I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Toronto. Yes, it’s true. Travelling with a toddler can be challenging. Especially when you go to board the plane and they announce a 3 HOUR DELAY!!!!!! It took us hours to prep and pack, we chose the departure time to coincide with his nap time (so of course I ended up with a weepy, crabby kid in an airport gift shop), and of course Air Canuck couldn’t get us on any other plane. I got a free drink though, so there you go.
We basically lost an entire day and by the time we got our rental car and arrived at the apartment it was close to midnight – geesh. I’m not quite sure how my friends have managed to do this twice this year going to Europe without killing themselves. Perhaps life is better in first class, I don’t know. Anyway, the kid was brilliant on the plane. He fell asleep after a bottle of milk and was only awake for about 90 minutes. Pretty good for a 4 1/2 hr flight. Note to intrepid travellers – book a seat even if they’re under two if you can afford it. We had the benefit of travel points but we would have paid. Mr. Precious delighted in having his own seat and I delighted in having my lap to myself most of the time. Of course, it was delightful to have him come sit in my lap to look outside to ooh and ahh at the lights in the dark as we arrived.
Lessons learned from this trip:
1. Miracles happen. My husband and my sister actually got along. I’m sure that her struggles over the past year have really opened his eyes to how incredibly resilient and resourceful she has become. You know those stories you hear about people who lost everything because of the recession and housing crisis in the States? Well, she’s one of those stories. Now she’s back in Canada with her husband and son trying to rebuild her life. It hasn’t been easy to say the least.
2. I weaned myself from laptop use because where we were staying (in a friend’s apartment he leased for work) did not have internet or cable. My husband used his smart phone as a wi fi hotspot so I could go on my email a couple times a day AND I did not watch any TV. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day, I could barely read my book. (Which, by the way, I left on the freaking airplane on the return flight.)
3. The Precious needs his own room when we travel. We gave him the bedroom and we took the mattress out into the living room for ourselves. He had his own peapod to sleep in. That way, he could get go to bed and we could stay up late (ahahahaha) or go back and forth without disturbing him. Ahem. He can now get out of it on his own. Oh, boy.
4. We talked. Really talked. Well, we had a fight first but with us that’s the only way we really talk. We talked about how fortunate we were to have the life that we have. We talked about how we could treasure that more, nurture it, not take it for granted. As is our pattern, we want the same things but we go about them in completely different ways. Communication has never been our strong suit. We assume a lot and once you make negative assumptions about your partner, well, it often unconsciously creates a negative result. Parenthood has really stretched us thin at times. So thin that we don’t have much to give to one another at the end of the day. By the looks of my mid section, I think I’ve been eating my emotions. All my anger, my hurt, my loneliness, my frustrations got shovelled into my mouth. Time to change that. I gotta keep up with the Precious and he’s setting the bar high for his mum.
5. I can’t please all the people all the time. I didn’t get to see my older sister and her family. I had passed along the message that I was coming via my younger sister. I never call and leave messages because the calls are never returned or acknowledged. My sister did call and tell them I was coming but of course the message was never passed along or it was ignored and so when I hit town, our messages went unanswered as they had all gone on a shopping trip out of town. They are the only people I know that do not communicate via email or turn on their cell phones. Of course, I don’t normally hear from them and I don’t expect I will in the near future either. In essence, I was only there for 5 days and just about every waking moment was booked anyway.
6. My personal shopping time is now down to ten minutes. I barely managed a trip to get hair products (couldn’t find the place), but of course, we had to cut that trip short cause it was getting late and the kid needed to eat, so we had to go. I also squeezed in a trip to Victoria’s Secret on my way to meet a fellow blogger. I grabbed 5 panties for $30 and asked for a bra in my size and hit the till. My idea of torture is being in a shopping centre and not being able to browse for hours.
7. I love meeting bloggy pals, especially Canadian ones and I was delighted to meet Loribeth from The Road Less Travelled. I gushed on and on, I’m sure, but if you know me, that’s a given. I get so excited. She probably thought I was a lunatic. It’s so odd that you know so much about a person you’ve never met. Of course, you also realize that you just know one corner of them, one very private corner. I just wanted her to know that she really opened up my heart to those who had lost a child and remained childless not by choice. She has really touched my heart over the years and I have become much more compassionate because of what she has shared with her readers. She has encouraged me and lifted my heart when it was sad and cheered with my victories. This, I believe, is the definition of a friend. We agreed that hubbies just don’t get it. Our bloggy love. I don’t care. She’s a light in the darkness for me and, I am sure, for many others.
8. The Precious is delighted to hang out with anyone who is under the age of 20. Seriously thrilled. He latched onto my 8 yr old nephew, both of my friends’ teenage daughters and went crazy. Wouldn’t let them out of his sight! I could finish a conversation and have a drink and have a seriously tuckered out kid by the end of the visit.
9. Keeping a toddler entertained is a full time job. I’ve learned that the Precious is also a little dictator. We’re working with him with communicating with words, but THE FINGER OF DOOM still reigns. He points at what he wants. If that doesn’t work, he will physically grab you and pull you, or he will latch onto you and yank your shoulder. He understands what we want him to do but he often refuses to do it if he’s not in the mood…which leads me to Lesson #10.
10. No more Mummy and Daddy Nice Guy. He’s a willful little bugger and he’s learned to turn on the waterworks when he doesn’t get his way and it’s quite dramatic. When daddy tells him to “put the lip away” he does, but with me, it’s a full out meltdown. This is quite embarrassing when it happens in a store lineup. It’s like he knows how much I like to shop and if he doesn’t get what he wants, well, neither will I. Cheeky monkey.
And on that note, we still have great weather, but I notice the maple leafs falling on the lawn…..sigh.