this was a pretty low-demand trip (no major driving, no hotels, only one group of people to see) but we still learned a few new things.
X didnt nap on either plane this time. she recently gave up naps, however, we still thought that by getting her up well before her normal wake-up time, she would nap on the plane. no. thus, we had to adapt our in-flight routine. we sidestepped a few tantrums mostly because she is more rational than when she was younger, so we got through without issue, in the end. and, this was the last flight where she was a "lap child", so it should be easier to manage in-flight non-napping in the future with the added space (sucks for the pocketbook though. guess our trips cant be as plentiful as before, at least not while we live in halifax).
we planned one X activity per afternoon (this is the most important part of day to get her out and entertained or else she can rip you a new one climbing the walls inside). this turned out to be a wise decision. she was entertained and happy and we got to benefit from seeing the city sights too.
we did better with food this time, in terms of avoiding major tummy issues with X. however, we were really bad about being able to get her solid meals at times that were best for her. try as we might, meal times tended to be better for the adults than for X (not to sound accusatory or angry) and it made her a little less patient and more irritable than normal because she didnt want to take meals at different times than us because she was go-go-go and didnt want to stop when no one else was. kids make plans to "go with the flow" hard (not that i didnt know that). on the one hand, its a good idea not to pin down every part of the day (we dont do that at home), but on the other, nailing down meal times would be a good way of anchoring the day and making sure that the day as a whole can go smoothly. also, in general, she wasnt very interested in accepting snacks while we were out and about or in between meals. she was just too distracted and seemed to think that being on vacation meant being on vacation from eating her "normal" snacks of fruit and whatnot. it was a bit of a challenge.
hanging out with friends, with a kid:
given the choice of visiting friends and not visiting friends, i definitely chose the former. but, i felt very torn. X uses up most of my energy, so when she would finally go to sleep at night, i wouldnt have much left to give to conversations. also, during the day one of us would have to be occupying X and making sure she wasnt going to destroy jodys house (she didnt, but we were more vigilant about it than at home because the stuff wasnt ours to break. though jody made it very clear to us that she wasnt concerned with breakage, which was kind of her). thus, one or both of us was always missing something in the conversation.
also, when everyone else was vegging and relaxing, we were still on go-go X duty and couldnt fully soak up our friends. it was weird being smacked so hard by the image of what your life was like pre-kid. i was able to directly compare what luxuries i had before and what i am living now. i had a weird split screen in my mind: pangs of jealousy alongside the memories of the realities of vegging, that it gets boring pretty fast.
i think for the future we need to have our own place/space (hotel or otherwise) to retreat to at certain parts of the day. it will make us more isolated to be sure, but it should help X get some down time to unwind and maybe focus on eating better. it could also help her play more calmly by herself when we are with friends, so we dont have to hover as much and can relax a bit more. we shall see.
nutmeg normally goes away to a cat hotel while we travel (another joyous expense we incur to travel). she has never enjoyed this event, but we thought that, over time, going to the same place would be as soothing as the experience could get. nope. when we brought her home from our NY trip, she pooped and peed on herself on the way home (fun to clean!). and this time...she hit the trifecta (as dave said). yup, poop, pee, and puke. even more fun to clean! getting old and the stress of life outside her known apartment is clearly almost more than this animal can take. we will need an in-house catsitter in the future. thankfully i think we can talk our babysitter in to doing it. side note to self: think LONG and HARD about getting another animal after nutmeg is gone.