Going on trips with a toddler can be hard work. When my son is strapped into his seat and says he wants to get down from here, I’m the one trying to rationalize that we’ll be there shortly. Just sit tight.
He’s the one looking at me like I have three heads. His look says it all:
- “Why can’t you just let me scream?”
- “Are we there yet??”
- “I have to go to the bathroom.”
- “I’m hungry. I want food!”
- “I WANNA GET OUTTAAA HEEEEEEREE!!!!!!!!”
Then I realize it’s my fault for trying to rationalize with a tiny human.
The solo run to the store for a few things before the trip starts can feel like the true vacation. While we have no immediate plans for a trip this summer, I found myself taking up new hobbies, and finding occasional enjoyment in previously menial activities.
A few minutes in silence is the new vacation for a parent. Getting out for a few minutes while your toddler is throwing a temper tantrum, making some of the loudest noises in the world, or watching the same episode of Mickey Mouse or Paw Patrol for the 50th time can be just what the doctor ordered.
I will take a brief moment to assure those in the “enjoy every moment” crowd, that I do, to the extent possible. My son is 3, and is capable of following the worst temper tantrums in the world with a giant hug and saying “Love you daddy.” That’s a hug that makes the worse days feel so much better.
But I will also tell you I had no idea that Cheerios instead of pancakes for breakfast could be cause for laying down on the floor, flailing your legs, and crying loud enough for the neighbors to hear. These are noises people who aren’t parents would not think humans are capable of making.
Being around people who act like a lit firecracker and are incapable of logical thought, can be tiring – no matter how much you just want to pinch their cheeks. That’s why we have headphones, and that’s why we have doors on bedrooms.
Parenting is one giant ball of contradictions. It is possible to experience the highest levels of agitation and love within moments of each other. Who knew.