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September 22, 2005

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Theresa

Me thinks, as a mom to 4 nuts, er, kids, that you should leave her, and enjoy yourselves.

Melissa

Tough call. But as a parent of three, I'd say go ahead and leave her at home. As much as you'll miss her, it will be pretty tough on you and BossLady. You won't be able to enjoy being France as much. If Peanut were younger or older, I'd say bring her. But at that age, I firmly believe that it's more important to keep her on schedule.

Go! Enjoy yourselves! I'm jealous!

Alison

when my son was 2 months old my husband and I left to Vegas for 4 days. It was hard, I called home 4-100 times a day, give or take, but it was worth it! We had a blast. Go enjoy, Peanut will be fine with your parents. She won't even know you've gone...

Andrew

On the flip side I know American friends here in Switzerland who have done trips the other way with young children. It's not easy but the baby coped.

You will find that the French are great with children. It's a culture which welcomes them as part of the family even in formal situations.

Melanie

Alison's post reminded me of when we left our daughter at home for the first time. I was crazed with anxiety. I must have called home every 15 minutes and drove everyone crazy. But my suggestion is that the two of you go off and enjoy yourselves. You're right. The Peanut will be fine. You'll be the ones all freaked out. Just try to enjoy yourselves.

Melizzard

As hard as it is at the time everyone will probably be much happier in the end if you leave her at home. Nothing about travel appeals to children at that age and it's nothing but work for you. Enjoy and celebrate your friends and you'll love her that much more when you get back.

Carrie

Leave her at home. She is too young to appreciate the trip, and if the trip wasn't planned with her schedule and comfort in mind, it will be miserable for all of you. I have made the decision both ways in the past, and leaving her was better. She'll be okay, and you'll even be okay in a few days.

Jamie

I've got a good idea! Take me with you to the south of France. Please! I'll watch the Peanut while you and Bosslady have fun at the wedding. I'm small so I don't eat much. You could pay me in wine!

MIM

So far, Jamie clearly has the best idea. Why didn't I think of that??

I had a friend who took her one-year-old to Spain, but that was for a month. Six days . . . that's a SHORT trip. I agree with all the the other wise comments, leave her at home. You'll be fine!

alice, uptown

Speaking from the, pardon the expression, peanut gallery, my parents traveled extensively throughout my childhood, and until we were old enough to behave ourselves -- say, 8 or so -- or were going to a child-friendly (not that such a term existed in the 1960s) place, we stayed home with caretakers. In retrospect I think that was a great plan.

Linda B

We've only traveled to CA with E in tow, and that was hard enough! As hard as it sounds, I think it might be easier to leave her with your parents. Sounds like Peanut is a well adjusted baby so she'll be totally happy and playful while you are gone. But I do suggest writing out a specific to do/not to do list of things for your parents so that they won't try to feed her things like sticks of carrots and raisins (or maybe that's just MY parents who do that!?)
Also, I definitely recommend a trip with just you and the BL. My husband and I haven't had a chance to go away for a weekend together w/o the baby and the opportunities to do so are just so few and far between.

Matthew

Go without the Peanut. But, remind everyone in France of your sacrifice - especially that old man with the bad heart.

CroutonBoy

Not to elbow in on this, but what does everyone think about the trip if it were two weeks long? My wife and I are discussing (OK, I'M discussing) going to Australia a year from now, when ours will be 14 months. Am I smoking crack? Could we bring her or leave her for two weeks?? Six days is much easier...

Chris

Two weeks is a long time for a toddler to be away from their stuff. My oldest, who was The Easiest Baby in America, would get homesick after about a week. We'd get home and she would visit every little thing she had missed.

Also, I don't know where you are but Australia is a long long plane trip with a person who would just be getting into walking.

Stefan

It's official. When I grow up, I want to be MetroDad. Or even better, can you and the BossLady adopt me? I've already gone to college so you don't have to worry about paying for school! Just take me on your vacations with you. Please!

landismom

I'm with the majority here--let the grandparents spoil the Peanut while you and the BossLady spoil each other. You deserve it, and so does she.

AdventureDad

Hey MD,

The best thing to do is leaving Peanut at home. Easy choice. I got lots of experience with this so please let me explain.

Daniel is 18 months old and has so far logged four r/t trips to NYC and two to Mexico City. Those are trips from Stockholm (Sweden,) which means 8 hours plane ride to NYC and about 15 to Mexico. Plus numerous domestic flights in Sweden and Mexico. He's a super traveler and has never been anything but excellent. Total crying time for all the flights we have done is 10 minutes after a malfunctioning speaker system once woke him up while sleeping deeply.

