We recently arrived home from a week-long trip to Toronto, where we went to visit my family and attend a big family reunion. Travelling with Oliver has gotten a lot easier lately. He no longer requires a mountain of baby gear, he’s cooperative, he can be reasoned with (yes, for real!), and he can keep himself busy for short periods of time without getting into things that he shouldn’t touch.
We had a fantastic week, and Oliver handled all the family visits, excessive stimulation and changes to his routine with aplomb. We kept him on Vancouver time, so he was able to attend evening gatherings, and then sleep until 10:00 or later each morning!
That said, by the end of our trip, it was quite obvious that Oliver needed to get back to his familiar, structured and calm home life. He had a hilarious meltdown in the car on the way back from the airport, when we got stuck in a horrible mess of inescapable traffic only a few blocks from home. Usually, if Oliver is tired of sitting in the car, he’ll start to whine, “All done in the car,” or ask to use the potty. Instead, he started crying — absolutely wailing — insisting that he wanted to feed the ducks and geese right now! In an attempt to placate him, I promised that we could go feed the ducks in the morning.
After a good night’s sleep in his own bed, Oliver awoke in a cheerful mood. It was all downhill from there.
He was whiny during breakfast, and positively unbearable while I cleaned up the dishes. I knew that the excitement of the week had finally caught up with him. I quickly cancelled our plans to attend our weekly neighbourhood “mommy lunch.” A gathering of three dozen moms and babies was the last thing Oliver needed. Instead, he needed a quiet, grounding morning with Mom.
I asked him what he wanted to do, and his first request was — no surprise — “Feed the ducks and geese.” I should have figured he wouldn’t forget.
I grabbed a bag of duck food (did you know that ducks and geese should not eat bread?), our basket of beach toys, towels, sunscreen, hats, and Oliver’s toilet seat (never leave home without it! :)), and we headed to Lost Lagoon to start our adventure.
After lunch, we strolled home, where Oliver had a three-hour nap (score!) and I might have had a little nap too ;). He woke up in a great mood, and I had my happy, grounded toddler back.