Wednesday, June 13, 2007

jetsetting with the baby!

Many parents dread the thought of being in a confined space with a less-than-cheery baby, and I am one of them. I was thrilled to visit my sister and brother in law at their lovely home in Northampton, MA, and excited that Paloma could visit, too. (Derek was busy impressing the usually-unimpressed-genius crowd at an atomic physics conference in Calgary.)

The thought of eight or nine hours of travel solo with the baby was a little daunting. But all in all, it went really well! Paloma makes friends wherever she goes and did very, very little screaming/crying. I got lucky.

My best travel tip: take your baby carrier! I had her in the Ergo 90% of the time and it was a miracle-maker. I had her on my front, a backpack on my back, and both hands free for holding boarding passes, water, etc. The Ergo was a total lifesaver. She napped in it, nursed in it, and was generally a happy traveler.

At Beni Auntie's house, she got her crawl on! She went from doing impressive plank poses and downward-facing dogs and slipping backwards to actually getting a knee down. Ever since we got back she's been scooting around like crazy. And we've noticed leaps in her fine and gross motor skills in general. Perhaps, as Beni suggested, all the experiences of traveling stimulated her brain.

Slipping backwards:

Kind of crawling!:

And as a highlight for all you parents who know The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we went to... the Eric Carle museum!

It was really fun. The day we went, they had a tent outside with children's book illustrators. There was some whimsical, beautiful art. I purchased a Linda Dockey Graves print for Paloma, an illustration of the story of the Pearl Diver. (It's the picture on the right on her site.)

The take-home message from all this, for me, was: don't be intimidated by traveling with a young one. And definitely don't let fear of it stop you from getting out there and having a fabulous time. True enough, I was exhausted at the end from holding her the whole time (even seated and with the Ergo, it was still challenging). But I'm glad I did it anyway.

And I take comfort knowing that next time Paloma travels, Daddy's carrying her. :)