Our experience is that going TO USA is quite easy. You usually arrive in the mid afternoon and before you have settled, played a little, and unpacked it's time for the little one to go to bed. And he has usually not gotten much sleep on the plane travelling TO NYC. It takes 2-3 days for him to really get into the rythm (it's 7 hour time diff.). Going TO Europe is usually harder. Flights usually leave towards the evening and you arrive Europe in the morning. Baby has then slept some on the plane and doesn't want to go to bed until about 12-2AM. That's hard work. It takes us about 5-7 days to get Daniel into his normal rythm again. The first couple of days are lots of work and keep in mind he's a baby that behaves incredibly well. For others this can be a complete nightmare.
So just as Peanut is getting used to the time difference over there you will be going back. I'm sure the little one will handle it fine but it's lots of work. While the little one is less than a year you ask(way in advance) for the bulk seat and the optional baby crib. Then you got extra room and baby will sleep part or the whole way. When they get older they are more curious and want to explore the whole plane. That is fun but exhausting. Forget about a glass of wine,Ipod, and a nice relaxing book.
We have not left Daniel before because we got no family nearby and can't leave him with strangers. With family here we would have left him for the shorter trips. But our trips so far have been longer, from two weeks to three months in duration.

I know you want to bring Peanut. But I don't think it would be very productive for such a short stay. Especially since she's in good hands in NYC. It's also great for you and wife to spend some time away from Peanut. I have sent Hot Wife away several time to Paris and Italy to spend some quality time away from our son. Of course she misses him but having a baby is hard work and it's important to also spend some quality time with your partner. Take your wife and enjoy France. You will miss Peaunut but she will be fine and it will be great for you guys in the long run.

If you decide to bring Peanut, please drop me a mail and I'll give you some good advice over how to handle the trip with the baby. What to bring, how to do it etc. I got Hot Wife here with me and believe it or not she agrees with my advice. First time ever....

Have a great weekend

AD

AdventureDad

Ehhh, and sorry about the long answer.

AD

Dutch

ever the contrarion asshole, I'm going to disagree with everyone.

we've done six 5+ hour flights with ours, several of which included long layovers. And we've dealt with jet lag (we are still dealing with jet lag from the last trip and we're flying from san francisco to detroit again next week). I'm not going to say it's fun but it has never sucked so bad as to make me not want to do it again.

Sure you can leave her and sure you'll worry and still have a good time. But I remember when I started reading your blog, you were always writing about how you planned to travel all over the world with the peanut and expose her to new cultures and experiences. I'm sure you meant when she was older, but when do you plan on starting that? Imagine the pictures, metrodad! Peanut chewing on a real French baguette. . .

Andrew is right, the French are VERY progressive about including kids in formal social occasions and they are also very understanding about traveling with kids. Plus, if there are people who are going to be at this wedding who haven't met her yet, they'll be really disappointed.

My personal feeling is that people are too damn uptight about not disrupting babies' schedules. That's just my constant personal battle with Dr. Weissbluth coming out though.

One thing I love about traveling with ours is that I get to be with her 24/7 for so many days in a row. And as I wrote last week, I think disrupting the beloved schedule actually inspired some developmental leaps.

That said, I agree that it might be nice for you and your wife to travel like you did in the old days.

Suzanne

Go! Enjoy yourselves. I know you plan on taking the Peanut on your worldwide travels but there's plenty of time for that later in life. Besides, it'd be nice for you and the Bosslady to get away together alone. Trust me. As the Peanut gets older, those times will be very few and far between. Take this from an old mother of 4 kids and a grandmother to 2!

Pattie

I'm only a parent to cats and dogs, but I think you and your wife would do better to leave Peanut home with your parents. As you pointed out, it will be very disruptive for all involved, especially the baby. You and your wife will have to adjust to a huge time difference, so imagine what that would do to Peanut's schedule. I know it will be hard for you both to be away from the baby, but I really think it would be better for her to stay home with her grandparents. Know that she loves you both and have a great, safe trip to France.

Chocolate makes it better

Mate...humans have been on the move for hundreds of thousands of years....I don't think our ancestors left our kids with the oldies when the ice age came!!

Take her.....you will miss her deeply and think of all the cool photo's you get to take and show her when she is older.

