Last year Michael told me that he didn't like how unprepared I was. We got here, and I didn't really have a solid plan, so a little bit of time was "wasted". So this year I was way over-prepared and had a ton of events mapped out and some even booked already. I knew it was a good sized load, but I thought Samuel would be up for it. That was before I knew he'd get sick and before I knew that a wicked cold front was moving through.
To say that it's been cold is an understatement for this Texan. Yesterday's high was 27F and today's was a balmy 30F. Normal is about 15 degrees warmer. (And I just saw that it's 78 and sunny at home.)
1. Don't hold tightly to plans. It's really not about me on this trip; it's about him. There's no sense in forcing a tour down his throat if he's going to kick and scream about it. I'm just trying to find the common thread in things he finds enjoyable and go with it.
3. Dress appropriately. We have a ton of clothing on, but it still feels like we need more. If he's unbearably cold, then forget it. We just have to stop for hot cocoa. I'm also trying to find as much indoor stuff to do, but we still have to walk to get there. In hindsight I should have bought him new winter gear, but there was no way of preparing for a freak cold storm.
4. Have him keep a travel journal to record everything he has learned and done that day. This helps him to see the importance of it all and helps him solidify his memories. He loves it, too. This can be adapted to whatever your own kid enjoys doing. Samuel draws a short story and a picture.
5. Keep change on me to be able to go to the bathroom whenever needed (you have to pay for it in most public places). And don't pass a bathroom without asking if he needs to go.
Thinking about these things that I've listed is really helping me to chill out a little as a parent. I'm reminding myself that things don't have to be perfect. Things will work out if I'm intentional.
Savor the moment.