Let’s take a break from the school-musings to talk about a different subject, because once again I could use some advice. A PR company has invited both Riley and I on a complimentary trip to DC in order to participate in a corporate-sponsored event promoting the “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” movie. The event includes flying out to DC, touring the Smithsonian Air and Space museum at night, and probably some other festivities along the way. The tour lasts about an hour and the event ends at 12:30 AM.

So here’s my question: would you go for it? I mean, there’s the whole flying-across-the-country-with-a-preschooler thing, the late night aspect of the event, and the fact that while he’s not nearly as uncontrollable as SOME of my children (I AM LOOKING AT YOU DYLAN) he has definitely mastered the art of triggering Spontaneous Parental Brainstem Combustion via Turbo-Whine (see also: the “Why” Factor).

He might think flying in a plane is awesome, he might lose his shit. He might love the museum beyond all reason, he might lose his shit. He might really enjoy staying in a hotel and hanging out with just Mom for a while, he might . . . you get the idea.

Book it and hope for the best, or hope we get another invite a few years down the road?

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samantha jo campen
13 years ago

I say go for it because it could turn out awesome. And if he DOES lose his shit then go back to the hotel and chill. That in and of itself might blow his mind. Plus it’s not for a week or anything so you’re not stuck there if he freaks.

Sounds like a really cool opportunity!

Justin
Justin
13 years ago

Go for it. My wife would avoid everything for the fear of our daughter being uncontrollable. Funny thing is it rarely happens. I think it’s worth the risk. Memories last forever.

katie
13 years ago

Do it! He might lose his shit, but probably not for the whole time (?) and it could be a good chance for you two to spend some time doing “older kid” stuff together. Also, like another commenter said, it’s not like it’s for a week or anything, so the suckage factor is at least kept to a minimum. Also – it could totally be a great experience for both of you!

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

I have no children, so probably take the advice of Samantha and Justin.
I will say my first thought was–“Isn’t he a little young?”

deannagabriel
13 years ago

i say go for it. it sounds like an awesome opportunity for the both of you. you just need to work it up a little bit. do a countdown chain, pretend youre flying in the plane together. buy a special outfit, snacks and toys for the plane and the museum. hes at the perfect age where he likes to play and has an incredible immagination so run with it. also, consider the time difference. 12:30am doesnt seem quite so scary if you keep him on west coast time. and if he does flip his shit, you go back to the hotel and call it a day.

i say go for it!

Nolita
13 years ago

Do it! Do it! Do it! Odds are that you will both have a GREAT time!

Kristen
Kristen
13 years ago

Do it! A free trip, a fun experience, time alone with mom and a slight chance of losing his shit? Worth the risk, I say.

Elizabeth
13 years ago

Do it!

molly
molly
13 years ago

Even if he is passed out in a stroller at 12:30 am and even if he loses his sh1t before he passes out and there is momentary parental humiliation, my bet is that the great majority of the trip will be awesome and he’ll be talking excitedly in only the way a 3-yr-old can for AGES after you get back. Go for it!

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

I took a five year old to the Air and Space Museum about twenty years ago and she doesn’t remember it. I went again a couple of years ago and it takes at least a day to see the whole thing so I don’t know what you can see in an hour. There are enough ‘shiny’ things to keep him entertained for an hour. Good luck with the plane thing! I’m not sure if I would go or not. Very compressed time frame to enjoy what the city has to offer.

Stacy
13 years ago

Go for it!

justmouse (or Chaosmomm..whatever)
justmouse (or Chaosmomm..whatever)
13 years ago

i would totally do it. i mean, yes, on the one hand he may lose his shit. but on the otherhand, if he DOESN’T lose his shit, what an awesome experience for you both!! (also, if he does lose his shit, you’ll know for any future “adventures” to Just Say No.)

DOOOOO EEEET!

vague
13 years ago

I say go for it, too! Deannagabriel has a good point about the time difference.

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

Forgot to mention that it takes a three year old about a half and hour to figure out he owns you on a plane. ;-)

Jenn
13 years ago

I am childless, so my advice may not be worth as much, but I say go for it. Chances are it will be a great experience…and I also selfishly suspect that if Riley loses his shit there will be something entertaining here for me to read about after : )

She Likes Purple
13 years ago

I say book it. You’ll most likely remember it fondly regardless. And he will too.

penne
13 years ago

You’re going to have a great time, and you’ll both always remember a special trip with just the two of you. (Even if he has to do it with the help of pictures.) My husband took our oldest on a flight to KC from Denver when he was 2-1/2, they picked up a vehicle from work and road-tripped back…pull-ups and all. The kid still remembers room service and the hotel pool and my husband says it was one of the best trips of his life. GO! GO! GO!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Do it! What a cool opportinity that might not come again? Plus some nice just the two of you time doesn’t hurt – plus FREE!!

