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Toddler Traveler Challenges

Travel has always been an important part of our lives and we have been determined to keep it up since we brought a child into our world. Living in London, frequent work breaks, budgeting, travel experience and a child with an adventurous/adaptable temperament have all made this possible.

That's not to say it comes without challenges. Here are some things our 2-year-old did on our latest holiday to Edinburgh:

* We began our drive at 4 - she fell asleep immediately for 2 hours. By the time we stopped for dinner and got back in the car, she was wide awake and impossible to entertain for the dark hours (enter cartoons on the iPad - she probably had it planned that way).

* The Edinburgh Zoo has two pandas (there are only 6 in Europe). You have to book tickets ahead of time in 15-minute increments to see them. It's a huge deal and the pandas are so cute. As we listened to the keeper talk in the panda exhibit, Dash laid down on the floor and shouted, "no pandas! want see monkeys!"

* Laying down in protest is apparently her new thing - which was inconvenient because she did it just about everywhere. On busy Princes Street, at the coast, in abbey ruins, at the park (because it wasn't a playground), on multiple sidewalks, etc. The best incident occurred in the throne room of Hollyrood Palace. It's almost like she was saying, "I'm the queen!"

* We rarely stay in hotels anymore because it's cheaper to rent an apartment, nice to have more than one room and (perhaps most importantly) we don't have to tidy up before we leave in the mornings. Dash left this place relatively intact - apart from drawing on the door, flooding the bathroom (by pouring cups of water from the bath tap on the floor) and getting her fingers stuck in the closet.

* Her preferred mode of transportation is for us to carry her - but not in a proper carrier because that's too restrictive. The stroller is fine for a bit, walking is ok for a while. But she wants to be carried on our hip or maybe Daddy's shoulders. To entice her to walk, we made up games. Like, we picked up a handful of leaves and promised to throw them if she walked to the lamppost. Or, we hid behind stone pillars at the palace so she would chase us there. It got a little ridiculous.

Really, all of these things would have occurred at home. Insert "supermarket" for "throne room" or "local sidewalk" for "Princes Street," etc., you get the idea. Why not be somewhere different and interesting for these antics?

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Dear George Ezra: Your Biggest Fan is a Two-year-old Girl


My two-year-old daughter, Daphne, is truly your biggest fan.

As an infant, Daphne hated the car. Driving was the worst kind of torture for all of us. In an attempt to soothe everyone, I put on Wanted on Voyage. For some reason or another, she decided she liked you. So your CD stayed in the car, on repeat.

By the time she turned one, my husband and I made sure we had your album on our phones at the ready. It calmed her down, made her smile and helped everyone breathe. When my parents came to visit, they frantically asked, "What's the name of the artist she likes so we can download?"

It's a kind of magic. I wish we had video of how, mid-meltdown, we'd turn on one of your songs and she'd stop crying. Or how she'd wiggle her shoulders to your music before she could stand.

By the time she could talk, she began to request you. "Ezwa?"

video

I'm not a fan of "kid" music, so I'm ever so grateful that she latched onto you. No "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" here - just "Blame it on Me." Songs 1-6 are her favourite. Sometimes we get to 7 and she fusses for us to start over. "Cassio" is perhaps the best, as we change it to "Daphne-o." Each time we try to introduce a new artist, she protests.

She is much too impatient to wait between songs. "More! More!" she exclaims during the five-second break.

It's fitting that she decided to love a travel-themed album. We've taken her to six countries and even been to Budapest so far - taking you with us everywhere.

So, thank you. Thank you for making my daughter so happy. Thank you for not making us listen to kid songs over and over. Thank you for creating music that delights a very special little girl and inspires her parents.






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