When our darling princess was 11 months old we decided to take her by ourselves to the beach for a week’s vacation. I didn’t change anything in the way I usually planned our time away because I figured she would just fit into our regular vacation routine. I reserved the smallest type room in the hotel per usual to save money and made sure they would have a pack and play available for our use.
That vacation was easily one of the worst that we’ve ever taken as a family. The room was cramped–my fault entirely! What would have worked for two adults who spent most of their time outside exploring the town did not work for three people one of which was still taking two naps per day! It was hard going out to eat as the princess and slow restaurants just did not follow the same protocol even with us trying to be as amusing as possible. We were even unable to watch TV at night because the princess wouldn’t lay down and go to sleep at night even if it was muted. She didn’t like riding in her stroller on the beach or shopping downtown; however, she was extremely interested in the ice cream stop! She was also surprising cooperative during the two-hour ghost tour we went on. I no longer wonder at multi-family vacations! Extra adults must mean some breaks at some point for everyone.
The next couple of years year we borrowed a beach condo and things were slightly improved. The princess had her own room and although we still had sleep issues but it was a relief to put her down in her own room at night. We didn’t go out to eat as much as we had a full kitchen to take advantage of. She disliked the beach and the water, but by the end of the week she was becoming comfortable enough to loosen her death grip on whomever was holding her in the pool.
This year (she’s almost 4) was the best yet. I learned from my previous mistakes and I had no expectations at all. In spite of that almost all of my initial expectations from when she was 1 were fulfilled. She is now potty trained and sleeps in a big bed which cuts down on much of the special equipment we had to drag along. She is getting to be like the little fish I remember being when I was small! She loves the ocean now and loves playing in the sand. She is even old enough to play board games during the times we need some inside time. She played Pickup Sticks and a modified game of Uno! I was super impressed at her beating the socks off her dad in Uno! Although sleep issues and the whining from change of routine haven’t disappeared, they have improved immensely. I know her age has something to do with it, but I also know her gluten-free diet has helped significantly!