About two years ago, Bryan and I traveled constantly, in anticipation of never, ever being able to travel again. We knew we wanted a baby, and everyone very helpfully told us our lives would suck afterward. Also, that we’d never have sex again. Or read a magazine all the way through.
As it turns out, Hank is a happy, flexible guy. He was born that way, so we can’t take much credit, though we’d clearly blame only ourselves if he convulsed with fury at any deviation from routine. Such is parenting.
Fortunately, Hank is so mellow that our largest concern is whether he’ll just hand bullies his lunch money and sigh when he’s older. He doesn’t cry much on planes, or have trouble being in new places. We’re able to put him to sleep even out in the world (thanks Happiest Baby on the Block
!), and he often seems even more content when we travel because he has constant access to both of us.
It’s true that in some ways, traveling with a baby isn’t as much fun as traveling on your own. Especially at first, it was frustrating being unable to go wherever we wanted. In Amsterdam I worried excessively about getting lost and running out of formula or diapers. Of course, Amsterdam has drugstores every three feet or so, but apparently I thought the Dutch allowed their children to crap in the streets and fed them only chocolate until they were old enough for unpasteurized cheese. Live and learn.
At any rate, even when I’m up at 3 a.m. with a wide-awake Henry who hasn’t adjusted to the time change, traveling is still so much fun for us — I can hardly complain that it used to be 10 percent easier. Also, there are so many things about travel that are better with a baby. Hank definitely notices the stuff we’d speed right past, like friendly dogs, or cigarette butts. People are incredibly kind to you, and you waste less time sleeping off hangovers or wondering where the hell you just woke up.
One of the places we visited on our whirlwind pre-baby tour was Argentina, and we fell in love with Buenos Aires. Today, we fly back to live there for a month. (Bryan’s company closes for a couple weeks in winter, and he’s tacking on a couple weeks of his remaining paternity leave.) I’m so excited my stomach is actually flipping every time I think of it. Of course, it’s possible I have some kind of flu, in which case the fifteen-hour flight is going to be even less pleasant than I anticipated.
Anyway, now’s the time to flood me with Argentina tips if you missed your chance last time. We’d like to do every fun thing available, so don’t hold back. We’re also talking about arranging a meet-up, so let us know if you’ll be around too. You can even meet Hank. He’ll be the one eating cigarette butts out of the ashtray.