Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Unpredictable Behavior of a Traveling Toddler

Traveling with a child is always a major production. Imagine that, the smallest person in the group requires the biggest bag with the most stuff. While traveling with a toddler may seem just a little bit easier than traveling with a smaller baby, I noticed something remarkably different each time we travel with our little girl… her behavior!

The first time we took her on a trip was when she was only seven months old. It was a week long trip to Bangkok, a gift to us from my fairy godmother, and we were lucky enough that she also paid for our yaya (nanny) to help us out in the care of our baby girl. That plus all the doting titas (aunts) and grandmas, caring for our angelic baby girl was a breeze. She slept throughout the plane ride, was behaved even in traffic, she sat patiently during our meals, she sat happily in her stroller as we did all our shopping… she was the perfect baby girl!
Fast forward to all the other trips that followed after, she was a mix of naughty, nice, angel, and little devil. We’ve been on trips wherein we took her yaya with us, and there were trips that were just us. In general, she is a child who is easy to care for and manage. But nothing prepared us for our most recent vacation.

While we had already taken her to Balesin previously, this time seemed different. Thankfully, we had the help of my sister (her fairy godmother), and our friend who was has the energy of a toddler.

First off, the flight to Balesin only takes 20 minutes. Since three trips ago, she has had her own seat next to the windows which really excites her. This time around, she freaked out as we hit a few air pockets. They never really bothered her before, but I guess the feeling is more pronounced on a smaller plane. She cried until we touched the ground. It felt like the longest Balesin flight of our lives.

Then there was the fact that my daughter hated the sand. She has always hated the sand and she made a big fuss over it this time. She refused to step anywhere that had even just a little trickle of sand. And while she is okay with grass, she refused to step on it if it had sand. She refused to walk on the clubhouse floor if there was sand. Because of that, she cried to be carried everywhere we went. It was a big strain on my back and on my husband’s arms. Rather than being the usual cooperative child that she is, she would run away from bath time, refuse to have her teeth brushed, roll around the bed while getting her clothes changed, and kill bugs with her bare hands.

On top of that, whenever she does something wrong, like play with her food, when her dad reprimands her she would simply put on a smile and say, “I love you, Papa!” Now how do you continue getting mad?

On other times, she was very sweet. She ate on her own, she ate whatever we ordered and didn’t complain. She loved swimming time. She went to sleep when it was time for her to sleep, except for one afternoon where she refused to and fell asleep as we were going to mass. She interacted with other friends who came on the trip with us. Best of all, she is a child with a naturally happy and easygoing disposition.

While she was easy to handle on most trips, she’s a toddler who is growing up and going through many changes so she will be a different child each time we go on a trip. She’s beginning to see the world differently and in bigger shoes. She now has a concept of fear and excitement, of what she likes and doesn’t. She’s more mobile and would love to exercise that mobility to run, explore, play, be a kid. I have to remind myself that that’s just how a toddler is… unpredictable and a child of the world.

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