return trips

We got home late last night from a trip down my in-laws. It was a pleasant visit, but ultimately very tiring, as all trips away from home with the kids are. No matter what we do, the sleep schedules get disrupted.

This trip, the sleep issue was compounded by some sort of bug Theo had, which gave him a runny nose and completely took away any impulse to sleep. We drove down Wednesday night, leaving after 8 in order to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic. The plan worked well, as far as traffic went. And Phoebe fell asleep within about half an hour of leaving home. Theo, on the other hand, did not fall asleep in half an hour. Or an hour. Or two. He did eventually fall asleep, but once we arrived, he was wide awake. Phoebe also woke up upon arrival, which was around midnight, but was willing to consent to go to bed after an hour or so of visiting with Grammy and Grampa. Theo, on the other hand, continued to be wide WIDE awake, and none of our usual efforts to settle him down had any noticeable effect. Even taking him to bed with me, rocking him, singing to him, sitting with John as he worked. Theo was just awake. The funny thing was that he seemed perfectly cheerful, except for those times when we suggested that it was time to think about sleep. At those points, he was decidedly, and vocally, unhappy.

In the end, Theo finally crashed some time after 5 in the morning. I was asleep then, after hours of passing Theo off between me and John, with me periodically falling asleep for too-short stretches. At 7:30, a moderately well-rested Phoebe came in to wake me up. I pulled her into bed with me, hoping to get a few minutes more rest. Theo was asleep in a portable crib at the foot of the bed, and while he didn’t wake immediately, it wasn’t long before Phoebe started to meow. (She is often a kitten these days.)

Thanksgiving day was a blur of trying to prevent tantrums, and I mostly didn’t have any. Theo, on the other hand, demonstrated that two-year-olds really do need more than 2 hours of sleep a night, and would cry at the drop of a hat. Well, we didn’t drop any hats to test that, but he certainly cried about a large number of other things. Like being offered breakfast. Or not being given breakfast fast enough. Or not being given the right cup. You should have heard the shrieks of outrage when his banana broke. And that was just the first 15 minutes of being up.

Theo on Thursday, coping with the ordeal of having been given a cracker.

Thursday night also didn’t give me enough sleep, though part of that wasn’t Theo’s fault. (I ended up staying up till 3:30 working, after finally getting Theo to sleep at 11:00.) Most of Friday was a blur, too. Remarkably, Theo was a completely different child by Friday night, and went to sleep without effort. He was utterly charming on Saturday. This was apparently a cue to Phoebe to act out, lest we thought we could get away with a tantrum-free day.

We headed home late Saturday, and happily both kids slept the whole way home. They unfortunately both woke up upon arrival home at 1:30 or so, but we managed to get everyone settled again moderately quickly. (Though I did have to take Theo to bed with me again–he had a cough that kept waking Phoebe.) Miraculously, Theo and I slept till 9:30, and Phoebe slept past 10:00. There weren’t even any tantrums at breakfast.

Anyhow, I’m not really sure what my point was. But it feels good to be back home.

In other news, I was thrilled to learn yesterday that my nephew, Diego, after things had been steadily improving without surgery, got to go home from the hospital. Unfortunately, he had a setback again in his recovery, and he has had to go back to the hospital today. I am still hopeful that he can avoid another surgery, as things are not as bad as they were a week ago, but it is still very worrisome. It is all so hard a little person, not to mention on the bigger people who take care of him. Once again, I’ve been trying to figure how and when I can make it out there to see my family again.

6 thoughts on “return trips

  1. Poor Diego. :(

    I died laughing at the caption to the photo of Theo. Charlie sometimes has a hard time coping with the ordeal of not having enough food in his mouth, even though it’s all falling out as he cries. Ahhh, parenthood. ;)

  2. I chuckled several times in this post. The descriptions of poor Theo’s fragile state were very entertaining, though I know the reality must have been less so. Also, I’m proud of you for not having any tantrums. ;)

    I hope Diego recovers again very soon.

  3. Wow, the small people are having a hard time lately. Congratulations on avoiding any tantrums of your own and on writing such an entertaining post about what must have been a very trying trip.
    I hope Diego’s latest hospital stay will be very brief and that he recovers quickly. Poor little guy.

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