My family and I just got back from a Caribbean vacation for a week (thank you travel points credit card!) and it was a wonderful, relaxing, beautiful, and MUCH-needed trip! Here is the good, the bad, the funny, and the ugly of our trip, where siblings had to share not only a room, but a bed, for a week, and the sun rises at 5 a.m. or so every day. There were some funny moments, too, since the world of a 3 year old is full of interesting combinations of events!
The Caribbean is a beautiful place where the sands are white and the oceans a beautiful blue (see above photo and click to enlarge). We swam, played in the ocean waves, and the boys learned to swim/doggie paddle in the pool. Traveling with kids is definitely different (though we’ve done it several times). On the one hand, they are impatient as one minute feels like 30 and on the other hand, you have to be mindful that they will get hungry more frequently, you may have dinner at odd times, and once they’re in bed, you’re in for the night, too. Even on vacation, we only push our kids so much being awake, since over-tiredness plagues you even on vacation. Not to mention that the sun just wipes you out. Confession: My husband and I were in bed asleep by 10 p.m. almost every night, too!! I don’t know his excuse, but I needed the sleep. Our boys traveled very well and even strangers commented on what good travelers they were, which of course made us gleam (I know good rest helped, too). We have definitely learned from past experiences, so don’t fret if the first time you travel doesn’t go smoothly. It gets better.
Sleep-wise, the boys had to share a room and a bed, neither of which they do at home. This was interesting and definitely gave me some inspiration for the next article in my Sibling Series. The one thing that is important to recognize is when it comes to babies and kids, in general, is that the first night often does not indicate how things will be a week or two later. The boys played, giggled a lot, and took a long time to fall asleep the first couple of times, but by mid-week, sometimes one was asleep before the other even got in bed, and if they weren’t, they fell asleep much faster after a few reminders it was time to sleep. It did not go perfectly, but they did a great job! Once they were asleep, barring one or two nightmares by my eldest (photo above to the left), they stayed asleep, thankfully! They asked to sleep together Sunday night after we got home, but I told them that we will practice on Friday nights until they fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time (20-30 minutes) and once they do, they can sleep together more often. I know it will take practice on their part (and to let it get old) and we can’t afford to let an hour pass before falling asleep on school days.
Yes, the boys slept well together, but they did not sleep past 7 a.m. even ONE day! The sun was up at 5 a.m. (or so) and no matter how dark I tried to keep it, they were ready to go by 6 to 6:30 a.m. most days. They were very excited to be on vacation, so that also contributed. Since I was asleep by 10 p.m. almost every night, it was actually not too bad compared to nights I work until midnight sending Personalized Sleep Plans™.
The summer is actually “off season” in the Caribbean. This is great for crowds, but it’s also rainy and mosquito season. I had at least 20 bites on my legs alone after the first day before we got diligent about bug repellent (see patch on my arm above). Thankfully, I got the brunt of it and my eldest only got one bite (my youngest none)! I am thankful that I took one for the team there. I’m sure I whined enough for all of us.
The trip back was pretty brutal. Ironically, the long portion of our plane ride was GREAT! But, the last plane ride, which was just an hour, was soooo tiring because it was late at night, past the boys’ bedtimes. My son became pretty manic and ultra-hyper from being so very over-tired. I actually felt bad for him that he was losing it pretty bad (though not crying) on the plane and fell asleep 5 minutes from landing only to have to wake up to go the rest of the way home. They were troopers, but definitely a looong day and the latest they’ve ever stayed up (18 hours for the one who doesn’t nap and almost 1:15 a.m. when they finally went to bed). Pretty rough!
- The first two days I heard “I want to go home” several times from my youngest son. He did not want to sleep outside his own bed, poor thing. By the last day, he said “I don’t want to go home.”
- When asked what dessert he wanted one night he was offered ice cream flavors and one was “Cookies and Cream.” His request was “Cookies without the cream.” LOL Too cute. They didn’t have just cookies, though.
- My youngest wanted a combination cereal of Raisin Bran and Froot Loops (yeah cereal choices were limited and we were on vacation) and he ate it! Ewww!
- You might remember our potty training experience, but when you gotta go, you gotta go and my youngest had to go when I was in the water with my eldest, hubby was jet skiing, and he said he tried to call for me. He pooped and we had to go clean him up in the bathroom on the beach. Not fun, but poor thing!! I’m sure when he’s 20 he’ll love that I shared this here.
- It’s so interesting how you have to be “strong” for your kids. I grew up in California and hated seaweed, but found myself saying things like “It won’t hurt you. They’re just plants in the water.” to my youngest. I had to even touch it to move it out of the way! :O Too funny.
- It was past nap time and I was holding my son in the ocean and he started falling asleep in my arms from the movement of the waves. So sweet! Awww!
The REALLY “Funny”
Gross but classic was when my husband found my three year old drinking water out of the bidet (something used to clean yourself after going to the bathroom in French areas)!!! OMG! It’s just too “funny” not to share. I would have taken a picture, but of course, that is too gross not to stop right then and there. LOL
Share your good, bad, ugly, and funny summer moments!
Now that I’m back, if you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.