While we were on our trip to Arizona, we left our video monitor with my parents who were kind enough to watch Cambridge for the week. I do believe that was the longest time I had ever gone without watching Leighton while he napped and slept. Yes, I know he's now three and a half, but now is the perfect time to have video capabilities because he's stealthy like a cat as he creeps out of bed to indulge in devious toddler-like shenanigans.
There have been times in the past when our video monitors have died, and I've had to rely on the "old fashioned" methods of using a sound only monitor, or *GASP*, even using my own ears for the telltale signs that something is up, but my control freak nature really gets stressed out in times like those.
When I saw my neighbors using a sound only monitor, I asked why they chose to go that route, and they explained to me that they didn't want to become obsessed with every movement of her children, wondering if they were waking up or not. Yes, that is a valid concern because I have done (and still do) that as I watch my video monitor with diligence. However, like I said before, sometimes when children are old enough to be stealthy, a video monitor is necessary... especially one with a 2-way speaker. Without that constant surveillance and "voice from GOD" over the speaker, my three-year-old ran a muck for days: not taking naps, turning his heater up all the way, and being super annoying and whiny from the lack of naps. Not good... for anyone.
Yes, yes, yes, I know "people used to do without baby monitors" a long, LONG, time ago, but just because people used to do things differently doesn't mean that we have to nowadays. I mean seriously, people used to churn their own butter and bathe once a week in shared bath water, but that doesn't mean we have to do those things now, right?! Let's get realistic here people. We live in a modern age with amazing technology. Yes, that technology can create crutches for us to rely on, but it can also be a very helpful parenting tool.
Whether you decide to go video or go "old school" is probably up to your parenting style. We control freaks need the video feed, and the more laid back parents can probably due with sound alone. Regardless of which way you choose to go, just try not to let the technology control you... or you'll become psychotic like I am!
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Oh yes, we did it, and we survived. Our first flight with a three-and-a-half-year old was something I was NOT looking forward to at all. Anyone with a child of that age knows what I'm talking about... everyone else has either forgotten about their kids at the age of three and has repressed all memories for that year's time span, or they haven't yet come to know the horrors that age brings. There could be a horror movie as the sequel to Snakes on a Plane - Toddlers on a Plane...
Did I lose sleep over the thought of taking an uncontrollable toddler into a metal tube of confining insanity? Yes. Was I so stressed out that I was exhausted by the end of the day of the flight? Yes. Did we regret our decision to take him on a plane at this age? Well, I guess not.
Luckily for me, my son can be distracted by two constants: food and the ipad.
Regardless, my concerns were the following:
Well, having him eat and drink seemed to help his ears, and he was okay with that. Yes, he missed a nap on the flight to Arizona, but he caught a cat nap during the 1.5 hour drive to Tucson (which was NOT enough nap), and I actually convinced him to take a nap on my lap on the flight home as he kept stealing glances at the sucker that I placed in the seat pocket for motivation. He wore the headphones - not a problem.
I was able to check the car seat for free, but no one at either airport seemed to know where I would be able to retrieve said car seat... both people were wrong in where they told me it would be (thanks for that help!) Nope, he didn't actually turn me into "that mom" - so thanks Leighton for that. He peed in the airplane toilet on the trip to Arizona, but he refused to do so on the return flight, but that was probably because I had woken him prematurely from his nap, and he was delirious as we were in descent.
The flight home was much less stressful that the flight there because I knew he would do just fine. I'm just glad that I didn't have to deal with two car seats and a baby as well or I may have gone completely mad.
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