking at him, he waves to me. I wave back and he giggles. (If I'm not home, this is the only time of day he'll take a bottle or sippy cup of milk from a sitter or daddy.)
When he's all done, he doesn't lay on me and try to go to sleep anymore. He gives me hugs and kisses when I ask for them and I tell him I love him. He tries to get comfortable on me but he's simply getting too big. Some nights, when he's really tired, he curls up into a C on his side and lays on me for a few minutes.
Even on the nights he can't get comfortable, I don't want to put him down. Because I know once he’s in bed, he’ll stay there all the way until morning.
Eventually, I ask him if he wants soft dog. He turns to to his crib and says "daw daw daw". I kiss him one last time, lay him down, -- on his back! -- and cover him with two Aden+Anais swaddle blankets. I hand him soft dog, tell him I love him, and that I'll see him in the morning. He smiles and snuggles into his bed.
When I get downstairs and turn on the monitor, there’s no crying, screeching, or wandering around his crib anymore.
He's cooing to himself and hugging soft dog. Five minutes later, a bit past 7:30, he's out. And he stays that way until 6am.