When I say adventure I don’t necessarily mean conquering the Inca Trail toddler in tow. Instead, make an adventure out of travel, even the boring bits. I’m thinking loo stops at the petrol station, getting on an overcrowded bus from the plane to the terminal building and so on.
There is no point pretending travelling with a toddler is easy, but if you embark on everything like it’s the biggest adventure ever, the chances are your toddler will follow suit and soon forget what they were about to start bawling about.
A few days before going on a journey I talk to Master ATWWAH* about it. It makes for great bath time chats and means he’s already thinking about our trip and hopefully looking forward to it. So when we go away, it’s not a huge surprise.
We recently took the ferry to the Isle of Wight, so in the bath I put one of his toy cars on a plastic boat and crossed the water to the ‘island’. He kept saying ‘car, on the boat’ very doubtfully as if to say ‘don’t be ridiculous mummy’ but it helped create some excitement and he remembered it when we did it for real.
MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING
The great thing about making an adventure out of everything is that it also brings out the child in you and you start to see things through the eyes of a toddler. What isn’t exciting about an airport really? All the people, the big shops, the tangible feeling of chaos, and not forgetting the actual aeroplanes.
When it came down to it, our re-enactment of the ferry crossing was nothing compared to the real thing. I hadn’t factored in the huge Weetabix lorry that parked up behind us: its sheer size and noise, and watching a guy jump out of the cabin, which was three times the size of our car, mesmerised (and slightly terrified) Master ATWWAH. I’ve never had to be so enthusiastic about a lorry!
For more tips on travelling with a toddler, visit Denise’s blog aroundtheworldwithahighchair.com
*Master ATWWAH is Denise’s two-year old son