My family and I recently had the opportunity to take a week-long vacation in San Antonio, and we had a great time. I guess the vacation was really just for me and our son, as my wife spent the week at a professional development conference, but she had a good time as well.
My favorite part of the trip was the fact that the boy and I got to spend all day together for a solid week. It was something I had been looking forward to for quite a while, so I had a lot of fun and my son seemed to enjoy it as well.
However, I think he ended up missing his regular routine somewhat.
We had a good sized hotel room with an area we were able to close off that we assumed would let him sleep better. That ultimately turned out to be the case, but he didn’t enjoy it that much.
My son is a really good sleeper, so I took for granted that would automatically transfer to the hotel. But I think all the changes from what he was used to threw him for a loop, so he didn’t enjoy going to sleep at all.
Luckily for us, once he was asleep, he stayed that way and slept fine. And instead of being able to put him down for naps, he slept on me for a couple hours each day — which was another highlight of my vacation.
I first noticed him acting differently when we hit the town the next day after my wife had gone to the conference. My son loves to run around and explore, so whenever we let him loose in a store or mall, he’s thrilled. However, on this day, he wasn’t interested in walking anywhere. In fact, every time I put him down to walk on his own, he’d step in front of me to block my path and put his arms up so I could pick him up.
So I ended up carrying him a lot during that week.
Since we had nearly stopped using his stroller, my wife and I discussed leaving it at home for our trip, but ultimately decided to bring it in case we wanted to push him along the Riverwalk or something like that. I’m so lucky we decided to bring it, as I ended up pushing him all over the place during that week.
Before I realized it was just the unfamiliar surroundings that caused his unease, I thought the boy’s shoes may have been hurting him as they were getting tight. So we spent most of the first full day of our vacation trying to find him an affordable pair of new shoes. That sounds like an easy task, but shoes for little kids are expensive, so I spent several hours looking for a pair I liked.
I eventually found him a new, larger pair of shoes, but that didn’t stop his desire to be carried or ride in the stroller for the rest of that week. Luckily, we had plenty of other activities to keep him entertained that didn’t require a lot of walking.
We had a great time playing together in the hotel pool, and he loved when my wife and I were able to take him to the San Antonio Aquarium, which had a lot of great features for someone his age. In addition to seeing various fish, birds and lizards, the aquarium also had a splash pad out front so he got to run around with some other little kids playing in the water.
Our hotel also had several different birds in cages throughout its lobby, so we made a point of going to see the birds every day. And every time we’d get to them, my son would light up and point at them.
Obviously, there were many more memories we made and experiences we had during the week, but it all went much too quickly. So I’m really looking forward to the next time we get to spend a week off together, and hopefully with his mother as well.
William C. Wadsack is the managing editor of the Herald Democrat and a first-time father. He never realized just how expensive children could be until the birth of his son. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WCWadsackHD.