Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The first 3 days: Part 2

As I said before, the flying was the part that I expected to be the hardest. Boy was I wrong. I didn't realize that my son was going to be like a fish out of water for the first half of the trip. He couldn't go to sleep at night. I had to turn all the lights off in the hotel room and just sit there with him on his bed until he fell asleep. This usually took about an hour.

Once he was asleep around 9 or 10pm (which is only 7 or 8 our time) I would lay in bed and watch TV or Facebook until I could go to sleep. I got to sleep around 11pm most nights, so now that I'm home I'm ready for bed around 9 or 10pm. He would sleep well once he was asleep and wake up about 12 hrs later. So that was good, but it didn't seem to improve his mood that much, and it also meant that we missed breakfast at the hotel a lot.

The first day we went to visit my friend Stacy at her house. She babysits 4 other kids under 4 and has her own daughter Nina who is 2. (That seems crazy to me, but she does a good job!) Byron was being okay at first, but the longer we were there the more difficult he was getting. He wasn't being nice to the other kids, and just generally doing things he doesn't normally do. Stacy's daughter wasn't in a good place either, which helped a little (mentally for me.) Byron and Nina kept trading off who got to sit in the Time Out Chair. While we were at her house both kids pooped, and Lillie's was a total blow-out. I had forgotten to throw in an extra outfit, so Stacy was nice enough to give me one of her daughter's baby sleepers. After I had about enough of Byron picking on everyone we decided to leave and go take a drive. I could tell Byron was till exhausted from his cold and lack of sleep the night before our flight. So we drove around looking at familiar places to see how they changed. (The kids fell asleep in a matter of minutes, and this became a daily ritual to keep my sanity. A few minutes of peace and quiet everyday.) Later we met up with my brother and my niece (16 months) for pizza at his house. Byron was a little better, but was still being really pushy with her and not sharing well. Back to the hotel around 7:30, and then we started the nightly struggle to get to sleep.

The next day (Thursday) we were planning to go to the zoo, but even though the temperature was nice it kept showering every so often. So my friend Brooke, her daughter Lily (9 months) and our little troop went to lunch (which Byron didn't eat), and then to the mall. Byron seemed very interested in the little car strollers, and since I didn't bring one with me I went ahead and got one even though I was hesitant. I mean really, $5 to rent a stroller?! Are you joking me? That seems a little pricey. Here is a picture of him enjoying the stroller I paid so much for, and might I just add that this also illustrates his mood the first half of the trip. We thought he would enjoy playing at the indoor play area, but he played about 2 minutes and was done. He liked the cars that you could put 75 cents in to ride, as long as you didn't actually put money in them. He also didn't enjoy the ice cream or $20 wood fire truck I bought him that day.

So here's the thing. I don't normally give in to my kid's every whim. I'm usually much more mean than that, but I was grasping at straws. I needed him to be happy, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get it. Let this be a lesson though, it didn't work. He was still terrible no matter what I let him do. I think he appreciated it more when I started being mean again!

Anyway, for dinner that night we went to a really fun 50's diner called Stella's. You get milkshakes poured on your head, and there is jukeboxes at your table. It's a fun place, but Byron refused to enjoy it. So here is a picture of him yelling at me that he wants to go home and me trying to defuse the situation. He kept trying to squirt me with the ketchup and mustard bottles and I had only one sweatshirt with me.
After dinner (which Byron didn't eat) we went back to the hotel and I decided to try swimming with him. He hasn't been swimming since he was like 9 months old, so I didn't know if he would like it. He fought me the whole way down to the pool, and then once we were there I could hardly get him to leave. It totally changed his mood and he actually ate his leftover fries.