What vacation looks like with a 10 month year old

August 12, 2020 | minutes read


I never could’ve imagine what being a parent (to a 10 month year old) looks like while on a vacation at the Suncadia Hotel (in the midst of a pandemic). When our daughter sleeps sprawled out on the cloud like king size bed, us two parents are quietly scarfing down our cold dinner while watching an episode of “Westworld” off an iPhone that’s balanced behind the bathroom sink.

Our lives revolve around Elliott’s sleeping schedule

Before becoming parents, my wife and I lived a life with almost no constraints. If we wanted to spontaneously watch a movie at the theaters, we’d pop open our laptops, check the next show time, and then walk downhill for literally 5 minutes to the local theater. It was that simple.

But those days are gone.

Life is a little more complicated nowadays. Our schedules tend to revolve around Elliott’s sleeping schedule. This strict adherence applies even when we are away for a vacation.

But why do we follow a sleeping schedule to begin with?

It’s quite simple, actually. The bi-conditional logical connectivity is as follows: If and only if Elliott sleeps well can we (her parents) sleep well. And a night with lack of quality sleep makes everyone miserable. Therefore, it is in our best interest to ensure that Elliott clocks enough sleep.

Sleeping environment at a hotel

To that end, we need to transform our hotel room to an environment that’s conducive for sleeping. That means rendering the room pitch black by covering all the windows with the curtains, allowing no single ray of sun to shine through. This combined with a white noise machine — blasted at max volume that penetrates even the deaf — soothes the baby to sleep.

On top of blackening out the room and pumping the sound machine, we need to remove as many distractions as possible. And at Elliott’s age (and probably moving forward), pretty much everything in sight is a distraction: including me. So while Jess puts Elliott down, I tip toe out of the hotel room, flicking off the lights on my way out, and then make my way down to the hotel communal area (still wearing a mask), my laptop in hand. And for this short period of time, about 30-45 minutes, I double down and focus and chip away at writing on my blog (like this post). And then I sneak back into the room once Elliott hits her deep sleep.

Dinner in the bathroom

What does dinner look like while at a hotel resort? Well, that depends. If Elliott is awake, then we take the opportunity and eat an early dinner (around 5:00 pm), the three of us squatting over a wooden dining table that’s a shoulder height of Elliott. But if Elliott is asleep, then dinner takes a different turn.

In this scenario, you’ll find (as mentioned above) the room blacked out and two parents (Jess and myself) huddling in the hotel bathroom, the door shut closed so that we can whisper to one another without fear of waking Elliott up. While in the bathroom, we both pop in our air pods, sync them to an iPhone (since the wifi signal sucks in our room), and proceed to watch an episode of “Westworld” while slurping down our noodles:

Jess and I quietly eating our dinner while Elliott is sleeping in the bedroom

I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.

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