Heyyyyyy there. So great to connect again. For my out of country readers, I want to share a typical Canadian winter story…I was on this amazing family vacation down in Mexico and within two days of coming home, we got slammed with a massive snowstorm. I’ve been outside twice today shovelling the walkway, only to come back inside to find another dumping of snow within a couple of hours of the last clean up. I actually don’t mind winter but it definitely came in blustery today! But let’s focus on the positive. Mexico. Mex…i….co. Beautiful.
Warm Hot. Sunny. Beautiful beaches. And an all-inclusive bar. It doesn’t get much better than that for a week. A week of relaxation that was long overdue and very much deserved. Down time. It was supposed to be complete relaxation with some family fun thrown in. We had chosen this resort based on the kids club that it boasted thinking, that as in the past, all three kids would love this kids club and want to take part in its activities. And yes, it was a tremendous kids club. Except for one glitch.
Maggie wanted no part of it.
I couldn’t get within 20 metres of the door without her clawing at my shoulder and begging me to let her stay with me. So, by “relaxing vacation” I mean, hanging out 24/7 with my husband and our two-year old, while the older two kids enjoyed the club. The quality time we had intended to take together was interrupted by a two foot tall blond in a striped swimsuit and baby blue sun hat.
But hanging out with my husband and two-year old on a beautiful beach, taking turns floating with her or building a sandcastle was still magical. And in reality, even though it didn’t end up the way we intended (there were times that it was a downright gong show), it was still a vacation and it was still amazing.
Here are a few things I learned about travelling with a two-year old.
1) It doesn’t matter how many distractions I pack to keep her – well – distracted on the plane, she will ignore all of them and insist on climbing over and under her seat. Multiple times.
2) With only a one hour time difference, I had hoped for a relatively easy transition into a new bedtime. I was wrong.
3) I thought that keeping my two-year old busy all day, in the sun, by making sand castles, swimming, floating, walking, running, climbing, jumping, and swinging would wear her out by bedtime. I was wrong again. Instead, she was wired and ready for anything. Except sitting still at dinner.
4) Speaking of mealtimes, they’re awful. Buffets that give a thousand breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices ranging from different proteins to a variety of fruits and vegetables all resulted in a desire for pancakes, french fries, and avocado. I was all over the avocado…and eventually I caved on the pancakes and french fries. Because a thrice daily emotional break down in the middle of a busy restaurant didn’t interest me.
5) The a la carte restaurants were even worse. At least in the buffets, we could get up easily and walk around. We tried one a la carte dinner and vowed to not bring her back to a sit down restaurant until she was old enough to drive.
6) Two year olds are smart. And when they see other children walking around with popsicles, they realize that there must be – and in fact there is – an “any time you want” popsicle bar. We visited there a few times. And admittedly, I was binged on these too. One can only have so many pina coladas before it grows old. A fresh orange popsicle tasted mighty fine at 3 in the afternoon. So do chocolate creamsicles. Mmmmmmmm.
7) The all you can eat ice cream bar she found on day 2 was another reason for a meltdown. Over and over again. We rarely even eat ice cream at home, and certainly not soft serve (gross!). When I cut her off, she worked her magic on her older sister who was tall enough to work the machine on her own. An older sister who can easily be swayed by the idea of getting some ice cream herself. Remember point #6…two year olds are smart.
8) At night, when she would finally crash, I would look at her and think of how peaceful she was when she slept. Thumb tucked neatly into her mouth, curled up in a ball. So sweet. I’d settle in next to her (because apparently the hotel’s crib wasn’t up to her standards) and we would snuggle and fall restfully to sleep. Then 5AM would hit. And the peaceful being I slept next to would wake up as the Energizer Bunny. It didn’t matter what time she went to bed…the wake up call was always 5AM. Always.
9) Recounting how the distractions on the way down to Mexico were pointless, I didn’t waste my time gathering books, stuffies, crayons and the like for the plane ride home. They were there on the rare chance that she did choose to partake but I didn’t hold my breath. Instead, I just braced myself for a very busy 3.5 hour plane ride home which put us into Toronto at 9PM…two hours past her bedtime. Surely, she would fall asleep along the way. And she did! With twenty minutes to go before landing. Awesome.
I will likely remember none of these points and insist that next year we try again. Because she’s cute and sweet and I get sucked into believing that the next time could be – just may be – different. If at any point I announce plans for a future vacation with the kids, someone please remind me of this post. Although with another year under her belt, maybe it would be different? Older, better understanding of good versus not so good behaviour, and better communication skills….so different, right?
I won’t hold my breath.