On the seventh day...
Travel is something that both JT and i enjoy and something we felt would be a marker for our parenting style. We weren't going to buy into the conventional wisdom that you couldn't travel with children and i was determined to disprove the notion that child as traveling companion necessitated mountains of luggage.
If it was just the logistics of travel that turned out to be difficult i wouldn't even be writing this. Unfortunately, as with most things parental, the difficulty lies in the areas i can't control.
I am a ruthless packer and an efficient travel planner. I can winnow Henry and i's belongings to a single roll-aboard and schedule flights so they coincide with nap times without a second thought. I can keep Henry on his general routine, bring Ralph and his other sleep accoutrements, and generally try to provide him the same environment he's accustomed to at home. I can not however figure out, let alone solve, the reason H can be super-baby all day (charming everyone with his continual smile) while his sleep quality begins to erode and then unravel.
At this point Henry is averaging slightly over one trip per month since he first traveled at 2 months old. I think our solution is cutting back on his travel schedule until he's a bit older. At this point we need to pick and choose his trips carefully so that the benefits of visiting family and friends are not out-weighed by the temporary damage to his sleeping. I think i might just start treating this as an experiment (albeit not a controlled one) to see if certain variables make things better or worse. Look for the results of my study in a Pediatric Sleep Journal in a few years...
We'll see what the night holds, but i think after a day filled with many, many naps, we may have little Henry back on his routine. After finally falling asleep at 7 last night he slept until 7:45 this morning with only one brief night-waking. I was so dead i didn't even know he was crying until JT got back in bed from checking on him. His day started out with a brief 20 minute nap, but after pretty short awake periods i just kept putting him back down for increasingly longer naps. By tonight he seemed to be getting back to his smiley self.
Here's a picture from the second full-day of our trip. Showcased is the entire Thetford cousin and second-cousin gang.