Traveling with a toddler: 5 things I'd change next time (if there is one!)

So we just returned from our family Spring Break vacay. And it was fun. Lots of fun. But me? I'm not sure I was so much fun. (And it actually has nothing to do with the fact that I am now one year closer to becoming actual Cougar-aged.) Let's just say I learned that Travel Me, (yeah, that's what we'll call her- even though I'm sure my husband has about fifty other terms he'd choose) she's no fun at all. Looking back, I'd do some--okay, probably fifty, but for the sake of this post and your attention span- at least five--things differently to make the trip more enjoyable for, ahem, everyone else. Airline personnel included. Sorry again to everyone at Southwest Airlines!

1. Trust that I've brought enough milk. Seriously, if I'd packed an actual cow it would have provided less. I have this disorder "issue" where I feel like we're never going to have enough milk on the flight. What if we get stuck on the tarmac for hours on end? (I've read about those people- getting stuck for five, six, ten hours and then nearly each other over the last half a bag of peanuts!). So, even though we didn't have a lot of time, we stopped at the grocery store- Whole Foods- to grab some more milk. While my husband searched for her lactose free organic whole milk (not easy to find!),  I let my baby walk around. I was right behind her, but she still walked into a crate and went sailing to the floor. Save a small cut on her forehead which looked huge to me, my baby was fine. Me, not so much! And if I hadn't been so obsessed with the amount of milk we had, of course it wouldn't have happened...Cue beat myself up moment #1 of a billion.

2. Bring my baby's photo ID. Okay, so maybe not her photo ID because, well, she doesn't effing have one, but her birth certificate.  Because apparently there is no way she could "ever be under two." Let me back up for a moment. We never fly Southwest Airlines (and maybe there's a reason for that?). On the airline we usually travel, I've never been questioned about my daughter's age. Looking back, I think I might have had an easier time convincing the women at Southwest I was only 21! (For the record, my daughter is fourteen months. And does look about two.) We (meaning me- the rest of the broad was fine) arrived at the gate a little frazzled because of the whole baby slamming her head into the side of a crate incident. As we were getting our boarding passes, the agent looked over at the stroller and gave her colleague a look that I took to mean: There's no way in hell that baby is under two. Look at her mom. All frazzled. Look at that cut on her baby's head- bet it was the mom's fault. That mom is a liar! Let's just say I'm not proud of everything that came out of my mouth next. But we did get on-despite my bad attitude and with the help of my pediatrican's office faxing over proof of my daughter's age.

3. Don't pack the kitchen sink. I have told myself this every single time I've traveled. And every single time, I still have too much sh*t. If someone can please give me some tips on how to pack lighter, I'll happily accept them! Because I clearly have a problem (you should have seen the cooler alone I brought with seven sippy cups full of milk). So let's just say my carry-on bag was just a wee bit hard to stuff under the seat and was sticking out slightly. Which of course did not get by the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who told me my big, fat bag was too big and fat to fit under the seat and she'd need to haul it into the overhead bin if she could even lift it. Okay, so maybe that's not what she said, but that's what I heard. But it's my own fault, I can't pack for sh*t.

4. Don't try to have a cocktail. Toward the end of a long day of traveling when the flight attendant takes your drink order, don't order a glass of red wine. I repeat, don't order a glass of red wine- or any wine for that matter- or any cocktail for that matter. Not even if your baby has cut her head, you got in trouble for not having her ID and your big fat bag was in people's way. Not even if your attitude is really bad. Not even if you know it will take the edge off. Because: It. will. spill.

5. Leave my bad attitude at home. It takes up a lot of room and would leave me more space to bring more sh*t. :)




I'm currently on an exhaustive, fattening, frustrating, yet joyful adventure, otherwise known as the family vacation. I've actually started to relax a bit, although it was hard at first. Upon arriving, I realized that although I had managed to fit the entire contents of my house into my minivan, I had forgotten tone crucial thing.

The kid's bathing suits!

It's hard to break the news to toddlers that although Mommy packed fourteen pairs of flip flops and 30 DVDs for a seven day trip, she couldn't be b0thered to pack a bathing suit for the pool. *cue angry crying*

But don't fret.  Although Lisa talks a lot of shit about my close relationship with Raj, my Mailboxes Etc guy, he really came through. One frantic call to him at 6pm and those suits were sitting on my doorstep early the next morning.  I'm not quite sure who he had to blow to get them here but I'm not complaining!

So now that the swimwear had arrived, we were ready for eight-hour days at the pool.  And I must say, my fellow vacationers are quite entertaining.  Especially after a few Pina Coladas.

So I've made a list of a few favorites that have caught my attention.

1. The Inappropriate Uncle I wanted to give you a pass because  you told me you liked my bathing suit when I walked up.  But I couldn't ignore the fact that you made out with your trashy girlfriend on the next chaise over and were taking kamikaze shots while you were supposed to be watching your 6 year-old nephew.

2. The Creepy Grandpa Um, if you think I'm going to let you take my four-year old over the bar to get a smoothie after we chatted for five minutes, you're smoking crack!  She is way too young for her first roofie.

3. The Hot Bitch Okay, Hot bitch.  I just want to go on record to say that I don't think you actually gave birth to that baby you're holding.  Your body is smokin' and there's not a stretch mark in site.  And you're even drinking DARK beer!  Why do you have to be so cruel?

4. The Looker Upper Downer Please stop. You keep making me look down to make sure I'm waxed in all the right places and that my boob hasn't popped out. I've tried to convince myself that you are looking me up and down because I'm so fabulous but I think we both know better.

5. The Splash-me-nots I'm sorry that you thought you were making a smart decision by moving over to that "small pool in the corner" to get away from the drunk coeds.  Because if you hate loud noise and don't want to get splashed, you've just entered Hell, otherwise known as the toddler pool.

6. Social Butterfly, Pool Edition Yep, that's me!  Just can't help myself.  Move away quickly if you don't want to talk.  Especially after my second Pina Colada.

7. The "It takes a Village" couple The fact that I'm actually sitting in the water watching my kids does not mean I've become your pool nanny.  How many times to I have to save your 18 month-old from drowning in a foot of water before you get your ass in the pool?

8. The Chatty Grandma Please stop talking about the sensual 90 minute massage you got from a man named Hans this morning.  It's too much, even for a social butterfly like myself.

9.  The Judgey McJudgersons Yes, I'm aware my daughter looks red.  Yes, I've applied sunscreen in the last 90 minutes.  And no, I don't want to borrow that lame-ass UV protective hat your kid is wearing!

10. The Bully Your daughter just bitchslapped my son and took his floatie and you're not going to say a thing?  It's on whorebag!