Oh, the first day of travels. Sigh. That sucked. Day one was getting all three of us to the East Coast, to my parents’ house. We got up at 4:30am – yes, AM – but should have gotten up at 4am. Or maybe 3:30. We arrived at the airport too late to check in. Well, we got to teh check-in kiosk only 1 minute after and it wouldn’t let us check in, but by the time we got one of the crappy airline reps to help us, it was 20 min too late. I was tired and I’m extremely bitter about airline service these days, so I may have thrown a bit of a hissy fit and possibly kicked one of our carry-on bags about 10 feet across the room.
So. I’ll spare you the gory details – suffice to say, I get it, the lateness was our own fault, but the rudeness and amount of money you pay for NOTHING on flights is not. After a lot of circles, a lot of nonsense, a lot of incredulousness and $700, we got a different flight on a different airline that was at least direct and got into Philadelphia at the same time as the flight we missed. We were EXHAUSTED, but Nugget was, as usual, a champ. This was the 5th flight he’d been on (coming home would be the 6th) and on EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT that he’s been on, people have gone out of their way to talk to me about him and tell me how terribly impressed they are with how well he travels and that they wish all kids on all flights were him. He slept some of the time, but was awake for most of it – and truly, the kid never cries or fusses unless he’s tired. So it might not be so much that he’s a great traveler as it is he’s just a very mellow, relaxed and adaptable kid.
I had fretted about leaving him for a week – I feel like it would have been easier for me to leave him for a week when he was 4 months than now. I actually talked to my therapist about how to make it easier on him. Basically, I was told that A) I’m an awesome parent for thinking of such things, as most people usually just figure, “Well, we’re leaving, he’ll get over it” and do nothing, B) We should stick to our plan of calling him every day, just to hear our voices and for him to know that we still exist, C) put some pictures of us around where he sleeps and D) it was good that we’d be spending time with him at my parents’ for a couple days before we left, to help transition him.
I cried a little bit on the flight to Madrid, when we left him, because there was a woman on the plane with a crying child about Nugget’s age. But overall, we all did really well. A bunch of men that Mr Nikki works with tried telling him how we would have awful separation anxiety, etc – because I’ve learned that parents like to assume that you’re all alike and like to tell you crappy things – but the fact is, I put a lot of time and effort into thinking about how to make this easy for all of us. We did NOT suffer from separation anxiety – we missed him a lot and were very happy to hear him every day, even for just a minute or two. And then, we were thrilled to see him again. Same for Nugget. He slept fine, didn’t cry any more than usual, had a great time, and didn’t suffer anything. THAT, in psychological terms, means that he and I are securely attached to each other, as opposed to having an insecure attachment, and I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me. It’s a really good thing.
And that kid… man, he can go anywhere. We went to visit Mr Nikki’s parents in North Carolina last month, just for a couple days (long story) and same thing. He slept just fine in a strange place and a strange bed, and everyone on the flight to and back loved him. (He drove us a little nuts because he wouldn’t sleep AT ALL, but he wasn’t particularly grumpy and didn’t cry once.) At my parents, he slept in a portable crib in their spare room and for all of the two weeks, he woke up only twice at 4 am, then went right back to sleep.
Sigh. It’s hard to think about having a second child when your first one is so easy.
Last night, our first night home, he slept all night but woke up at 6:45 am. I know I can’t complain because, being on East Coast time yet, I’m lucky he didn’t wake up at 8 am EST (meaning 5 am.) Plus, his usual schedule is to wake up at 8am, which I know he’ll get back to and I know that many parents want to hurl things at me when I say, “Oh, he sleeps until 8 am.”
See what I mean? A second one would surely wake up at 5am or some other evil time.
Anyway. He had a great time, as did his grandparents (and as did us.) I had teased my parents about them wanting to move out to Seattle once they had a grandkid out here and they said no. But in the past couple months, they’ve been making noise about moving out here and now that they had 2 weeks with him (one whole week alone), they can’t get out here fast enough. BEHOLD! The power of grandchildren!
Next up… ESPANA!