This past weekend Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, and I had our first experience traveling with another family. We were excited about the weekend getaway, because we were traveling with long-time friends who have a son just a few months older than Lukas. It promised an opportunity to connect at a new level, while enjoying the amenities that a regional state park had to offer.
We decided to carpool the 4-5 hour trip (each way) and share a guest house. What we didn't anticipate was the effect that rooming two toddlers not accustomed to sleeping with another person in the room would have on the mood of the trip. As it turned out, the boys ended up keeping each other up most of the two nights, resulting in six tired people.
Combine these six exhausted people with certain expectations, perhaps not in sync, about how the trip would unfold, and what you have is a recipe for tension. Add to this nice combo two tired two-year-olds who are having difficulty with the concept of sharing and playing nice on little sleep, and what unfolds is a little pushing, a little grabbing, and one bad bite at the end of a long weekend. This resulted in unhappy and protective parents on both sides. It's only natural, but admittedly took us by surprise.
So, the weekend wasn't the complete success that we had hoped for, but we did have some fun times despite the mostly unspoken tension that it brought along (think naked babies on the beach covered with sand!). And, as I mentioned, these are people who we adore and hope to spend many successful outings with as our boys grow older. It was just, as I mentioned, an unanticipated outcome to what promised to be a fun-filled weekend.
Perhaps we made a rookie mistake in having such high expectations? How about you readers? Are we alone here, or have you had similar experiences sharing accommodations and transportation with friends while your children were this young?
As for us, I think we learned a valuable lesson about expectations and travel with young children. It's certainly a much different experience than we would have expected a few years ago, and we will adjust accordingly.