It’s Hard Traveling Without Your Toddler

Back to The Balkans- Days 2 & 3- On to Romania & The Castles of Transylvania 6Kim and I just got back from Las Vegas where I attended the BoardingArea Conference otherwise known as BAcon.

There wasn’t a ton of time for play during this trip since I was in meetings most of the time. This didn’t really bother me all too much since this wasn’t my first trip to Vegas but something just didn’t seem right. 

This was our first time leaving Lucas home from a trip… (A couple of years back I went to Chicago for a couple of nights but Kim was home with Lucas.)

Most would consider a trip without their kids a good thing, maybe a much-needed break.

However, I have to say that I really missed my boy. (When your child flies over 91,000 miles with you before he turned 2, you know he is part of your travels.)

a young boy wearing a tie
Lucas just before turning 2

It was hard saying good-bye on Thursday morning when I dropped Lucas off at school but he didn’t seem to mind.

I think it’s been harder on us being away from Lucas than for him.

We waited until just a few days before leaving to start letting him know that Mommy and Daddy would be going on the airplane without him. We told Lucas that he’d be spending a few nights with Grandma and Grandpa.

I wasn’t sure if he would understand fully what we were talking about, but he got it right away. There were some tears and a really cute but sad face put on. And then, he started to say ” But I’ll miss you, I want to go, Don’t leave me etc..”

To further explain what was going to take place, Kim put together a social story for Lucas. As some of you may know, Kim and I are both Special Education teachers. Kim teaches students with autism. Social stories are a tool that she has used with her students in the past to help them understand a new situation, social situation or skill they are targeting.

While social stories are effecting for students with autism, I think they can be a great tool for any parent of young children.

This social story really broke down to Lucas what would go on over the next few days in a very basic way. She used lots of pictures of Lucas, me and herself as well as one of the bed he would be sleeping in. Over the next couple of days, Lucas would tell us he is getting a present, sleeping in a Thomas bed and would miss us, sometimes shedding some tears.

Although it made Lucas a little sad, it was great that he really understood what was going on.

If you are worried about leaving a young child home for the first time, I’d recommend making a social story. I think all kids would love to see a story about themselves.

Once I got to Vegas, I briefly spoke to Lucas via Facetime. He showed me a puzzle he was making and looked really happy.

This made me feel much better about our decision to leave him home! I mean, it’s not like Vegas is really the place for a 2.5 year old!

How did you and your child deal with it the first time you left them home from a trip?

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