Josh
13 years ago

As a man who used to be a smaller man, or a boy as some people like to call them, I say you can not pass up a chance to go to the Air and Space museum. Both planes and space ships are the coolest fucking things to ever exist, and I have been to the museum as a teen and absolutely loved it. I say do it. Worst case scenario, you have a free trip to DC that isn’t the coolest trip you’ve ever been on. Even if Riley acts up it will still be cool. But best case scenario, Riley has his mind absolutely blown by the whole thing, falls in love (in an appropriate way) with his darling mother and takes care of her for the rest of her life, and is inspired to become a space explorer and pilot at the same time, building an aerospace empire and revolutionizing human transportation as we know it. They could name a holiday after him one day. Hell, you might even have the next Jean Luc Picard on your hands. And all thanks to the Smithsonian. Do you really want to give all that up just because you’re apprehensive about a trip with a young’in? Would you leave the final frontier unexplored? Would you deny mankind the chance to seek out new worlds and new civilizations? I don’t think so. Put on your big girl panties and go book a child’s dream trip. Worrying is for bitch ass bitches, and you my friend are not a bitch ass bitch.

JenE
JenE
13 years ago

I say do it! It’ll be a special memory either way!

Leeann
Leeann
13 years ago

I guess I am the lone voice of dissent. I cannot imagine my 4.5 year handling it, and she’s pretty mature. My 6 year old would love it. And my 2.5 year old? Let’s not even go there. It would be a nightmare.

I say skip it.

CraigNY
CraigNY
13 years ago

This is an absolute no-brainer. Go, GO, GOOOO! Even if he doesn’t remember a thing 20 years from now, you will always cherish this as a special adventure you shared with your eldest son, including all of the mom-son bonding time and the stories it will generate. You will regret passing up an opportunity like this. You will never regret going, even if parts of it will inevitably be somewhat difficult.

Erika
Erika
13 years ago

Do it! Just have things with which to bribe him.

Caroline
13 years ago

Just think of the amount of blog fodder this will provide… :-) This is a one-time thing, and a great time for you and Riley to spend some alone time.

Renee
Renee
13 years ago

If you think he’ll remember it in the future, and tell all his high school friends about this awesome trip you took when he was little, then I say go for it.

Otherwise… air travel really is a pain, isn’t it??

kalisa
13 years ago

I would totally go for it. It’ll be just the two of you so you’ll be able to give him your undivided attention and watch for any warning signals that he’s about to totally lose his shit. He might surprise you. I think my son was about 4 when we took our first plane trip. He thought it was magical.

Holly
13 years ago

I would totally do it. That being said, I don’t have any kids so I’m really just saying you should do it on the basis that it sounds like a dope time to somebody who isn’t responsible for a small boy and his potential shit-losing.
Still . . . it DOES sound ridiculously awesome.

Lisa S.
Lisa S.
13 years ago

How well does Riley handle disruptions in routine? Because I’m thinking that cross-country air travel + time change + late-night activity could equal several days of him feeling/behaving out of the ordinary.

It’s too bad Hershey’s isn’t doing a museum-type trip on the West Coast. It seems like a shorter plane ride + same time zone might be better “training wheels” for the one-on-one parent/child trip. But I am conservative when it comes to stuff like this.

Rachel
Rachel
13 years ago

Book it, it will be an awesome memory he will always have with you! So what if he loses his shit, you know, that’s what learning to travel is all about!

Ashley
13 years ago

I’d do it, you can always do other fun shit if the museum doesn’t work out.

Sheryl
Sheryl
13 years ago

Do it.

AND REMEMBER: 12:30am in DC is only 9:30 in Seattle. Just stay on Seattle time while you’re there, give yourself lots of buffer time to get from Point A to Point B so you’re not both worried and stressed, and do it.

MelV
MelV
13 years ago

Oh wow! What a great opportunity. I wont tell you what to do b/c I’d be too scared but Im kinda chicken-shit like that when it comes to Big New City with my preshus baybee! But you are way braver than I and hey, if he doesnt deal well there’s always Benedryl, for whichever of you needs it most. :)

Jen O.
13 years ago

I can pretty much guarantee that he would not be the only one losing his shit. That’s one thing about groups of kids. If one loses his shit, they all lose their shit. And that means there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, just something to bond with the other parents over.

Go for it. You could wait for another invite, but what if one doesn’t come? You’d kick yourself for not taking the opportunity.

