Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

It’s the classic nature versus nurture argument, with a slight twist. I know many people who hesitate to travel with kids because of the potential nightmares, and I don’t blame them in the least. Every situation and child are different, and traveling may be an utter disaster for some. But as a child who grew up traveling, I have to wonder if it’s easier for me because I’ve never known anything else.

It didn’t make sense to sit at home or not go on a vacation just because I had a child. At what age does traveling with kids suddenly become easier? Sure, she cries and poops now, but I’d rather that than try and travel with the teenager who is just going to roll her eyes at me the whole time. There’s never a perfect time for anything, traveling with kids included.

Hallie has had a lot of adventures for being under 2. She’s been to and from England, a few trips to Montreal, and whatever local travel we embark on. I do joke that she has international travel in her blood, but if I’m honest, Hallie hated her car seat for the first month of life. She was never a child that was settled by the car.  If she wouldn’t go down for a nap, driving around the block would always make things worse. I’d get her buckled in and only get as far as the driver’s seat before she was screaming bloody murder.

Louis, bless his heart, kept asking how I could focus and block out her noise. He would tell me “we should just stay home” or “we have to pull over.” Sometimes I would if I thought something was seriously wrong, but most often, my response would be that Hallie would have to deal. Sorry (not sorry) Hallie, but you needed to get over yourself. I kept insisting that at some point, Hallie would become ok with the car. I wasn’t going to stay home just because she cried in the car seat, and this comes from the mom that still sleeps with her toddler because I don’t like to hear the child cry.

It’s not like we didn’t try. We tried to amuse Hallie with music and toys, and she was always fed and changed right before we left. It never mattered, because she would cry the whole journey, letting us know how irritated she was. But one magical day, things finally changed. I have no idea what it was, other than the realization that we weren’t going to stop putting her in the car seat. Hallie didn’t cry. Not a single peep. I had to ask Louis to check on her several times to make sure she was ok, because we were that shocked. We’ve never had an issue since.

I would have been doing Hallie and myself a disservice if I decided to stay home and let my infant dictate when and where I went. Most of my schedule is built around my child, but this was one battle that Hallie just didn’t get to win. I love to travel, and now, so does Hallie. She can do a three-hour car journey with no stops without much fuss at all, which is more than I can say for Louis. Traveling with kids is tough, but so is parenting in general. If you want to travel, it only takes a few modifications to make it family-friendly. Even if Hallie won’t remember all of her adventures, I will, and those memories will always be precious to me.