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The Four Stages of Toddler Travel

Summertime is upon us, and many of you will be taking to the skies or hitting the road for some fun family vacations! Woohoo! Having recently traveled with two kids… 3 years old and under… on an airplane… BY MYSELF… I’ve come to realize there are four main stages of “Toddler Travel.” As a great service to you all (ha!), I’ve decided to outline them here so you can all be prepared for the delightful experience you’re about to embark upon.

Stage 1: The Build-Up
During this stage, parents typically spend every waking moment talking about the trip to their little ones in hopes of getting them so excited about it that they’ll surely behave themselves when the time comes! Activities during this stage include reading books and drawing pictures about the type of travel that will take place – trains, planes, and cars, oh my!

Stage 2: Packing
Attempting to pack with a “helpful” toddler is like trying to carry loose paper in the back of a pickup truck. You might get everything put into your bags initially, but your toddler will happily pull it all back out again for you.

Stage 3: NO!
Your bags are packed and in the car! It’s time to hit the road, rails, or sky! But where is little Timmy? Oh, he’s decided now is the right time to strip off all of his clothes, run a few laps around the house, and scream “NO!!” as you ask him so very nicely to please get in the car NOW. Instead, he puts his shorts on his head and laughs at you like a maniac. Now would be a good time to start praying that he doesn’t do this at the airport too.

Stage 4: Bliss
You’ve survived the epic meltdowns (yours and your kids), your method of transportation has reached its maximum momentum, and somehow your kids have finally managed to drift into a peaceful slumber. Give yourself a high-five, momma!! You did it!! Now relax and enjoy this rare bliss – once you arrive at your destination everyone will surely be starving and you’ll have to save the day all over again!

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