Caren
Caren
13 years ago

I too have a pre-schooler and would have all the same concerns you do. But I would also see it as an amassing opportunity. Also the late night thing will really not be that late because he is on west coast time so it won’t be that late for him. If you decide to go, good luck!

Tina
Tina
13 years ago

If he’s like my boys, he’ll be thriled with just the airplane ride. That + HOTEL ROOM will be a thrilling time. So even if he can’t handle the museum part, he’d still think it’s cool. But how well does he handle lack of sleep. My older one (now 5), I’d do in a instant. My younger one (3) is such a bear if he’s up too late, I’d be more hesitant.

jake
jake
13 years ago

Oh, man. You have to go for it. The offspring can melt down anywhere, but a trip on an actual airplane to the Smithsonian to see even _cooler_ airplanes? AND actual Spaceships? From Space? Seriously. That’s something you can’t miss. And besides, the Air and Space museum isn’t exactly the National Portrait Gallery – it’s the one museum most likely to be inhabited by small boys. Shit-losing has to be a fairly routine activity around those parts. And if he get’s totally out of hand, there’s always a handy passing Secret Service Agent…

monkey
13 years ago

I’d do it.

ikate
13 years ago

As Nike says: Just do it.

Rachel
Rachel
13 years ago

DO IT!

honeybecke
honeybecke
13 years ago

Oh, why not.
It sounds awesome, and like everyone said if he loses his shit you can always just bail early and go back to the hotel. i went through the air museum a few years ago and it is very cool.
If you do end up flying then the thing we do to keep our 3 year old occupied on the airplane it to pack his own little rolly backpack (we have this one http://tinyurl.com/deeywk) is to fill the feet and bill (yummier the better) snacks and the rest fill it with individually wrapped new little prizes that he’s never seen. It keeps him totally busy cause what 3 year old can resist opening tiny new presents?
Anyhow, that’s what we do and maybe it’d work for you and Riley. What an exciting adventure you two could have. And possibly a headache or two, but mostly awesome adventure!

Lisa
Lisa
13 years ago

Can he sit in his car seat happily for three hours, with only a couple of potty/stretch legs/get rid of the wiggles breaks? Will he walk with you or ride in a stroller in airports? Can he sleep in strange beds? Can he handle crowds? If so, I’d say go for it. If not, he’s not going to remember enough of the cool stuff to make up for the misery of travel.

Nothing But Bonfires
13 years ago

Could you not just pretend that *I* am Riley? I mean, have they ever seen any photos of him, or would they think it a little suspicious if you turned up with a 29-year-old woman in tow, instead of a 3-year-old boy? I’d love to go to DC, and I promise I don’t lose my shit on airplanes.

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

I say do it!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Go for it! Better to regret what you did than what you didn’t do with him, especially at this age! Let us know what you decide and of course how it goes.

NancyJak
13 years ago

Oh please! Free trip? You’re going!
I took my son cross country just before he turned 3. Maybe it was because he was my son, but he was great on the plane rides. Snacks, drinks, toys/games, window seat (or aisle for walks) and he’ll be fine!

Mary
Mary
13 years ago

Go.

Melissa
13 years ago

I’ll be a voice of dissent here, because it sounds like my idea of hell. A solo cross-country plane trip with a three and a half year old who’s never been on a plane before (including having to get you both through airport security twice); a solo trip to a major city with a three and a half year old; a solo stay in a hotel with a three and a half year old; keeping a three and a half year old up past 12:30 AM at a museum he will not remember when he is older. Plus the possibility of other festivities. At which you will, I expect, be expected to actually be able to speak to other people, possibly grownups.

If he were 5, I’d say go for it, but 3 1/2? Man, that’s risky. It might go well. Probably not. There are a lot of variables there.

If you DO go, don’t forget you’re going to need his car seat/booster seat for the car ride to and from the airport (unless you want to take a 3 1/2 year old and all your luggage on the Metro, which sounds like MAJOR fun).

Nichole
13 years ago

I’d do it. In fact, tell the people in charge that for me. :)

kirida
13 years ago

Book it and hope for the best. Riley will probably act like a lamb the whole way.

Kirsty
13 years ago

My personal experience with two periodically difficult-as-hell daughters (now 7 and almost 5) is that neither one ever really played up after about the age of 3 when they were without the other. Lydie, the younger, can be hell-child (but also the most adorable little bunny in the world), but is NEVER difficult when she’s with me on her own or with Papa on her own. And that’s been true for about 2 years now, possibly more.
So, I’d say GO without hesitating one instant. I would love to have the chance to go somewhere cool with just one of my daughters some time…
I’m sure you’ll have a great time – even if it doesn’t all go well!

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