We made our second journey to Seattle. Thirty minutes before leaving, T took a tumble down a few stairs resulting in an ugly gash just over his right eye. He didn’t need stitches so we applied some ice and continued packing—flight #422 was not departing without two frazzled dads and a crazy toddler aboard. The eye was going to be big and ugly no matter what we did. We like to think of it as his prize fighter look.
Traveling by air with a 2+ year old is a bit different. For one, the little guy is much more aware. He sat next to the window buckled in like the rest of us, watching out the window as the plane took off. He had some pretty big eyes as we went rocketing down the runway and kept looking up at us, like he was asking, “the roar of the engines and the rumbling of the plane, there is nothing to worry about—-right?” And as the plane lifted up and we soared out over Baltimore, he sat back and looked out at the shrinking landscape below. He seemed more puzzled than anything.
In the air he was busy for the first few hours, mostly climbing on us trying to look over the seats both forward and aft. But the volume of our little tot and his busyness paled in comparison to that of the five young children sitting behind us and the myriad of infants populating the rest of the plane. It seems that other parents had been turned on to the advantages of late night flights.
We stayed at Uncle Bill and Auntie Pam’s place—a working horse ranch just outside of Seattle. It is peaceful and calm and beautiful and heaven for a little kid—and for weary daddies. The next morning the gash above the eye had swollen and looked pretty awful. As a rough and tumble two-something, T was sporting three war wounds on his head now—not the first and certainly not the last.
Mr. T was the life of the party at the gathering the next day with my big family. People took turns playing with him and he in turn spent most of the time unleashing his huge laugh and crazy yells and screams on all of us.
Without going into detail our vacation came with a number of firsts:
First horsey ride
First tractor ride
First big truck ride
First ferry boat ride
First time being up close and personal with a big motorcycle
First time at the beach
We shifted from T’s regular schedule into vacation mode which is really no schedule at all: short little car naps; excitement and late nights; add that to the three hour time difference and you have one messed up child. The lack of schedule and stimulation from all directions helped propel him into a little twoish-terribleness. Every time we had a meal at a restaurant food went flying, there was screaming and wailing and way too much correction—not particularly fun. Almost every night all of us fell asleep around 9:30 pm on the same sofa-bed. By the end of the trip we had some amazing times with my family but we daddies were utterly exhausted.
The redeye flight home was uneventful—on cue T slept the entire time. What was most striking about this week was the explosion of development that is happening in our little boy. The experience of being around family and friends and all of the new experiences only amplified that. Sometimes it made me just sit back and marvel at him.