Tip #1 For Traveling With Small Children

A good rule to follow is to spring the news about an upcoming trip no more than one hour prior to departure for every year of your child’s life.

For example: never tell a three year-old child about an upcoming trip more than three hours in advance. Otherwise, prepare to spend the next month or two explaining why it is not possible for you to swing by Nevada, pick up his cousins and head to Disneyland on the way home from preschool.

If your child is named Max, also be prepared to provide detailed descriptions of all hotel swimming pools you may encounter several weeks from now, including, but not limited to, the numbers on the side of the pool , water temperature, and whether or not there will be other kids there. Also be prepared for your child named Max to fill a backpack full of markers without their caps, dried bits of PlayDoh, and a brand new winter parka from Hanna Andersson, as he packs for the trip.

The one hour per year of life guideline may also prove useful in months featuring holidays featuring ninja costumes, poking pumpkins with butter knives, and demanding candy from your neighbors.



(Please stop asking.)


12 responses to “Tip #1 For Traveling With Small Children

  1. Ha! We have the opposite requirement here. Much advance notice of “The Plan” is required to prepare our kiddo for a trip. And we have to explain it in Dora-speak, (an example from Easter 2007): First we are going to church, then to see flowers, then to lunch. Church! Flowers! Lunch! then home.

  2. Amen on the too much notice… and the last line? Ha ha ha!! Us too.

  3. Yup, we always spring things on the kids.

    Guess what! You’re going to Grandpa’s for the weekend, and you leave in 20 minutes! Get packin’!

  4. *snort*

    We made the mistake of telling the 4.5 year old we will be moving to the ocean. In July. She has no concept of July. She thinks we’re leaving next week. It’s gonna be a very long 9 months.

  5. I’ve already said it 10 times today. Tomorrow, dammit!!!!

    Totally hear ya on the too much notice. If we do that here, Noah obsesses, Lilah overpacks, and Aviva waits at the door – shoes in hand – for as long as it takes. Oy.

  6. thanks for the advice although the halloween advice is a bit to late. We are getting the whole ‘is it trick or treat time yet mommy?’ every.five.minutes.

  7. I’ve made minimal references to halloween for a reason. Then again, our problem is Rosalyn’s love of her winter coat and boots, to the point that she wears them to bed.


  8. Yes, a three year old child named Ivy had a LONG 6 months wait for two baby sisters. At least she’s getting the hang of the days of the week now so we can count down other impending adventures and/or events.

  9. Yeah…um, all I hear out of Avery’s mouth right now is “Is it Halloween yet? Is Avery going to be a monkey? Is Avery going to say trick or treat?”

    Enough already.

  10. yep – wise words indeed. can i just add, on a slightly more gloomy note, that it’s probably a good idea not to inform your children, immediately before leaving for school, that the hamster has died.

  11. tee hee, I spend six months listening to what jack is planning for his own birthday, I can only imagine what would happen if we were going somewhere

  12. rivergirlie, I remember one day before leaving for school when one of our cats died in my arms. I was a wreck the whole day at school.

    Anyway, I found this blog yesterday and I like it very much. I appreciate your writing style and your honesty about mothering Max.

    How did Halloween go? My daughter loves to use the phrases “some other day” and “after a good night’s sleep” to represent the future.

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