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Uh-Oh. My 2-year-old's Homesick on Our Family Vacation

By ilanawiles |

Today is the second day of our family ski trip. My husband and I have gone skiing every February since the day we met with the exception of the year Mazzy was born.

Last year, we went with my husband’s cousins, including our cousin Robyn who doesn’t ski, so she watched Mazzy (one-year-old at the time) while we hit the slopes.

It worked out splendidly.

This year we are away with the same people and had the same plan in mind.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

We arrived yesterday evening and spent the night unpacking, ordering in take-out and figuring out who slept where in the condo. We set Mazzy up in a crib in the guest bedroom on the second floor. The crib is about 3/4 of the size of her regular crib but she still fits fine.

Leading up to bedtime, Mazzy seemed okay. The television was on freely (there are two older kids in the house) which is always a treat for her.

Then it came time to get her ready for bed.

Mazzy was uncharacteristically well-behaved throughout the bedtime process. Lying down as asked when I changed her diaper, sitting quietly on my lap while I read her three books— no fussing at all. Then I picked her up to sing our standard lullaby and finally, she let her true feelings out.

“I want to go home.”

She said it quietly but so clearly and in such an adult-like manner that it shocked me.

“I want to go home,” she repeated softly.

She wasn’t making a demand. She was just stating fact.

She wasn’t whining or crying. She was just… sad.

“I want to go home.”

This was the first time Mazzy has ever shared her feelings with me in a non-tantrum-like manner. It almost made me start crying myself. I understood. If I were her, I wouldn’t want to go to bed in that tiny crib in a strange dark cabin-like room with none of my stuff either.

And the worst part was that I knew the following day, we weren’t planning on showing her how exciting a family vacation can be. We were planning on ditching her to go skiing ourselves.

I couldn’t go through with it.

“I know you don’t want to go to sleep here. But tomorrow you’re gonna wake up and we’re gonna be in a big house with all your cousins. Then we are going to have a big breakfast and then you are going to put on your snowsuit and your hat and your gloves and we’re gonna go outside and build a snowman and make snow angels!”

She rested her weary head on my shoulder as she silently considered this.

“That sounds like fun.”

That’s her new phrase and it makes me melt every time.

“Yes, we’re gonna have lots of fun, babe.”

With that I told Mazzy I loved her, said goodnight, and lay her down to go to sleep.

Then I went downstairs and shared my new plan with my husband.

“I’m not going skiing tomorrow. I’m spending the day with Mazzy. I’ll go skiing the next day.”

He understood too.

Life is different with a two-year-old. She’s not just along for the ride anymore. And honestly, it’s more important to me that she has fun on this trip than I do. We’ve got lots of family vacations ahead of us and I’m very much aware that her excitement and participation is still very much up for grabs.

But I also have to say, in a small way— the fact that she misses home, makes me feel pretty good about the “home” we’ve given her, too.

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts.
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About ilanawiles



Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a humor blog geared towards new parents. She is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs and one of The Huffington Post's top 20 women to follow on Instagram. She lives in NYC with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and a newborn baby girl. Read bio and latest posts → Read ilanawiles's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “Uh-Oh. My 2-year-old's Homesick on Our Family Vacation

  1. Stephanie says:

    Awww! That is so sweet. And I hope your day of snowball throwing and angel making went well :)

  2. ilanawiles says:

    @stephanie Well, that’s a whole other blog post, obviously.

  3. Jeff says:

    Loved this post. Very sweet and touching.

  4. says:

    You are a great mom! Compromise is the name of the game. Have fun!

  5. Celeste says:

    I loved this post. I subscribe to Mommy Shorts and love your writing. This post is a nice change from reading hilarious stuff from you. You’re such a good momma to skip skiing to play with her for the day. Really sweet :-)

  6. Alison@Mama Wants This says:

    Aw, love this. I love how Mazzy is already able to articulate and share her feelings. For me, that’d be a big milestone when my son is able to do that so verbally. We tried to accommodate him as best as we could on our last vacation. He was sick for most of it, so we mostly stayed in where he was most comfortable. That’s what parenting is, right?

  7. Sandy says:

    Yes–it’s all over when they can compose an sentence. It’s impossible to
    ignore their wishes. They’re just too cute.

    Mazzy is lucky. She has a good mommy.

  8. Yuliya says:

    Oh sweet girl! The fact that she can tell you how she feels is so fantastic even if the feeling is homesickness.

  9. Kristin says:

    Oh, this broke my heart. I also have to keep reminding myself that Lil’ Bit isn’t just along for the ride anymore. She’s a little person now with real feelings that she can and does express. It’s shocking to me, too.

  10. Kristin @kdwald says:

    Oooooh. I know that feeling when they state facts like adults. We just came back a day early (from a two day trip) from Philly because of kid stuff. Sigh. Double sigh.

    I hope you manage to enjoy the trip, and I’m sure Mazzy will warm up to it!

  11. Mama Durso says:

    Yes. We went through this same thing at Christmas and it broke my heart in two. Now we’re supposed to go to the East Coast (we live in California) for a week and I know my poor 2.5 year old is going to be majorly homesick, even with all of the extended family around.

  12. Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon says:

    You are a GREAT Momma.

  13. Chaitra says:

    Loved this post.
    Mazzy saw that you were having fun. And you were so excited!
    But, she was not able to understand why she did not like it so much.
    Probably that’s why she said it so softly.
    She didn’t want you to feel too bad that she was missing home.
    Quite a sensitive kid!!

    And you did the best thing. Now she will know that it is ok to feel differently from you and express it!

    Love all your posts!

  14. Lisa says:

    Yea, I’m crying! How wonderful to hear your daughter’s emotions in such a calm manner! I hope your day was fun!!!! I hope Mazzy found it fun too :)

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