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how to resolve vacation disagreement?


MedicMom
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DH hates vacations. He does not want to do anything or see anything, and his interests are limited to work and remodeling the house. If we do a vacation, he would rather rent a campsite next to some friends and hang out at the campground for three days, preferably a local campground.

 

I hate camping and everything that goes with it. Sitting around makes me miserable to the point of panic attacks. I dislike hiking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming in anything other than a heated indoor pool I also do not like house rentals. If I am taking a vacation, I do not want to cook and clean and try to keep the kids entertained, which is exactly what happens when we camp. I prefer motels or kid friendly bed and breakfasts in a location where there is a lot to do. I also have no desire to hang out or double vacation with people I know.

I can't camp and then go do activities while DH stays behind; the kids are still really too young for me to do thinga with on my own and I get stressed out.

 

Can anyone come up with a workable middle ground??

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Two vacations a year? One for dh to relax, one for you to relax.

 

 

I like this lol.

 

You could try Disney. They have a campground but also restaurants. You could hop on the Disney transportation and go to any of their restaurants. That would save you from cooking. They don't have indoor pools but a nice outdoor pool with water slide and a kiddie water area. They also have cabins to rent so you wouldn't have to stay in a tent. The campground has an outdoor movie every night and sing along with Chip and Dale.

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I thought about two vacations a year, but he hates doing things so much that, well, it is sort of miserable. We just got back from a weekend getaway where we saw a show and looked at some cute stores, and he hated it. Well, except the show.

 

Does anyone travel by yourself with the kids?

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Do you have a friend who can go with you? I have a close friend who is single with an adult child. When the kids were young, she went with us on all but the two vacations that DH attended.

 

I did travel alone with the kids, but only when we visited my father. That was difficult only because the TSA insisted on emptying all of their backpacks to check for contraband.

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Does anyone travel by yourself with the kids?

 

 

When we lived overseas, I would often bring the children back to the UK to see my parents. Husband usually couldn't get time off work to come. I used to take them to do holiday things (fun museums, etc.) on my own. In our case, husband would have enjoyed them too, but just couldn't make it. It worked fine.

 

How about saying to your husband: 'I know that you would like to holiday with us this year, but you've been talking about how much time you need to put into [whatever his current project is]. How about the kids and I go, and you can take a week at another time to hang out and work on your project....'

 

Laura

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I thought about two vacations a year, but he hates doing things so much that, well, it is sort of miserable. We just got back from a weekend getaway where we saw a show and looked at some cute stores, and he hated it. Well, except the show.

 

 

 

I have to say that 'looking at some cute stores' would be my idea of hell.

 

Laura

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Dollywood?

 

I never thought I would consider it myself but it has a very nice middle ground for dh and I - renting a cabin with a beautiful view, a laid back, not as busy theme park, and most amenities that I enjoy. Other possibilities would be a quiet seaside resort, a cruise, or a lodge in the middle of a national park. You can often rent a cabin near the main lodge and go there for meals, entertainment, and whatnot.

 

Your kids are still too young for WDW to be a great experience for them, but what you can do is schedule mini-vacations for yourself.Take off on a weekend trip with a friend or family member and recharge.

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I thought about two vacations a year, but he hates doing things so much that, well, it is sort of miserable. We just got back from a weekend getaway where we saw a show and looked at some cute stores, and he hated it. Well, except the show.

 

Does anyone travel by yourself with the kids?

 

 

I've been single for most of my kids' lives, so I always travel just me and them.

 

The best (only) vacation we've ever done was a cruise.

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DH was the one that suggested I go on vacation by myself with the kids. Truthfully, he is a workaholic who hates taking time off. I'm okay with that, but sometimes I need a break and a change of pace.

 

Usually he LIKES going to little cottage run stores--we were in Lancaster, PA so we went to some of thw Amish run stores. Apparently he only likes doing that when we are home(he likes to look at the woodworking).

 

As for dating...we didn't, really. We worked together and then got engaged. Long story. I think we went to a few movies but that was about it.

 

 

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How about an all-inclusive resort, that is on the beach or on a lake or somewhere like that -- something that has more of a "nature" feel rather than a Disneyland feel, but that has restaurants where you can eat (included in the price), a big pool, beach activities, special kids' activities planned, etc. I have actually never been to a place like this, but I've heard of them!

