A long time ago, I learned that traveling anywhere with a little one—whether it’s a short train ride to New Jersey or a cross-country flight to Los Angeles—requires a recovery day upon returning home. Jacob settles back into our home pretty easily; he’s always excited to see his toys and run around more freely again. Plus, at home he knows where the Cheerios are. But still, his sleep schedule is a little off, and his energy levels need to regulate all over again.
For me, the recovery is as much psychological as it is physical. Walking into an extended family member’s house and eyeing the (evil) cheese plate before I even see the host clearly puts me on edge. Add to that the fact that every greeting isn’t just, “Hi! Good to see you! Happy (Fill in appropriate greeting here)!” It’s more like “Hi! Good to see you! Happy whatever! Okay, so if you’ve eaten any cheese, or anything containing butter, milk, or any other form of dairy since you last bathed, could you not kiss or touch our child? Thanks! Really, so good to see you!”
And yet, no matter how hard we (family included) try, every trip means administering Benadryl at least every other day, if not every day. By the time we come home, Jacob’s skin is often like sandpaper, and it takes a few days and some heavy-duty lotion to get it back to normal. I’m starting to think Jacob’s list of allergens looks like this: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and travel.
Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving was a fun weekend, and we had lots of great time with family and friends. But that doesn’t make the recovery any less necessary, especially when Jacob’s sleeping habits take a turn for the dramatic.
The first night we were in New Jersey, we’d planned to share a room with Jacob. The translation here is that we kicked John’s brother out of his room and onto the couch. About two am, John and I got kicked out of the room, too—onto the floor. Even at home, Jacob sometimes wakes up once or twice in the night, but he can usually put himself back to sleep. Apparently, this is only the case if we’re not in the room with him.
The next night, we didn’t even bother trying to share a room with him. We effectively kicked John’s brother to yet another couch (thank goodness John’s family has enough couches!), so we could sleep on the furniture in the living room. I slept much better that night, but I fell asleep amazed at what a diva Jacob could be if he really wanted to. Will he ever have sleepovers? Will his friends have to sleep in another room?
In the meantime, here’s a photo I talked up while we were home. I know I ranted about Christmas coming too early in the retail world, and so I have to admit that not only am I posting this Halloween-y photo a month late, but it was only taken two weeks ago. Maybe I need a calendar, too.