Update on “Leaving 16-month-old overnight”

Anon from "Leaving 16-month-old overnight" wrote me back to update us all on how the visit and possible overnight went:

"I figured I would see how everything went when we got to the IL's house and maybe let the overnight happen on the last night of the visit but I felt anxious and conflicted about the whole thing.  The IL's really wanted it; sorry that wasn't clear!

Well, we got there and she had just woke up.  She was a little sleepy and cautious.  My IL's had just been saying they wanted to scoop her up, but they were patient.  They waited the hour it took her to loosen up – speaking kindly but keeping their distance until she approached them.  My husband's fear that they would be strangers was completely unrealized. She loved them as much as they loved her.  It was great.

As for the overnight, well…  The uncle's house lost power before we got there due to bad storms.  It was much too hot and humid to stay there so we crammed in at the IL's (who still had power).  All that stress for nothing!  They were happy we were there and we ALL were there for overnights.  It worked great.

I think the most interesting perspective came from the comments.  My husband and I both come from families that have all extended family within about an hour.  He is the lone person to move away of many many cousins/aunts/uncles.  I think both of us felt that 5 visits was kind of a failure because they saw her so much less than what was typical in our families.  I felt a lot better after reading the comments.

Lastly, I will take my kid over a feral monkey any day.  She slept there the same way she sleeps here.  At 8:30, she sticks her thumb in her mouth.  We grab her blanket, change her, she gives one terrible cry when we put her in the crib, but by the time you close her door she is out and stays that way for a minimum of 12 hours.  I thought it might be different in a new place, but no!  (In re-reading this last paragraph, I hope it came off as good-humored as I intended it -refuting the monkey comment- and not like bragging.  As a kid, I had terrible colic and my husband was a nocturnal mischief- maker; we constantly marvel at our super sleeper.)

Thanks for the comments and your thoughtful reply.  I really appreciate it!"

So it all ended up to be about as easy as it could have been, and we got a great discussion out of it. Yay, us!

13 thoughts on “Update on “Leaving 16-month-old overnight””

  1. I’m so glad that it worked out!I don’t mean to hijack, but if I have a question, how do I send it in? I’d love some advice from the Moxie-ites.

  2. I am so glad things worked out for you. My baby is almost 2 and I am almost ready to leave her with the in-laws, but in my own house. I just need them to fly 2000 miles here to do it.Jessica, to the left of the screen is an “Ask Me” link to ask Moxie your question/s.

  3. Yay for you all, and I’m especially impressed by your ILs and the respect they showed for your daughter by hanging back and letting her warm up to them. It sounds like you’re doing a great job of facilitating a good relationship despite the distance.My parents, both remarried, are halfway around the globe. One of the two grandparent pairs invests a lot in their distant grandchildren, sending frequent letters and small “just because” presents, Skyping, visiting when possible, and basically making it clear to me and to my kids that they want to be present in their lives. The other grandparent pair, alas, doesn’t quite know how to approach things and, sadly, doesn’t look likely to be a big part of my kids lives.
    I guess I just want to say that distance doesn’t have to be a hindrance, though it does take more effort. Just today I watched my son build Seattle out of Legos, putting the “building where Grandpa and Gramby live” right next to the Smith Tower and a “mini Eiffel Tower.” I imagine that visiting the Seattle grandparents is going to particularly special going forward.
    One tip we figured out: printing out a picture of the grandparents and pasting it next to the signature on a letter or postcard is a good way to help little kids understand just who it is they’re communicating with.
    Glad you and your little good sleeper had a nice visit! The bad sleeping genes may skip a generation, so remember to offer to do overnight babysitting for her someday (if she wishes). Hee hee.

  4. I’ve just gotta say that I’m really glad she sent in an update. It’s so nice to see some positive resolution with IL’s and grand-parents. Thanks for posting it Moxie. You’re site has saved me many a time.

  5. Yeah! I’m glad this worked out.I just want to second @parisienne’s advice about Skype. We use it with my ILs, who are a 12 hour plane ride away and don’t get to visit with my kids often. My 4 y.o. definitely knows about her Nonna and Poppa, though, and looks forward to telling them about things on Skype.It is a great tool to make the distance seem smaller.

  6. Yay! Great news. And thanks @Anon & @Moxie for posting updates. It’s always interesting and nice to hear how things worked out. It took my parents a little while too to understand that they have to let DS come to them. But now that they get it, and DS is a little older, DS ends up warming up really quickly, and sometimes immediately. We still have to work on my BIL though, who really does not get it. At all.

  7. I thought the question was, someone *else’s* child or a feral monkey! 🙂 I’d take mine over a monkey too, most days at least.

  8. Amen to what @Parisienne Mais Presque and @Cloud said about the benefits of Skype, as well as what @c said about how nice it is to hear they reached a positive resolution with the ILs.

  9. We are leaving our 17 month old son for the first time to go on a weekend trip for our anniversary. I am feeling emotional about it and I know I will miss my son very much.

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