Traveling with a Toddler

We decided to take a road trip. A camping road trip. With our two year old.

Before we left, Marta tried to prepare me (because she knows I have the tendency to have high hopes for things and then get REALLY disappointed when they don’t turn out): “Sarah,” she said, “I think it’s better if we have low expectations for this trip.”

By which she meant that we’re traveling with a child whose idea of a good time is putting a baby to sleep about every three minutes and/or reciting the names of all the friends in her daycare and then all the characters on Sesame Street. Said two year old might balk at being asked to hike four miles through a forest, pitch a tent, or spend hours walking through ruins while commenting on how cool they are.

But, none the less, I had high hopes.

We were going to camp in throughout New Mexico. We were going to see the famous Cliff Dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado. We were going to relax.

A week later, I write to you from a hotel room in Silver City, New Mexico, with a severe head cold.

We have camped, yes, but we’ve also stayed in two hotels now. We never made it to Mesa Verde, mostly because it was supposed to storm for days straight there and we didn’t think any of us could handle that while camping. Instead we’ve been making our way around New Mexico from the Turquoise Trail outside Albuquerque to a little town called Truth or Consequences (named after, I kid you not, a TV show from the 50s) to the Gila National Forest (where we got to see other Cliff Dwellings) to this here Silver City, a town that has been surprising cute (though the “cute” hotel we’re in downtown has supplied us with an antique mattress to match our supposedly antique room).

I could write lots about the joys of trying to share a two person tent for two people and a toddler or about how we invented a song to get Nico excited about the trip, A-Ven-Tur-A, which she then pronounced, A-Bootie with just as much enthusiasm, or about how Nico liked the tent so much she wanted to stay inside the whole time and never see the natural world outside, or about how we accidentally stumbled into a Blues and Bikers fest when trying to find propane for our camp stove, but Nico has just woke up and is pointing out the hideous “hojas” (leaves) painted on the wall of this hideous hotel, so I should stop now. When we get back to Lubbock in a week or so I’ll post photos.

2 thoughts on “Traveling with a Toddler

  1. I’m with Marta all the way–the only good camping trip is one you don’t go on. They should have tiny little tents for toddlers, btw, so it would be like a separate room, and you could get more sleep.

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