My baby is four now. FOUR. Do you know how old that is? It’s puts-on-his-own-shoes old. It’s goes-to-the-loo-independently old. It’s rides-a-bike-with-training-wheels old. It’s also old enough for him to no longer be three, and amen to that, amiright?
Our house is purged of all things baby, excluding a couple of really nice toys and a Pack-n-Play in case little people visit. No sippy cups. No diapers. (Though I did just discover an expired tube of Butt Paste.) He doesn’t even want to wear zip-up footie jammies any more. But when I look at his sweet face while he’s concentrating on something, my heart explodes for the babyish features that are still there: the delicious cheeks, the darling button of a nose, those ridiculous eyelashes, that itty bitty little mouth. I still see Baby and it’s why I still pick him up from school with a stroller instead of forcing him to walk home. He also gets an inordinate quantity of hugs and kisses because I still just want to gobble him up and squeeze him and love him and keep him for my very own. (Thank goodness.)
We’re standing on the cusp of a new frontier. We’re stepping into that world of fun and freedom that comes with having two boys who don’t demand constant assistance and entertainment. It makes planning our summer adventures quite exciting! We’re unburdened by All the Stuff we felt necessary to care for two small children while on the road. We can show them places and they’ll remember them; they can tell us about places they want to see and we can go there. We can go camping and actually relax. I’m incredibly thrilled by all this.
Try as we might to be free of stuff that gets in the way of our lake toys and prosecco cooler, our dudes are still little and need to travel in car seats. We’re a long way from the infant carriers or convertible seats like the Britax Marathon we took all over Great Britain…and on a ferry to the Netherlands; in Germany, France, Spain; from Minnesota to Alabama. My kiddos put in hundreds of hours and thousands of miles in that car seat and never complained about it. (Find a Britax car seat for infants and toddlers for your travels.) And they’re still strapped in safely!
We’ve gotten to a point where our kids are asking to take trips on airplanes and trains. They literally jumped for joy when we told them we’re planning a trip to Rome. They are enthusiastic about exploring and traveling, and it’s not so much of a chore any more. Which is great, because those of us who have had a taste know that we won’t regret traveling with kids. (This guy knows what I’m talking about.)
Often friends who are traveling ask what to do about car seats. The FAA recommends the use of a child restraint system on airplanes. However, it’s my experience that car seats are a pain to transport, so I often suggest solo travelers look into alternative restraints and renting on arrival. I’m dreaming of the day we won’t have to worry about it!
If you aren’t entirely sold on traveling with kids, check out these tips – with a little preparation it can be great fun! And perhaps a little bit of drama, excitement and adventure, which make stories. (Like that time we went to Pompeii.)
You can find the gear you need for these adventures – for whatever stage of parenting – at diapers.com. Share your stories of success and struggle with your car seats in the comments below for a chance to win a $50 gift card* to their online shop! A winner will be picked at random from the comments (and you must comment to be entered to win). Think of the travel supplies you can stock up on…
We’d love to hear from you!
This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate. *Note, the gift card does not cover international shipping or customs fees.
Drawing closes at midnight PST, March 25, 2017.