Month 7: Ho-Ho-Home At Last

Holy Holiday Hell. I have crossed over to the dark side: those bah-humbug types who dread the holidays. It was my baby’s first Christmas; I should have been excited. Instead, days before we left for the grandparents’, I was consumed with doing laundry, trying to find and pack all the gifts I’d hidden throughout the house, transferring all liquids into clear Ziploc bags, and hoping I didn’t forget some crucial baby item. Plus, I was already dreading my solo return flight with Miles. (C. was to return home earlier for work.) How would I possibly manuever us and all our gear through the airport by myself?

The trip there wasn’t that bad. We filled an entire luggage cart with all our gear – sort of embarrassing for someone who’s always prided herself on packing light. We made it through security with all our belongings. (Though they almost confiscated my mom’s perfume. Who knew I was supposed to open and unwrap the sealed box and put THAT in a Ziploc bag, too?!) We made it through the flight with no meltdowns (on the part of baby or parents). We managed to install the carseat in the rental car.

Only we didn’t bank on Miles’ reaction to all the lights, cameras, and action of Christmas with the family. On our last trip, he was 3 mos. old and slept whenever, wherever. This time, he was “on” all day long, every day. Now, Miles is a social little guy. He rose to the occasion, entertaining two sets of grandparents, six cousins, and countless aunts, uncles, and other visitors with his repertoire of cute baby antics. But when it was time to wind down in the evening, he didn’t. He woke up every two to three hours all night long, every night, complaining loudly and hoarsely about the accommodations.

I can understand. It was hard for me, too, to leave my comfy pillowtop mattress and down duvet to sleep in a series of strange beds. But at least I was given a bed, rather than a thin, crackly old Pack ‘n’ Play. After the comforts of his crib, Miles wasn’t having it. He cried and cried and cried until we brought him in bed with us. Then I would doze fitfully off and on until morning, afraid he would wake the whole household or roll out of bed. So it wasn’t a very restful "vacation."

By the fifth night of this, we’d all had enough. I changed my ticket and flew back with C., arriving home at 1 a.m. The next day, all was well with the world. Miles lolled in his crib, cooing over the baby monitor, while I snuggled up under the covers in my own bed for an extra half-hour’s sleep. There were no more gifts to smuggle through security, no more portable cribs to assemble, and no one we needed to be “on” for. We were home at last.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: Every couple of weeks or so, sort through the baby’s clothes and weed out the stuff that’s too small. That way, you won’t have to root through piles of newborn onesies in the middle of the night for something dry that actually fits.

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