- Bring a change of clothes for the baby (of course) but also for you, your husband, the person in the seat next to you, possibly even the people in the rows in front and behind you.
Miles is a trooper. He smiled at everyone we encountered on the Super Shuttle, everyone in line at the airport, made friends with the TSA guy and charmed the flight attendants. But Jeff and I made a big mistake. We gave him too much to drink too early. When he drifted off to sleep soon after the flight took off, all was well. Then the flight staff came on over the loud speaker, woke him up and caused him to be just a bit off. Which then caused him to throw up every last drop of the formula he had drunk, most of it landing in my lap and down my cleavage. While I was able to change into Jeff's sweatshirt that only had a little puke on it, I could do nothing with my jeans so smelled wonderfully of baby vomit for the rest of the trip.
- Check out the cleanliness of the floors of your hotel if you have a crawler. On second thought, you might want to avoid that as the results might terrify you.
So we stayed in a hotel in the general vicinity of where my mother lives on Long Island. We got there late the first night so there was little time for inspection. The following night Miles spit up some of his formula and, when we wiped it up with one of the towels, saw that rubbing the carpet had turned the towel BLACK- no exaggeration. We got a room change the following morning but the second room was not much better.
- Enjoy the extended family.
I haven't seen many of my cousins since before Jeff and I were married and some even longer than that. My mother organized a big family reunion at my brother's house in Connecticut. It was a zoo and Miles was a bit overwhelmed but it was great to see all the family. It was very fun to watch Miles and James together. Griffin is still in the meatloaf phase but it was great to see him too.
- Beware of feeding too many bananas to your baby.
While we were staying at the hotel, we took advantage of their free breakfast. It wasn't too bad though the options got a little boring after six days. We didn't bother to bring oatmeal for Miles and instead fed him food from the buffet including many bananas. At home, he might eat a bite or two of banana if we are eating some but the intake is limited. On the road, he would eat almost an entire banana by himself.
A few days after we had been at the hotel, my mother and I went shopping. The trip was cut a bit short when we received a call from Jeff stating, somewhat calmly, I must say, that Miles had worms. As you might imagine, we rushed back to my mom's apartment, took a look at the offending diaper to find small squiggly black things that looked like black fibers. At first my mother said, "Oh, maybe those are just some fibers from the hotel's carpet." But the diaper was totally infested with them. Miles would have to have eaten the entire floor to have that much in his diaper.
And off to the clinic we went. The doctor immediately diagnosed it as pinworms asking, "They're small white worms, right?" No, they're black. "Hmmm, well let's take a sample and send it to the lab." The results came back negative. Two days after leaving the hotel, all symptoms disappeared. So I started doing a bit of searching on the internet. On one forum, there were a few moms who talked about small black worm-like things in the babies' diapers. Turns out, the thing they all had in common was banana consumption. Ah ha!
- Babies are ambassadors to the world.
New Yorkers are not exactly known for their friendliness. But if you want to meet some native New Yorkers, go to the city with a very cute baby. Even in my young, hot days, I never received the kind of reception Miles did as we walked around Central Park and rode the train and subway. It helps that he smiles at everyone in order to get a reaction. He's persistent, too. He charmed men in the subway car, two women as we ate lunch, a grandmotherly sort as we sat at the lake (he was even asleep), a small girl and her grandmother at the swings, many people on the trains in and out of Penn station and many others along the way.
- Collecting is fun.
It seems that we have begun a carousel collection. We have been to a number of different places with Miles and many of these places have carousels. Whenever there is one, we go on it. So far we have been on carousels in Disneyland, the San Francisco zoo, Golden Gate Park and now Central Park. It's a ride that Miles likes and it is always interesting to see the differences in the animals that make up the carousel menagerie. As Miles gets older we can start collecting more exotic carousels or maybe one in every state!
- It's never too early to arrange a marriage.
After New York City, we drove up to Ithaca to see my friend Mihal get married. It was a huge gathering and there were many babies in attendance. Mihal's cousin and husband came all the way from Israel and brought their 14 month old baby, Elah, with them. She was so cute and sweet and Miles showed great interest. We arranged for them to meet in the future as we know she comes from a good family.