(My attempt to placate J during our trip to the Dortmund Creativia show)
We had a very long weekend and I put little Javi (this is what his 'aunt' Brenda calls him) through the ringer when all was said and done. Traveling with a toddler is not easy, although he is one of the most amazing traveling toddlers ever (not that I've traveled with many, but I imagine this to be true!).
Being with such a little person for so many hours in the day really puts things into perspective. It wears you out as well, emotionally and physically. By dinner time on Saturday I was ready to give up. By 10 p.m. I was hoping, wishing, dreaming that he would just go to sleep already. By 5 a.m. I. Was. Done.
And then he went to sleep. Glorious, quiet, restful sleep- for both him and I.
Three hours later I was ready to cuddle him up all over again and take on the new day, which was equally as long, as it turned out. I did learn that holding and walking with an over-tired boy while someone pushes his new bike in a stroller ahead of us really doesn't get us very far in his eyes. He will want that bike- RIGHT NOW.
But really, it all just enforces what I think to be truest in parenting so far. Don't wear your kid out and everything will be fine. Wearing your kid out also wears you out (about 150x's faster) and the negative/drained energy just multiplies from there. Who needs that?
I had a lot of fun this weekend and will go on that trip again (and many more) but I will plan around my son a lot more. His needs, even as a one year old, are above mine (and really, can I list a 'need' as walking around ogling fabric for 6 hours?). I kick myself for knowing his schedule and knowing his habits and ignoring them, hoping he'll just adjust. Next time we will go to the zoo and he will sign kitty or elephant at every animal and run around for hours before I stuff him back into the car for even more hours!
He is amazing for teaching me how to be a better, more compassionate parent every day. I can't imagine how I was ever fully human before him.