 

Or, our family went to a family camp once. It was church affiliated, but there are probably other types too. We had our own very nice little cabin, all the meals were included in the dining hall, there were planned activities (but you wouldn't HAVE to go), lots of free time activities such as boating, archery, etc. It was in a beautiful lake-side area.

 

Maybe something like that would be a compromise for both of you.

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Well - I really think you should both try to enjoy taking a vacation to make the OTHER person happy :) If you go with a positive attitude camping (and fake it if you have to), and ask him to try a vacation for you with the same attitude, I think you'll find you can both have fun. It really is all about attitude, in my opinion. DH takes me places he knows I'll love because he wants to make me happy - not necessarily because he wants to go. But because I do the same for him, we do both get to have fun in our own way.

The positive attitude makes it, though, for both people.

Separate vacation aren't a bad thing, but I do think they should be the exception, not the rule..... That's just me, though.

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He liked the show, that's a start. I would think more creatively. When the kids are older you can take them on *educational* trips. You'll get to do things you like and want the children to experience and not have to say you're having separate vacations. :D

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I would practice doing small trips with the kids so you get used to doing it alone, and go on your own. Assuming your DH doesn't mind it will be less stressful than having an unwilling spouse along. You'll also spend less with one less adult fare for everything. My DH can't always go on vacation with us, so instead of always staying home we learned to go without him.

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...

Or, our family went to a family camp once. It was church affiliated, but there are probably other types too. We had our own very nice little cabin, all the meals were included in the dining hall, there were planned activities (but you wouldn't HAVE to go), lots of free time activities such as boating, archery, etc. It was in a beautiful lake-side area.

 

 

This might be a good compromise. You wouldn't have to do the cooking & cleaning. Some (but not all) camps have child care/separate activities for littles so that parents can have some adult time. The one we went to didn't, and I was jealous when I found out other camps did! ;)

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I do go on trips with my kids sans husband--who never has any vacation time, poor guy. I've also taken longer trips with friends--two moms and a passel of kids and a van! It's very fun. It's often easier for people to host us if they don't have to find sleeping quarters for a couple. I'm mainly talking road trips to visit people here--we haven't had the $$ to go on a real vacation in 15 years.

 

It would be great if you two could learn to make each other happy on alternating vacations. Him first. :)

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If I am taking a vacation, I do not want to cook and clean and try to keep the kids entertained, which is exactly what happens when we camp. I prefer motels or kid friendly bed and breakfasts in a location where there is a lot to do.

 

 

I'm a bit confused. You list a lot of things you don't want to do...hiking, sitting around with friends, cooking, cleaning, entertaining kids, etc. But the only statement of what you DO want to do is very vague: motels or kid friendly bed and breakfasts, and "lots to do."

 

Lots of what to do? And what will the kids be doing so that you don't have to entertain them?

 

I have camped with little kids (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) and I find that I rarely have to entertain them (they will happily dig in the dirt, kick a ball around or catch bugs for hours), but I ALWAYS have to pay attention and keep them safe. But, that is also true at museums and motels and sporting events and stores and everywhere else we go.

 

I would try to focus more on what everyone DOES want to do. Make it a family discussion and then see how you can best accommodate everyone. A motel near a state park so you could do some day hikes? Camping on the outskirts of a city and then taking the subway in to see and do things a few days? (we did this in DC to save on motel costs).

 

And, If what DH really wants to do is work on the house and what you really want to do is take a break from parenting, then I would look into finding someone to watch the kids for a few days. I don't think kids that age really need vacations - for them it is just as exciting and a lot less disruptive to go to the local zoo or a nearby park they've never been to.

 

Wendy

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Nothing, even a vacation, is totally relaxing with little kids. However, you could work the two vacation idea. When you camp, camp close enough that you and the baby can sleep at home while DH manages the older kids. When you go somewhere, let DH stay home to work/remodel and take grandma or a friend along.

 

Would DH be up for a family resort that has things like fishing, tennis, hiking, etc but also provides meals and massages?

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DH would really rather not go anywhere, period. His idea of a perfect time is camping next to his best friend at a campsite a few miles from our house and sitting around the bonfire most of the time. I understand he wants to destress, but I can't fathom just sitting around three miles from my house.

 

By doing things, I like museums, plays, seeing new things. This all came about because I wanted to take our train-obsessed toddler back to Lancaster for a Thomas train ride and activities this summer. DH is all for me taking our son and going myself; he just doesnt want to come. From there the conversation led into what we like to do on vacations, and I realized how completely different we are on this subject.

