A while ago, I was whining on another group blog about what an ass-pain it is to take kids on out-of-town trips. I still maintain that the benefits of exposing toddlers to a new environment that requires sleeping under a different roof barely outweigh the onus of hauling all of their equipment to that location. Unless you’re going to see Grandma, you might as well just go to the vacant lot down the street as take your kid across the county line. I honestly believe that a two-year-old can’t tell the difference between Chuck E. Cheese and Disneyland. So they certainly wouldn’t be any more impressed by Yosemite National Park than by the abandoned rock quarry just outside of town.
Despite the hassles of traveling with youngsters, I was reminded just yesterday of a very valuable and probably completely obvious lesson: it’s almost always better to get the kids out of the house than to coop them up for long stretches of time. I always assumed this was the case, and have hardly ever kept our twins at home all day since they were born 20 months ago. But yesterday they seemed pretty tired, having been out late at a dinner party/playdate the night before. In fact, they had done so much fun stuff the previous week that they were pretty run down. Or maybe I was projecting my own condition onto them.