It’s a different kind of Vegas with kids. Not one that we haven’t done before. But the first time with two. And the first time with an infant.
I rented the double stroller. And envisioned myself strolling through the air-conditioned shops with a coffee in hand. Easily maneuvering through the crowds by day. Munching on delicious eats as the kiddos slept by night.
But not at all how I imagined.
As it tends to be when traveling with kids.
Instead of sleeping peacefully in the double stroller, my 3 mo old daughter decided the ingenious solution I had come up with was most definitely not working for her. At least not for any length of time. And in Vegas it takes an hour just to get to the Starbucks in the main lobby of your hotel. Assuming you don’t get lost along the way. In a city built to distract and confuse it’s patrons with shiny lights and pathways that redirect you into spending more money around every turn, nothing is simple.
I learned that the hard way the first day. Tired from a long day of flying and a three hour time change had everyone slightly out of sorts, but the three of us ventured out with the plan of going to the Marvel Museum in Treasure Island. Just across the street, this will be easy.
Famous last words.
Almost two hours later with my feet aching, we finally made it to the entrance. About to purchase tickets to the tour when Mona began to cry. An escalated wail that made it clear this was the kind of situation that needed some serious soothing. With baby in arms, I awkwardly tried to push the giant stroller with my free hand. Sweat pouring off my face. Arms burning. And desperately in need of a second pair of hands. Slowly but surely, I bounced and jiggled and rolled my way back. Exhausted and wondering why I had even left the room in the first place.
Because when it comes to a baby.
Routine is key.
Missing that window on food or sleep will inevitably end in disaster.
Things that work so seamlessly at home will suddenly not.
And everything feels so hard.
A late night dinner eaten with one hand. Baby cradled in the other, perched on top of my knee that wiggled steadily throughout the night. It was well worth it to enjoy a meal with our good friends that had made the trip up from Los Angeles. And yesterday, a trip to the dolphin sanctuary at the Mirage finished off with the most delicious lobster roll I’ve ever eaten.
It hasn’t been easy. From trying to nurse a hungry baby inside a shoe store. My nipple flying about as she angrily clawed at my breast. Finally giving up knowing there would be more hell to pay later when I would next try to attempt an even more famished feed. It’s awkward at times. But even so, I find much to be grateful for.
My husband, who after a full day on his feet at a conference, will take the baby and rock her to sleep. Knowing I have nothing left in me. My son, who has shown an immense amount of maturity, understanding his sister’s constant needs over his own. And my friends, who served as those critical extra hands and legs that second day. Feeling beyond defeated and anxious about my daughter not eating, my spirits were immediately lifted as I watched Shin lunge walk through the Venetian with Mona in arms. The perfect motion and movement to help her sleep through lunch so I could eat that amazing lobster roll. This time with both hands.
When they say it takes a village.
They sure mean it.
Because you’ll get through it. You always will. But it makes it so much easier when someone can dig through your bag to grab your wallet. Or pickup those sunglasses that slipped off your face. Watch the stroller so you can take your other kid to the bathroom. And wiggle that sweet baby to sleep when you’re feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed about your private bits waggling about in broad daylight.
Laughing just as much and having even more fun than you did when you were young, even amidst the challenges. The joy in the city being your son’s delight at everything from a telephone in the bathroom to a giant M&M hanging off the side of a building. Or your friend’s boyfriend gleefully referring to himself as weekend dad as he wheels the stroller through the crowded streets. It’s no longer about the biggest clubs and the best DJs. And I am so totally okay with that.
Because one day it won’t be so hard.
My daughter won’t need her mommy quite so much. Not just for food, but for comfort that started in the womb and will continue on for the rest of eternity. A bond that only a mother and their child can understand.
And I’ll miss it.
With one more unexpected visit with friends on the agenda before we take off to Mexico. I’m glad we’re doing it. Traveling and figuring it out along the way. Three weeks in Tulum and Playa del Carmen to scout out some potential land, as well as attend a World School Summit. And some much valued time with my husband’s mother, who will be joining us along the way. Because if you don’t do it, you’ll never know you can.
And once you can.
You realize, you’ll always be able to.