parenting / travel

Chicago Made Me Break My Own Rules


I’ve always loved seeing new places; it’s never mattered if its on an airplane or on a road trip. Doesn’t matter if I go to expensive restaurants or stick with coffee shops, I love the excitement of being in a city i’ve never touched before. I know I want to share that excitement with my son so when I was invited on a trip with some family to visit Chicago for a week for my cousin’s graduation from boot camp, it seemed like a no brainer for me. Sure, i’d miss my husband but that “i missed you” grown up time would totally make up for it, right? Nothing like it, if you know what I mean… On the otherhand I wasn’t expecting Wesley to have four teeth coming in when it was time for the trip and I also wasn’t expecting my mostly laidback and sweet baby to be hit hard with the separation anxiety bug. He has just started going through this phase where he can’t stand being more than six inches away from me or his dad. Now he’s always been on the clingy side but this is a whole different beast. I’m talking, screaming if I set him down so I can go to the bathroom and screaming if his grandpa tries to hold him so that my back and the ergo can have a break. So this trip has been quite challenging. Though I love seeing Chicago, sharing new experiences with Wesley, and getting to see family members I haven’t seen in YEARS; I’m pretty sure i’ll never take a trip with the kid but sans husband again. I’m feeling quite a lot of appreciation towards my husband and realizing just how much having him around helps out. We’re a team and right now i’m feeling like less than half of that team. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that sometimes we have tochicago temporarily break our own rules for sanity’s sake. I’m very into car seat safety, as a lot of moms are in these days so i’m planning on keeping Wesley rear faced as long as possible. But on this trip I turned him forward so he can see the dvd player in the rental van. I pretty much feel like a huge failure over this but I was faced with the decision of baby screaming until he makes himself choke and gag for a ten hour drive or facing him forward. Call me a softy but I gave in after a couple hours and turned him around. Amazing how much Finding Nemo and documentaries about Babies can improve a road trip. The second rule I broke was maybe less dramatic but awkward for me none the less. I decided that I don’t want to nurse in public after Wesley is one year old because it opens up the door for too much hate and rude comments. But with a little guy who’s extremely stressed and grumpy from a new place with new people, I found that pulling the booby out for him and dealing with disgusted stares was far easier than letting him cry and shake. So over all Chicago has taught me; that I have to forgive myself for not being a perfect mom, that my husband is amazing, that separation anxiety is hell, and that Chicago is a pretty cool town. Wesley wanted me to let everyone know that he has learned to say “baby” and now calls everything “baby”, even fish at chicago3the aquarium. He also learned how to put my phone on airplane mode. Three more days and here’s to hoping Wesley will be a little less high-strung for them!


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