We tried to divide our time equally between the grandparents and aunts and uncles so every couple days we packed up and moved to a different house. This is both the hardest and the easiest way to do things. Hardest because, as if packing for three people and flying across the country isn't torturous enough, doing it again and again will surely seal the deal. (Not to mention now EVERYONE has to wash their sheets and prepare for guests!) Easiest because, with little kids, where you sleep is where you are. There's only so much time between waking up and naps and bedtime and if that time is spent getting dressed and fed and out the door and driving across town, the opportunity for quality time slips away before you know it.
Besides, it's always the unplanned stuff that's the most fun.
If it can happen in pajamas, even better.
Just underwear? Now that's the best.
We still got out and about, of course.
And saw as many friends as we could.
While the gypsy life worked pretty well for me and Liam, Finn never quite got used to it. The first night he slept great. So great, in fact, I kind of got a big head about it. I started feeling like some sort of travel or parenting expert. Like, "Look at me, I just flew across the country with TWO kids all by myself like it was no big deal and now we're here and sleeping through the night, no muss, no fuss." It helped that my sister and her husband just took Jack on his first big trip to see family and were suddenly very impressed with me. Because it's hard. Sometimes really hard. Even though, apparently, I've been making it look easy all these years.
Or at least I had been up until this trip.
Because after that first great night Finn decided that sleeping anywhere but home was not for him. So he just kind of stopped. Sleeping. At least for more than a couple hours at a time. So for the rest of the week it was as if I had a colicky infant again. Only this time I was totally out of practice.
A few sleepless nights in, I started to get a little loopy and my pleasing personality all but disappeared. Finn went crazy, too. He started calling me "Mom" like a put out 15 year old and acting all kinds of belligerent. It was exhausting but also hilarious. My sister and I almost died laughing one morning while sitting on the floor of Jack's nursery mainlining coffee and trying to keep Finn from body checking Jack. We were doing impressions of Finn yelling at me and it was almost the funniest moment of our entire trip.
(He was calling me "Fag" in a totally exasperated, pissed off voice which would only make sense if you knew the back story which involves my Dad calling Jack and Moose "Mack and Juice" and me saying, "No fair, why don't you call us Minny and Fag?" and then realizing how funny it would be for my son to get tired of yelling, "Mom!" and start yelling, "Fag!")
(The actual funniest moment of the trip? You'd have to ask my sister...)
So, anyway, we survived the trip and a week after it started we were back home in our very own beds. Relief! Only the sleeping like a colicky infant thing kept right on happening. We'd put Finn down for bed like normal but an hour or two later, he'd wake up crying. Screaming! It took us forever to get through whatever Mad Men episode we were watching because we'd have to pause it like a hundred times to go settle Finn back to sleep. (We usually let him work it out on his own but since he came home with a cold, crying it out seemed like cruel and unusual punishment.)
We've been home for about a week and a half now and his sleep schedule is FINALLY getting back to normal. Last night was the first night he didn't wake up at all between bedtime and morning and it actually kind of freaked me out. He's still not 100% (we're heading to the pediatrician today) and went to bed even earlier than usual (6:15!). When his room was still quiet when I got up at 7 this morning, my mind briefly went to that dark place. Why didn't I check on him? What if something's wrong? But then he started talking to himself in his scratchy morning voice and I breathed a huge sigh of relief and rushed in to his room to scoop him up and press his perfect little warm cheek to mine.
Thank goodness it was just that full night's sleep messing with my head!