The young ones

Kendyll's first official (pre)school photo at 28 months.

Kendyll’s first official (pre)school photo at 28 months.

Three year-old Lexi shopping with her momma.

Three year-old Lexi shopping with her momma.

The first grandchild in any family is special.  Usually it has been awhile since a baby has been around the house and the long, endless days of exhaustion are well forgotten.  Everyone gets enamoured with the first grandchild.  Jordyn was my first grandchild and enamoured I was!  Probably with expectations and visions of greatness far beyond what Jordyn could possibly ever meet, I thought my first grandchild was great (and she was/is).

Next, came Riley, the second grandchild and the first boy in our family (I had two sisters and I had three daughters).  He was special indeed.  From what he wanted to play with to his approach to the world, he was different and new. He was just named student of the month and one can understand why with this special little man.

Then came the young ones, as I will call them, Lexi born in 2011 and Kendyll in 2012.  While they had their unique personalities they were more of the same (wonderful same!) in many ways.  I could almost predict what they would like to wear, to play with and to do.

As time has passed they have started leaving their own mark on the world and it is as unique as they are.  Lexi is tiny, brilliant and opinionated.  She looks a great deal like her mother Amber did at the same age.  Lexi is fearless and complicated.  She follows brother Riley and but also dreams of princesses and magic lands.

Kendyll, whom I have come to know more and more since we have moved to the new farm, is quite different from her sister Jordyn.  Not any less bright (if anything perhaps smarter) but Kendyll is a loud red if Jo is a soft pink.  At two, Kendyll reasons out and communicates thoughts beyond her age.  She also hates many foods (Jordyn loved everything from veggies to burgers).  She is fearless like Lexi (or has yet to learn the consequences of her actions).

The young ones are beautiful and willing. Kendyll was at her other grandparents and told them she was going on a cruise with Lauren and granny.  She was going to eat ice cream on the water slide.  They were stunned.  A family cruise-why were they not told?  Well…

Lauren’s and my latest idea is to take the young ones on a cruise.  That’s right.  We want to take the two year-old and three year-old on a cruise.  No one else.  Just the four of us.  Wow-we are nuts right?

Think about it.  There are some real advantages to this age.  First, we would probably extend the invitation to Riley and Jo but they go to school with that annoying school schedule where you can’t miss any time.  We want to go when the prices are low and the boat is not full of children (a contradiction I know).

Plus, no matter the meltdowns, the tears or tiredness, toddlers can be redirected to new shiny objects.  On a boat, there are so many things to show them from the elevator to the swimming pool to a movie in the room, that we could always deflect them off to a new activity.  Plus, Lauren and I are good at this.  We have no expectation of a long sit down dinner (or any meal for that matter).  We can eat and go with fastest child.  We are also great at eating at any time, Lauren in particular, is always up for ice cream so if the young ones are hungry-we are happy to oblige.

Then there is the schedule.  Lauren and I, both, go to bed early and get up early, just like the kids.  Plus, leaving the pool for nap time sits real well for us, too.  I really do not see any issues here.  Kendyll and Lauren have had a whole summer to learn to play together as Ally did the barn work and Lauren nursed her broken arm.  Kendyll loves to play teacher with Lauren as her student.  I bet we could incorporate Lexi into that game as well.  Lexi could be the queen and Lauren the peasant.  I could be reading.

Really the only big problems I see are if something happens to the boat, like an Ebola scare or downed engines.  Being stuck with the young ones in our room for extensive non-sleeping time could cause tragedies, like Lauren and I could be killed.  I would not want to do be on the shut-down Carnival boat you are reading about back home.  But I wouldn’t want that without the young ones either.

The other issue could be the inevitable line standing you do on a cruise.  Toddlers are not noted for their ability to stand well, indefinitely, in a line.  I am sure there is some solution to this issue that I just haven’t thought of yet.

All and all, I say let’s take the young ones on a cruise.  I bet we would have a wonderful time.