Tot Travels

Having recently made a cross-country trip with a three-year-old, I feel qualified to offer a few tips.

When travelling with a preschooler:

Pack as many toys in the carry-on luggage as you can manage. A toy computer, books, favourite videos, stuffed toys and play doh work well. (Security may have a conniption over the play doh if you don’t include it in your liquid and gels baggy. You can get it in small containers- less than 90ml –  that will work out.) If your child has a favourite sleeping toy or blanket, make sure it goes onto the plane with you. Trust me….you will want it!

Let your child help you pack before leaving. Pick out clothes together. It will make the child feel part of the process and you won’t end up packing an outfit the child has decided is just not what s/he wants to wear anymore.

Talk about the trip in the week before departure. Describe the airport, the plane, security. The fewer surprises the child faces, the fewer melt-downs you will experience.

Give yourself lots of time so you aren’t rushing from gate to gate or stewing because of the line-ups. If you are calm and relaxed, your child will likely  follow your lead.

Most airlines  offer only drinks and snacks during  the flight. It’s a good idea to take some munchies that are more nutritious than pretzels and cookies. Mini muffins, granola bars, cheese and crackers, or trail mix are all easy to put in a purse or backpack to carry on.

Plan  for playtime at your destination(s). Try to find a playground where the child can run off energy and stress. Limit the amount of site-seeing you do so you aren’t dragging the child through too many new experiences in a day. An over-tired and over-stimulated child is not a pleasant travel companion.

Get as much rest as you can whenever you can. If you are over-tired, you won’t be a pleasant travel companion either.

Keep the child hydrated. Offer water or juice often. This helps keep his/her energy levels up and may prevent constipation.

When you get home, don’t plan too many extra activities for a day or two. You will all be jet-lagged and will need time to readjust.

Good luck!! 😉

Cold

Having a head cold is never fun, let’s face it. The stuffed up nose, the sore throat, the headache – a bummer.

But having a cold when caring for a preschooler is challenging. My GD (granddaughter) doesn’t understand that I am slower than usual because I feel like crap. Why don’t I want to play hide-and-seek or chase or go jump in puddles in the rain?

I am fortunate that she likes to do things like read stories together and paint and colour. So at least I can sit down with her for part of the day. Even though what I really want to do is curl up in bed with a hot drink and then doze off.

The saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” comes to mind. And then I think of a friend who has battled diabetes his whole life and his comeback to that: “I must be freaking Superman, then!”

Here’s to Super GrannyMom! Upward and onward!

Sleepless Nights

I don’t bounce back from long nights of consoling a sick preschooler. I guess I never found it easy, let’s face it, but it sure is a lot harder at 60 than it was at 30.

When my kids were little, I often was up at night tending them through the flu, colds and other childhood diseases. And then I  would go to work the next day and survive. Now, I don’t have to get myself off to work in the mornings, and I am still dragging my butt around.

Menopause is a factor. I have many nights of interrupted sleep these days, due to night sweats and creepy-crawly arms and legs. So I guess when I have care-giving to do throughout the night, I am already in the red, so to speak. I am working on a deficit, REM cycle wise.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I am not the dynamo I was 30 years ago.

But I manage. What choice do I have, really?

It’s nearly 9:00. Past my bedtime. Good night!

Spelling Bee

My GD (granddaughter) and I had the pleasure of eating lunch with my 87 year old mother today. And by the way, my mother cooked the lunch after she played the organ at her church service in the morning. She’s a amazing lady.

But I digress.

GD was kind of picking at her lunch; she had eaten a late breakfast and wasn’t terribly hungry. After we adults had finished our hodge-podge, my mother looked at me and said, “Would anyone like to have some i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m?”, spelling so if I didn’t want GD to have dessert, it wouldn’t become an issue. However, GD looked up at her great-grandmother and said, “Oh, yes! I do!”

I asked, “What do you think ‘i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m’ is?”

“Ice cream,” GD replied confidently.

GD is 3 and a half years old. You could have knocked my mother and I over with a feather. Our mouths dropped open, and then we both burst out laughing.

And of course, GD got her ice cream.