10 minutes and counting

I have 10 minutes until my next meeting, which is the perfect time to shoot off a post. Right? Amiright?

I have been wanting to write a post for ages, because well… I’ve been thinking. What brought on this thinking, you ask? The bizarre decision to take a 10 month old to Amsterdam.

Yes, I did that. And the flight was fine. The trip, however, was disastrous.

Perhaps it was a magical combination of teething, a serious case of Mama-Fever, and a new place, but Chick was fairly miserable and would only be happy if he was physically on me at ALL TIMES. It also happened to be unseasonably cold and rainy. So I was cold and caring for a fussy baby for 6 days which is how the sucking of this vacation began. Then there was that time my breast pump broke on a national holiday. That was fuuuun.

But since I have only 10 minutes, I’ll cut to the chase.

It sounds a little ungrateful to say that one’s vacation in Amsterdam sucked because I decided to bring a 10 month old. But there it is. Mr. O and I have traveled a fair amount, many times in Europe and elsewhere. You know what? We’re excellent travelers. Our baby just threw a wrench in the works which made the trip exponentially less fun. No more dinners in little bistros. No more wine while watching the sunset.

This next bit I can’t believe I’m going to share publicly. But this is my goddamn anonymous blog, and I’ll do what I want to. On this trip, I did think “Dear god, what have I done?” in regards to my hard-won baby. For reals. I could see, for the first time, what I had given up– aforementioned meals in bistros and wine at sunset. And I gave that up in favor of a 20 pound clingy, crying weirdo.

Yes, yes… I know. Someday that 20 pound clingy, crying weirdo will grow up and things won’t be so “hard.” But I’m no fool. It will still be hard, just in new and exciting ways I can’t predict.

And my 10 minutes is up, so I’ll leave you with this…

For the first time since Chick was born, I’ve found myself looking back longingly at the life I used to have.

For the first time ever as a committed and adventurous traveler, I wish I had stayed home.

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7 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown · May 3, 2016

    Oh my gosh, I laughed at this! Maybe not the right response, but I suspect one day I will right this exact same post myself! We love to travel and enjoy bistro’s and a glass of wine of the patio.
    Now, the idea of supper out really means lunch out, because supper would be past someone’s bedtime. And wine on a patio, that’s a long lost dream as Baby is not allowed on the bar side of any restaurant with a patio (which of course are all of our favourite former hangouts) and in the heat of the day a patio at a family friend restaurant is just not as smart as the air conditioned inside seats.
    So yes, life changes. And, not all of it is fun and enjoyable.

    • thecommonostrich · May 5, 2016

      I think that was the point I was rambling towards. This is not always fun and enjoyable. And as much as I love Chick, he really turned this vacation I was looking forward to so much into a complete downer. Admittedly, I had some expectations that I clearly needed to put in check.

      On our last day, I asked Mr. O what or where he’d want to go next, knowing what we know now. We brainstormed some ideas, and truthfully there are pretty different vacations than what we’re used to. (Think sitting on a beach rather than taking in a barrage of historical sites.)

      In summary, babies change everything.

      • My Perfect Breakdown · May 5, 2016

        It’s amazing the small changes (and big changes) that happen once you have a kid. We haven’t started considering different types of travel yet, but I think you are right, some things will be very different and a slower more relaxed pace may be more enjoyable for everyone for at least a few years. As an aside, this has me thinking that my dream Iceland trip that I’m hoping to do next summer might not be such a dream…..

  2. spiteorflight · May 3, 2016

    Oh, honey. It took you 10 whole months to think that, that’s pretty good! I thought that at least a thousand times in the first 12 weeks, haha.

    • thecommonostrich · May 5, 2016

      HA! The credit goes mostly to Chick for being such a delightful baby… up until now. 😉

  3. mom number 2 · May 4, 2016

    Don’t let this experience discourage you from trying again! In Bumby’s short 15 months of life, he has been to California, Michigan, France, Michigan again, California again, and Wyoming. You will get the hang of it. Europe is actually great with littles because you can keep them up through a late dinner and they will sleep in, since the jet lag goes the right way. As Chick starts eating more and more real food, bistro dinners with wine will come back. Sit outside and no one will mind his chirping and you can give him a big piece of hard bread to disgustingly gnaw on for an hour, while you drink rose at sunset and chat with your hubs.
    Try, try again, you will be glad you did. If you momentarily wish someone would take him from you for just one night — find another family to travel with and ask them to do just that. And then return the favor of course.

    • thecommonostrich · May 5, 2016

      THANK YOU. I really needed to hear this. I had always planned on traveling with my child. My parents did with me and my siblings, and I learned so much on each trip. From tangible stuff like history and art, to other important lessons like how to be curious and loving of people from all cultures.

      He has been such a great traveler until this point too. We’ve taken him to 5 states, including one plane ride. I was really surprised that he reacted “badly” (for lack of a better word) because he has been so easy going up until now. With a little perspective, I can see that I was also upset that Chick seemed to not respond well to something so important to me.

      But the truth is that he is 10 months old. Who he is now is not indicative of who he will be a year from now. Or even next week.

      Thanks for the pep talk- there will be more travels with Chick! But maybe not for a few weeks. 😉

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