Don't give up your kids for convenience....sacrifice is what being a parent is all about right??

the weirdgirl

Honestly, I don't know what I would do as I'm months away from being close to a similar situation. (And I'm still testing the grandparents' babysitting abilities.) However, regardless of what you decide to do DON'T feel guilty! There's too much guilt spread around and no way to win. Just enjoy yourself.

If you do decide to leave her at home, how about setting up an internet camera so you can at least check in visually while you're gone? I know I would feel better if I could see my boy on a live feed.

Melissa

I left my 3 year old for a wedding for 5 days when she was 10 months old. They were getting married in Ireland and we decided to leave her with my very capable mom in Los Angeles instead. (At our house.) This just seemed like the best idea and it nearly killed us. However, she did fine and we had a great trip and we were all thrilled when we got back. Also we spent some much needed one on one time togeather. Yes, it was all on planes, but at least you can have a lot of time to talk. Every other trip we've been on we've taken our girls, but the Peanut is young, so if it were me I would leave her. Just my two cents. Either way, have a great trip.

Susie

I think it's better for her if you leave her at home. You think you will feel better if you bring her until she decides after one leg of the trip that she is boycotting sleeping. Or she catches a nasty bug on the plane. You will have plenty of distractions. Plus you can always call home for a Peanut fix.

bitemycookie

MD, 3 words.

webcam
grandma
bon voyage

or we could meet you there and babysit. both good options. you will have a wonderful time with or without her. go with the least complicated option.

margalit

Like everyone else, I say leave the Peanut with her grandparents and her nanny. Because the nanny is involved, her schedule will be relatively the same and that will be much easier for you guys upon your return. Take advantage of this time and have fun in France. You're terribly lucky, you know.

I had to leave my twins when they were babies for a 4 day business trip. Day 1 was very hard and I cried. By day 4 I figured out that they were fine and didn't miss me anywhere near as much as I missed them, being babies and all. It was hard on me, but they were absolutely fine.

Beth

I say leave her at home, with her schedule, her supports, her own bed, etc. And let yourself have a good time (okay, try).

Larissa

I've traveled with my daughter since she was born, and I found it a breeze on plane flights because I breastfed until she was almost 2 so I would simply let her nurse through take-offs and landings and anytime in between. Never did we have a single fussy moment on a plane.

Even now post-boob, flying is a breeze and she babbles and giggles through the flight. Navigating airports and taxis as a single parent has proved challenging, but there will be two of you, so no worries!

Honestly, I say take the peanut. Enjoy traveling with her now while she's still small and portable. When she's two or three and wants to run off in every direction and use the potty every four seconds, you'll be ready to leave her home from time to time. Believe me!

Queen of Ass

LEAVE HER with someone you trust. Go and enjoy yourselves. Make another one in France.

melissa

Ok, so I went home last night and asked my boyfriend why we left the Bean at home, when we went to Ireland. And he looked at me like I was from anothere planet and gently reminded me of the four month long ear infection at the time. HHHMMMM... maybe it's selective remembering. I guess when thrown in my face, I do have a vague memory of sleepless nights with a screaming infant, and the threat of tubes... which suprise, somehow after that she stopped having ear infections. So, now I do remember why we left her home on that trip. But anyways, sorry for the long post, and a double one at that. I was just thinking last night, and now I have changed my mind. Take the peanut with you. You want her to be a world traveler, so you should start now. I've taken my girls on many trips, including shorter international ones. They love flying, and love airports, it is all exciting. Screw the schedule. Schedules are for adults, kids adapt easily. Just be prepared - have a few new toys and snacks and stuff, she'll be fine. And if all else fails, let her listen to the Ipod. Seriously, she will love it. Good Luck.

misfithausfrau

Hey Metrodad--I am a little behind in my blog reading, but here is my humble opinion. When my older daughter was a year old, we went on a three day weekend to the Bahamas without her. We had a great time and missed her a lot. Then, a couple of months had the opportunity to go to France for 8 days for my husband's work. She was in good hands with Gramma and we had a blast! It is also where we conceived our second child (don't let that scare you if that isn't in the plans yet).

While I have flown numerous time with my daughter (alone), six months was by far the best age. It all went downhill from there. There is so much crap to schlepp, even if two of you are doing it together. Benadryl cocktails are great, but I don't like drugging my kids to make them sleep. French hotel rooms are very small (if you are staying in one.)

Lastly, what fun is a trip to France if you can't get stupidly drunk and roll down a hill in Montmarte and miraculously find your way back to your hotel room EVERY NIGHT YOU ARE THERE?!?!

Yes, you would miss her terribly, but she would be fine! She will be getting spoiled terribly while you are gone and loving it!

