how to travel with a toddler…

So, after four flights and two layovers this past week I consider an expert at traveling with a toddler.  Just one toddler.   I already told Lenny that traveling with more than one child seems impossible and that if we have another one relatives just have to come to us. I saw some parents traveling with multiple children on this trip, and let me tell you if there was one of those safe baby drops in terminal C at the Houston airport if would be stuffed full of children…screaming children.

So let me tell you my secrets to traveling with one toddler. Here is the deal, forget all of your rules when you travel.  Do you limit screen time? Forget it! Do you shun refined sugar? Who cares? Are you avoiding nitrates? Preservatives? These rules do not apply at ten thousand feet!!!

If you have been doing any of the above things you are off to a great start. The more rules you have at home, the more excited your toddler will be when they get to break them in the sky. Before our trip I stocked up on all kinds of junk food that I would normally never give my kid. Flavor blasted goldfish, chocolate covered biscuits, chocolate chip granola bars, potato chips… whatever keeps your kid from screaming and kicking the seat in front of them.

IMG_0071Next, get an iPad, tablet, whatever.  TV is like crack for toddlers. They can’t get enough of it! Before our trip I downloaded an entire season of Yo Gabba Gabba and some Elmo. Leo watched a total of three hours on our second flight yesterday- but he wasn’t screaming so I consider it a win.

Also, relax a little have a Chardy.  You don’t like chardonnay? Too bad. Red wine is too much of a risk with turbulence and and you’re a mother, you can’t order a vodka soda or Jack and ginger of you will look like a drunk.  And enjoy some of those snacks… you deserve them.

IMG_0073And before I go, I have to thank the fine people at the Houston airport for this amazing invention that allows you to strap your child to the wall while you pee so that they don’t crawl out under the stall forcing you to run after them with your pants down. Not that it’s ever happened to me… They should have these on every wall in America. Not just in bathrooms.

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screen time…

 

So we all know that kids under two aren’t really supposed to watch television at all, Baby Einstein videos apparently have life-long effects on your child’s attention span, and Sponge Bob will make your child a brat (I am summarizing from a few clinical studies I heard about in passing on NPR). But let’s be honest. Television has a magical effect on children. Leo for instance will sit still for upwards to ten minutes in front of an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba or Sesame Street, allowing me to take a shower, start dinner, etc.

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So what is a good balance between limiting screen time and being able to actually get sh*t done? Well I clearly haven’t figured that out because Leo is now watching clips of a Raffi concert from 1985 on YouTube in addition to his daily dose of Elmo.  Most days we keep it to 20-30 minutes but sometimes when we have teething issues, people coming for dinner, a spill to clean up, have to take a shower, you get it… he watches a little more. Is it really so bad?

Is watching TV going to cancel out all of the other stuff we do to stimulate his little brain…the classes, the trips to the zoo, the coloring and painting, the trips to the park?  For being such an affable little red fellow, Elmo sure comes with a lot of guilt.

 

Damn you television for being so good.