 

We have tried the family camp idea. I was bored, and he disliked it because he was expected to socialize and yalk to people. :-). He does not want to do anything where he is expected to talk to people(for instance, he didn't really like the bed and breakfast for this reason) unless they are friends we gone with.

 

Why did I fall in love with him? We had more in common before we had kids, but mostly because he is loving and generous and kind and hard working. We truthfully have next to nothing in common as far as desires and interests go, so we are learning to compromise.

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This will likely get easier as your kids get older. For now, I would probably do the things I'm interested in with the kids, and let him go camping by himself if he enjoys that

 

If you don't enjoy camping yourself, doing it with such young ones sounds torturous to me. I personally would not be willing to do it, although if the campground is that close I'd be willing to go meet up with him each day for a few hours. And every person is different, but I know my dh, great dad though he is, would not have been able to supervise two young children at a camp site by himself. So, for us, dad would not have been taking the kids camping while I stayed home.

 

Now, when they're older, definitely that might be a choice. Or you can all go, but it's easy enough for you to jet off and do something else for several hours or the day while he watches the kids.

 

So, for now, I would plan get-aways with me and the kids. DH can plan camping trips that suit him, and you can stay in your comfortable house and meet up with him for short periods.

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I would go without him as he suggested. Do you have another mom friend (single or not) who might like to bring her kids and join you? I can think of at least one friend and one sister and my mom who I'd invite on such a vacation. I've gone with my mom, an adult sister, and our combined kids (3 of them at the time) on a vacation to the coast (back when DD was 3). I just a couple weeks ago camped with both my kids at an SCA event for a week. DH has gone on trips to Mexico without me (back when I was in the Navy), with his buddies. If we were to go down there again, likely we would have separate agendas for a good bit of it--I'd want to go to the beach and go look at ruins or shop in local markets (with or without children), he'd want to lounge around drinking Margaritas. We'd have some things we'd do together, but not most of it.

 

Maybe you could conspire with his best friend's wife (assuming he's married) and drag the both of them on a vacation more to your liking. If they want to camp, great, but it will be near the activities you want to do and they can do the cooking since they prefer hanging around the campsite and therefore will have time.

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Three vacations:

1. He sits in the woods with his friends and the kids; meanwhile

2. You and a friend head to a big city for museums and shows; then

3. Family trip to the beach in the cusp of offseason. Late September is still warm enough to swim, but it's cheaper and not crowded. He can sit alone on the beach while you and the kids run to the zoo, whatever...

 

Really, I'd encourage him to go on activities with you and the kids. Absent some social anxiety disorder, suck it up and go if only to watch your kids having a blast! They're going to notice Dad's not there and wonder why. Him going and being a pill is not cool. We all make sacrifices and compromises for our loved ones. Going to a museum and holding your wife's hand with a smile on your face for a couple of hours is not too much to expect IMO.

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I want to add real quickly...

How to make camping more fun:

 

Take board games, cards, trucks and army guys (etc.) for the dirt.

Bring a few good books you've really been wanting to read.

Learn to geocache

Precook and prep most of the camping food you will be needing.

Eat all the wonderful, high calorie food you deprive yourself of at home :) Camping is just not right without brownies and rice crispy treats!

Get a nice, big tent and have a big aero-bed type air mattress with real sheets.

Make sure to have s'more making stuff - and replace the Hershey bars with Reese's cups (heaven.....)

If you have a hard time sleeping in a tent, bring along melatonin or valerian.

Make really good coffee in the morning :)

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I don't think a vacation with children is a vacation.

 

We call those TRIPS. Kids, we are going to take a TRIP, we say.

 

I do not tell myself that I am about to have a vacation.

 

Taking children to a hotel is NOT a vacation. Taking children camping is NOT a vacation.

 

But, I do believe there is a great value in having the shared experience of a trip.

 

Trips are for "going through it together" and removing the family from the regular actions of daily at home activities.

 

Someday, someday, when everyone can take themselves to the bathroom, not spill drinks at the table, not fight over someone, "looking at me!", properly packs their own bags and not lose their wallets on the plane, I would like to take a vacation.

 

I think the six kids will all be over 17.

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How about choosing a campground that is within reasonable driving distance of musuems and theatres and things to do?

