Blog: Traveling With Kids
It's been three years since we last visited New Zealand. In that time 5 nieces and nephews have been born and various other extended family members have entered into the scene so we've got lots of catching up to do. We've now met all the new nieces and nephews and our kids have loved meeting their cousins. Naomi, our four year old, was so excited about meeting everyone and has really loved playing with her cousins. Ian, who is nearly 10 months old, has been totally adorable and provided lots of entertainment. It's lovely seeing your kids be so excited. It must be one of the real pleasures of being a parent, seeing your kids enjoying themselves and enjoying the company of others.
We're also incredibly lucky being able to give our kids, who normally live in an apartment in Los Angeles, totally different living experiences. One set of grandparents live overlooking the Wellington airport and the view across the harbor is just lovely. The other set of grandparents lives on a 25 acre farm with sheep, cows, ducks, chickens and a rabbit. Both places were well received by the kids. And we've just spent the last week with my brother and his family. Their oldest, Finn, is only 6 weeks older than Naomi. They have a large garden with established trees, a vegetable garden, a trampoline, space for a paddling pool and plenty more besides. Naomi, Finn and Nia (two and a half years old) spent hours on the trampoline together, playing trains together and building "baby barriers" of cushions to stop Ian and Freya (16 months old) who were doing their best to be demolishing units. Now we're visiting another farm environment and more young extended family members tomorrow.
In all the different houses we've been visiting there are slightly different routines. The kids have been remarkably resilient adapting. With our children, though, as long as they are sufficiently fed, watered, and rested they will cope with different circumstances well. Sometimes achieving the balance can be a challenge and a few "grumpy switches" have been turned on. Communicating with the person or people who are coordinating the menus, asking for dinners to be a little earlier, and ensuring snacks are available usually ameliorates the situation. I also communicate about Naomi's food preferences – nothing mixed up, please! Allowing for quiet times during the day also made a big difference for last week where the house often resembled a small child care center. Tidy up times at the end of the day were more fun though and went incredibly fast when all the bigger children participated.
We've also been very lucky that all the places we've been staying either have small children living there or have small children visiting regularly so they are relatively child proof. The one exception to that has been at our new abode where the Christmas tree has just been erected. Naomi and I spent a short time moving all the small baubles higher up the tree. Ian was so transfixed by the lights when we turned them on that he actually took his first step by himself!
Even though it can take a little effort to be organized for the kids, the rewards are great – happy kids and seeing the kids happily playing together – it makes for happy parents, aunts and uncles all round!
posted on: 12/13/2007 1:00:00 PM by Katherine Macey
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Traveling With Kids
by Katherine Macey
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Katherine Macey, Ph.D., is a professional organizer who is passionate about helping people improve their lives and achieve their goals. She works mainly with academics in their offices and with residential clients in their home offices.
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