Dollymama

I think that esp. for your wife, she needs to do some serious thinking about her feelings. Some people would feel upset at the thought of leaving at first, but maybe they are partially feeling other things that contribute to their anxiety that might work out fine once they got on the trip and relaxed.

Other people, moms in particular, I think, would be so distracted, upset, and fearful that the entire trip would be spent saying things like, "This is stupid. We should just go home. I don't know why we even came on this trip. We should have just brought the baby so at least we could have some fun."

When I had my first child, I would not have been able to go away for 6 days and been ok with it. Now that I have lots more kids, and the baby is a 2 year old, it would be scary for me to leave them that long because I'd worry something might happen to them and I'd be too far away, but assuming all went well, I would have a blast once I relaxed.

For the baby, if she's really attached to a schedule and routine, it might be less disruptive for her if you left her home. For some kids, their anchor in their life is being with the parents more than a place or a routine, and they would be more upset by the separation than the travel and time changes.

Know thy self. Know thy baby. :)

It's easy for everybody else to tell you what to do, but you're the only ones stuck with the results.

Darren Byers

My wife and I just returned from a 3 week trip to Ireland (we're from Toronto, Canada), with our 7 month old son. Went really smoothly- he adjusted to jet lag better than we did. Most important points for us was to go with his schedule (make sure he eats when needed) and we avoided hotels and rented flats. This was particularly useful, as allowed us to make his food in our own kitchen, do dishes, laundry, etc. We found them on the internet- and were all great.

Good luck if you decide to take the Peanut!

Ms. Mama

As a family split between the new world and the old world (living in the Netherlands, while my family lives in California) we already dragged our Pumpkin at 3 months from A'dam to SF for 10 days, with a side trip to Phoenix for 2 days of that. She adjusted wonderfully and had no problems with either the flights or the time change. We just switched the day after arrival as best we could to her normal schedule. For a few nighs she woke up once for a bottle at 5:00am, but otherwise she was fine. So I would say if you want to bring Peanut, do it, it is not that difficult. But if you want to go galavanting about visiting wineries etc, and you do not have a sitter in France, it may be better to leave her with her grandparents.

I guess what I am saying is if you want a romantic trip for you and Boss Lady then leave Peanut at home, but if you want a family getaway, don't let the short term of the trip stop you from bringing Peanut to France. She may not remember it, but just think of the stories you can tell her :-)

Neal Patrick

We did a week with Sophie in Italy when she was ~18 months. It was truly a family vacation, rather than a mix of celebration and family fun. Sophie actually stayed in the old time zone, which was OK - she goes to bed at 6PM EST. In Italy, midnight is a good child bedtime. Really. I'm not kidding.

One thing to remember is you'll be able to do 1/3 of what you did sans children. That might be a challenge for being a full-fledged wedding participant.

andy

Travel with babies is one of the seventh levels of hell. If you do take her, make sure you get her a seat. Bring one of those car seats that is also a stroller, but is approved by the airlines so that you don't have to carry a stroller and car seat through the airport (this is the only way to travel with baby). And prepare to hear some screaming if she can't sleep well on the airplane. Trust me, this won't be fun if you bring her. Why not use 6 days in S of france to make another one ;-)

Susanna

Go without the Peanut. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Susan

Ok, I know I'm Johnny-come-lately here, but I've slept on it and I just can't keep it to myself any longer. A lot of people are encouraging you to leave the baby at home, and if you're comfortable with that than go for it, but I suspect that you're not comfortable and that you will regret leaving her for so long. 6 days is like a month or two to a one year old and might seem like that long to you and the Bosslady, too. Sure, it will mess up Peanut's schudule but she'll get over it, and I'm pretty sure she loves you more than the schedule anyway. If you're looking forward to some time away, I would suggest starting off with a weekend. Besides, when were you going to start this globetrotting business? Traveling with a child will always be inconvenient. Might as well get used to it now.
Thanks for writing such a great blog, but I'm with the Bosslady on this one; tears well up in my eyes at the very thought.

Citrullus

I bought a pakgace of soba noodles on my last trip to one of the many asian grocery stores in my area and was waiting for inspiration to whip up a tasty dish though I'm leaning more to a tahini/sesame seed rather than a peanut butter based sauce.Any idea what would make a good substitution for the snap peas/green beans?

Bianca

Honestly, you make me want to move back to NYC...Just wrote about your project on www.nook-sucasa.com, and hope it was okay to use your imgaes. If not, just say the word.

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I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally
well written!

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