 

He could hang out at the campground doing what he enjoys along with any kids who would prefer to stay with him. Meanwhile, you could take the kids who prefer to be on the go out on the town with you, hitting museums and going out to lunch, etc. Everyone comes back together in the evenings. You might commit to cooking one or two meals at the campsite, but also just bring back pizza or sandwiches a couple of times when you are on your way back from civilization.

 

One of our most successful vacations when our kids were younger involved renting a cabin at a KOA a few miles outside of St. Augustine, FL. We made a run to a nearby grocery store once we got to the area and picked up lots of snacks and simple stuff that could be prepared using the grill, but we didn't bother with full meals there. The kids had a blast watching and feeding the fish swimming in the lake behind the cabin. The played the mini-golf course and made popcorn over the coals, etc.

 

But we left the campground every day and went into St. Augustine, where we visited the historic sites and browsed the shops and went to the beach and ate in restaurants.

 

It was kind of the perfect hybrid vacation.

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We really like all-inclusive resorts. The ones we lean toward all have wonderful kids clubs, and plenty of activities we can join in when and if we feel like it (scuba diving, volleyball, water aerobics, tennis, golf, fishing, etc- and it's all included in the price), or just enjoy each others company. Great pools with swim up bars are always fun, even if you like your cocktails virgin. Each night there is a show of professional quality. Unlimited dining & bar options with free room-service... we honestly can all find something we like to do.

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Since my husband is deployed frequently I end up taking a lot of vacations by myself. Mostly I go with a set of friends who have similar aged kids which makes it more fun and less logistically difficult. It's a blast actually and we've done all kinds of trips from Beach trips to National Parks to Colonial Williamsburg to Vegas.

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I have to say that 'looking at some cute stores' would be my idea of hell.

 

Laura

 

 

Mine too!

 

OP- you're kids are too young for a vacation. It won't be fun for anyone. What about Great Wolf Lodge somewhere? But honestly, aren't they still too young for even that? I would go camping with friends, but I love camping, so..... I agree w/ pp who suggested you find someone to keep the kids, and you and dh go somewhere. When our dc were little, we considered going to Home Depot for 2 hours by ourselves a vacation. Really.

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Some ideas for together vacations: Lodges at National Parks. Most national parks have very nice lodges and you could all enjoy nature together with lovely meals after those hikes that you don't enjoy, served to you by someone else, lol.

 

I go to the beach for a week with a girlfriend and her kids every year and we have a lot of fun. Two years ago I went to Costa Rica with a girlfriend and it was wonderful.

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Honestly, I would do no vacation. Am I doing the math right? Your kids are both under 3 years old? Going on vacation with a baby and toddler is pure misery.

 

Wait until the youngest is 4 or 5 and then revisit the question of where to go on vacation.

 

When you have time off from work, schedule a few girls' night outs and let dh fix up the house in the daytime.

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I like to tent camp and hike but my husband hates it. I go with my brother's family and friends who like it too and have children to play with my kids. I don't ever entertain children while camping. We like adventures climbing into caves, playing in creeks, hiking up or down some geological feature where as my husband only wants to be in nature to sit under a tree and read a book and then he goes back to a cabin to read a book. So my husband and I rarely vacation together. We're both OK with it. He stays home and goes to see movies I don't want to see. He eats at restaurants I don't like. He hangs out with his engineer friends talking shop or science which bores me to tears. A little time apart can make you miss each other and pursue something more individual. It's a nice thing.

 

When we do vacation together we have to alternate days he likes and days I like. When we go S.California we do a day or two at Disney or Sea World eating in restaurants and going on rides. I can only handle 2 days at amusement parks before I start wanting to kill people. Then we do something I like the next day like hiking down to tide pools, seeing old light houses, etc. The next day we do it his way, which is usually sitting on the beach. I don't enjoy it, but I bring along a book and the kids play with sand toys or read. Then the next day we go see the sights. I usually want to see something historical or natural. Alternating days was our compromise. With 3 kids somebody's getting something out of each thing we do.

 

The best vacation we ever had was touring AZ while waiting for our youngest to arrive from S. Korea-she's adopted. We took the older two (7 and 9) to some of the best features in AZ, but we stayed in hotels and took jeep, boat and plane tours instead of tent camping and hiking. Everyone loved it. I got my nature fix seeing Canyon De Chelley in the back of an open air jeep, the Grand Canyon in a small 7 man plane, Lake Powell's tapestry canyons on a boat, and a very short walk through Antelope Canyon on the photography tour. We had native guides for most of it which added a nice ethnic flavor. We got from location to location in a mini van listening to books on tape like Huckleberry Finn and Sea biscuit by Ralph Moody. The kids and my husband and I still think it's the best vacation we ever took.

