Mom’s Stuff (or “A Walk With the Neighbors):
Today I went out with LP for our morning outing around 9:00. As we left the house LP started waving across the street to his new buddy’s house, and his new buddy (a three year old) waved back and asked his mom if he could come outside. The whole family started to trickle out and soon we were joined by all three kids and mom. I got to chat with my fellow mom for a bit before she had to chase after the youngest on his bike, and the oldest daughter (going into 8th grade) continued to stroll with LP and me after LP wanted to hold her hand. We talked about her summer reading books, stopped to pet a neighborhood dog and waved at some other families along the way. As we finished up our walk I said goodbye to the daughter and LP gave her a hug. I waved at mom and LP’s buddy and went around to the backyard where LP played on his little play structure (a hand-me-down from different neighbors) while the G-man and I discussed how to improve our backyard garden for next summer.
I never thought I would say this, but sometimes this Leave-it-to-Beaver neighborhood ain’t too bad.
Maybe it is wishful thinking, but LP is starting to get more words. Just to be clear, they are not words that sound like the words adults use, but they are sounds that mean specific things. In addition to “ha” (for hat and hot) he says “ba-ba” for blueberries and “kit ca” for kitty-cat. LP also loves waving and blowing kisses . . . to animals and trucks. On a lucky day his dad gets waves and kisses and on a REALLY lucky day mom does too. LP has also figured out how to nod “no” – which he does whether he means yes or no. For example, if you ask him if he wants blueberries (which he ALWAYS does) he will nod “no” emphatically, and then reach his hand out for them. We’ll keep working on “yes” and “no” – he’ll get there eventually.
Travel Tips Part II:
In the last post I discussed some tips for finding vegan food for you and any vegan kiddos while traveling by air. Here is the follow-up post about some general tips for traveling on a plane with your little guy or gal.
1. Give ’em a drink:
When LP was still nursing I always had him nurse on takeoff and landing so that he would be swallowing, which would help prevent his ears popping. After I stopped breastfeeding we always gave him a sippy cup with formula, soymilk or water to drink on takeoff and landing, unless he was totally asleep. While he has been a little fussy during takeoff a couple times, he has never really made a huge fuss or cried in pain. I think that getting him to drink something (from breast, bottle or sippy cup) really helps.
2. Hands Free:
I traveled with LP by myself a couple of times, though luckily only for short flights to visit my sister in DC. The most indispensable thing I brought was the baby carrier. I never had a stroller (which was bulky and also wasn’t LP’s favorite transportation) and instead carried him either in the Moby wrap or the Ergo carrier. Now I never travel without the Ergo, even when the G-man is with me. With the baby carrier I’m able to wheel a suitcase, carry a car seat, buy something to eat or drink, or any of the many other things that require both hands.
3. Apology in Advance:
Watch what happens when you board an airplane with an infant or toddler, no matter how cute she/he is. People look. Some of them say “awww” or smile, but most of them will grimace, look nervous or stay eerily stoic. Whenever I catch people looking at me I smile and say something like “he’s usually really good on flights” or “he should sleep most of the flight.” I understand these folks’ interpretation – I felt the same way about kids on a plane before I was a (flying) parent. But I think it helps people if you acknowledge their apprehension, and it makes them feel a bit more kindly towards you and your kiddo, which might come in handy if you have to pace down the aisles with a fussy baby. I think it also reminds people that you are a person too, and makes them feel a bit more sympathy, which should cut down on dirty looks if your little one starts crying or kicking the seat in front of him.
4. Run it out:
At this age LP needs to move. This means that spending 6 hours on a plane during the day (as opposed to overnight flights, which he sleeps on) requires some running around. We book a seat for LP on these flights, and we let him play on the floor in front of our seats, which requires some contortionist moves on the part of me and the G-man. LP has also had fun starting in the aisle and then climbing over the arm rest and into our seats, which can keep him busy for about 10 minutes. He also has done well with supervised walking in the aisles. We obviously wait until drink service is done before we do any of these things, but if the aisles are clear, we get him out to move for a few minutes at a time. Between these bouts we strap him into his seat, since he doesn’t want to sit in our laps. But we found that just 5 minutes of getting to move made him far more tolerant of his extended seat time.