So we just had a bit of a family "vacation" last week. Well J and I had a vacation. My wife was presenting at a conference in DC (and rocked it of course!), and she didn't want to be away from J for so long. So the two of them flew down on Monday, and I flew down Tuesday after teaching to meet up with them.
For the record, the trip was great! J and I had a great time in DC, and we did a ton of stuff. My wife's cousin was with us too, so that made things much better.
Planes: We borrowed a travel car seat from one of my wife's coworkers, and I really don't know how we managed without it. Now that J is two, he needs his own seat on the plane. I thought this would have been a colossal waste, because I figured he was just going to be crazy and wiggly and not want to sit anywhere but my wife's lap. He loved having his own seat and it worked out really well. On the way down he slept the whole way, and on the way back he was happy to play with his reusable stickers and an iPad app. The seat also had retractable wheels and a handle to easily push it through the airport. It was awesome, and I highly recommend it!
Trains: We took the subway into DC on Wednesday to go to the zoo (more on that in a bit), and that was surprisingly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, he enjoyed it, but he didn't enjoy it as much as I would've thought. Maybe it was too long or too crowded, but his general attitude was "Ok, this is cool, but what's next?" Usually I would have been thrilled that he was willing to sit still and not fussed, but this is the kid who normally loves anything to do with trains. I guess I really need to stop having expectations with J...
Automobiles: Nothing much here. We rented a car and rode around in my wife's cousin's car. The airplane seat doubled as a car seat, so that was good. He liked our cousin's car ("This car is beautiful!"), and didn't care one way or the other about the rental. The one thing here was that we made a cd of his favorite songs for the car. I think my wife and I have become desensitized to it. Our cousin almost went out of her mind listening to it over and over again. I don't mind though, she's 22, and maybe it'll be a good deterrent for her :) hehehe.
The zoo: So I was finally able to take J to a zoo. I love zoos, but two-year olds are not nearly as into them as I thought they'd be. Or at least my two-year old wasn't. He liked it, oohed and aahed a bunch, but he was over-tired I think and refused to get in his stroller. A melt-down ensued, and I ended up carrying him. He quickly fell asleep, still wouldn't let me put him in the stroller, and so I ended up carrying him from the ape house, all the way out of the zoo, down to the Metro, on one train, over to the next train, and he woke up while waiting for that train. It's exhausting carrying a sleeping toddler that distance, so it was a bit of a downer. But he did like the lions and elephant, so that was good!
Museums: This surprised me a bit. After the zoo, I wasn't sure if he'd like the natural history museum, but I think he really did. He liked the underwater creatures exhibit and LOVED staring at the early humans (particularly Lucy). He at first wanted the animals to move, and once he realized that they don't move, he went to each one and said, "It's not allowed to move." HA! After Natural History, we went out to the mall and did the carousel (surprisingly fast!). Then we started walking to Air& Space with a quick stop at the Ai Weiwei Chinese zodiac heads sculpture and fountain (he loved that until he found out he wasn't allowed to touch -- what fun is that?). Unfortunately we only had about 25 minutes for Air & Space, but that was definitely fun for him too.
All in all it was a great trip that only confirmed my belief that having expectations of a toddler is just a bad idea.
If you're still reading this (sorry, I know it was long...), a quick announcement: my book is now available in paperback! Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1480069450/ref=mp_s_a_2?pi=SL75&qid=1350335300&sr=8-2
And of course, here are some pics from the trip! Enjoy!