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DH suggested a cabin at a KOA. We did that a few years ago and both enjoyed it. It was in between his desire for primitive camping and mine for a full service hotel, lol. I think this might be a doable compromise.

I

We work at the same company and have a hard time getting more than four days off together, so we are sort of limited as far as where we can go. This should change in the next few years.

 

As far as vacationing with young kids...no, it isn't really a vacation. But going away is the only time we really spend together as a family for more than a day at a time, so we try to make it a priority. Even if it is just a few days away every couple of months or so. I am trying to come up with strategies to make it enjoyable for everyone.

 

As far as interests go....DH is a great guy but he has very limited interests. They are: basketball, guns, and woodworking. That's about it. He is a total guy-guy.

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We went camping for the first time when my two boys were exactly the same age as yours. I had never been camping before, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had. Actually, Jax was a little younger than your younger one, he couldn't walk yet, so the worst part was he was constantly dirty. We went to Hunting Island in SC in mid-April, so there weren't that many people there. They had a great beach for the boys to play on, a conservation center that had activities for Asher like crabbing, and I insisted that we eat out each night since we weren't spending money on a hotel. We played games at night after the kids went to sleep. It was fun :).

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Your kids are both under age 3? I wouldn't travel by myself with the kids at those young ages. When they're older and a bit more independent, sure.

 

The sense I'm getting is that both you and your DH have some very definite ideas about what a fun vacation looks like to you - and those ideas are very different. I think spending vacation time together as a family is important so I'm definitely in the camp of suggesting that you guys compromise and find a way to enjoy a family vacation together. That said, I don't see anything wrong with your DH taking a weekend off to go camping with his buddies - just as you should be able to take a weekend trip with a girlfriend and stay at a nice hotel, do some shopping, and whatever else you enjoy doing.

 

Aside from the extremes of *camping* on one end and *hotel + shopping* on the other, maybe there's another alternative that's in the middle of the spectrum that both of you could enjoy. One of the ideas that comes to mind is going to a national park like Yellowstone for example. There are some beautiful cabins inside the park, or you could stay someplace like Jackson Hole, WY (the Lodge at Jackson Hole is gorgeous). I'm just using this destination as an example, but going some place like this would allow you to have your more comfy accommodations, a heated pool and hot tub, lots of fun shops, museums, etc. while your DH would have access to fishing, canoeing, and swimming in a river. He could even pitch a tent next door to where you're staying if he really wanted to. :tongue_smilie: You could divide your time between doing family activities and enjoying some individual activities as well (e.g. your DH takes the kids on a hike while you go shopping, and then you swim with the kids at the hotel pool while DH goes fishing). Just some ideas.

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My DH and I are very similar to your story. He wants to go see land....I'm good with that, but not for more than a day. How is it a VACATION when I have to do twice as much work just to feed us, let alone everything else? Anyways, when my children were as young as yours, I left them home with DH and went on my own trips with friends. Then he would go camping with the guys. Now that the kids are a little older I take them with me sometimes with my mom or sister and he takes them camping (except for the 2 year old). Eventually we have discussed that we'll take bi-anual FAMILY vacations to the beach or or big cities, but this works for us now.

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This is slightly off topics, but we live very close to where Thomas comes every year. We took our older boys once when they were little. For the price, especially if you have to travel, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

 

Agreed!

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Another vote for working hard to find things to do together - I particularly like the trading days concept. My dh & I have done that quite a bit while traveling: one day for him, one day for me - often we've found that we *can* get into each other's interests if we try. This also works while traveling with children (older than yours!) - one day catering to the children's interests, one day for the adults.

 

Maybe you could each come up with a list of new things you would like to try and then take turns trying the list ideas together. This wouldn't have to just be vacation ideas, although they could be. They could be just one day/one evening things designed to help you find new things to do together.

 

Anne

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I wanted to add that two kids ages 3 and under is no reason not to go and have fun :) We started camping when our boys were infants. It's all about being prepared and having realistic expectations. Cordoned off areas on picnic blankets, bike rides with good bike seats, strollers that can handle dirt trails, etc., all can make for great trips :) We also started Disney vacations and road trips when they were less than a year old. Again - preparedness and expectations are key :)

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