Growing the pod

Me, with L, six years ago. Ready to do it again!

Me, with L, six years ago. Ready to do it again!

Look up at the masthead of this fair blog and you’ll notice something new: a fifth dorsal fin. This isn’t just an example of artistic expression. Any day now, we’re expecting another daughter.

I’ve made a few subtle references to the new arrival over the last few months, but consider this the first official word. The Wandering Pod is growing. And that’s a wonderful, awesome, exciting, terrifying, crazy, and unbelievable thing. (As we like to tell our friends, we’re either really committed parents, or we’re fucking insane.)

Baby G, as we’ll call her, already has caused quite a stir. As part of an effort to convert my former home office into her room, I hired a crew to build me a new home office in the back corner of our garage. Then we redid floors and carpets, and painted a bunch of stuff (including the baby’s new room; very trippy to see those walls purple). We bought a minivan (more on that later this week). Earlier this week, I fetched the crib and changing table out of storage and put those back together. We even sanitized some pacifiers.

Of course all of these changes pale in comparison to how this little human will transform the way we Villanos travel. For starters, whenever we fly we once again will get to use my least favorite word in the modern English language: LAPCHILD. Next, after two years of traveling diaper-free, we’ll have to schlep diapers and wipes wherever we go. We’ll need to get back in the habit of requesting cribs at hotels. Also, every night around 5 p.m., either Powerwoman or I will disappear from the face of vacation for a while to get the kid to sleep (which means a new travel pre-bed ritual for the bigger girls, who, as of this writing, are 6 and 4).

These changes are only the beginning. Gate-checked strollers. Ergo baby carriers. Breast pumps. We’ll have to whip them all out again and work them all back into the repertoire.

I’d love to stand here and tell you I’m looking forward to most of these changes. The truth, however, is that I’m not—our pod has established some good routines over the last few years, and changing them undoubtedly will be a challenge.

I am interested to see how L and R respond to traveling with a baby. Up until this point, they’ve been the focal points of every trip; how will they fare when they’re sharing our attention with a needy little one? Logistics will be a learning curve, as well—when Baby G wakes up at 2 a.m. in a hotel room in Anaheim (or Kapalua or Seattle or Chicago or Victoria, B.C.) wanting to eat, will L and R wake up, too?

Don’t mistake these doubts and questions as fear; I’m really not worried. Millions of multi-child families have dealt with these issues before us, and millions will deal with them after. Instead, I’d describe my state of mind as curious: In the months following our expansion into an all-girl band, how will our travel style change?

One thing is certain: Whatever happens, you’ll read about it here. So stick around. Stay tuned. And get ready for a bigger, bolder, and better Wandering Pod.

How has a growing family changed your travel style?


  1. Congratulations! I am excited to see this next chapter!!

  2. After the third, we started seeking suite-style rooms where the two older kids could be in one room and sleep soundly while wakeful baby could be with mom and dad. Now, all three can sleep in the adjoining room (the youngest is nearing two and a half). It’s kind of luxurious to have separate quarters and not something we’d have bothered with sans a third kid. Requiring such rooms narrows your choices down considerably, but there are decent options in most places we’ve visited.

    • Matt Villano says:

      This is TERRIFIC knowledge, Erika. Thanks for sharing. Powerwoman and I have thought a lot about how we’ll do it, and this is one of the ideas we’ve had. Eager to put the plans into motion (probably in Hawaii next summer…if not at Disneyland before).

  3. So, so cool.

  4. Congrats Matt! Let the adventure continue….

  5. I really enjoyed reading this because from a far, I’ve gotten to watch you grow from being a NYC bachelor and getting your first apartment, to becoming a husband and a father. A big congratulations to the Villano clan.

    • Matt Villano says:

      You’ll always be Stetter to me, and it’s really nice to hear you say this stuff. What a ride it’s been! Thanks for the congrats…

      • I always remember your love for clementines, how I talk like your aunt, how grandpa decided you were going to be a Yankees fan when your family arrived in NY and the fun filled holiday party you had your first year in your NYC apartment!

  6. Congratulations! Matt, I half envy you, and half don’t. Our 1-child life just gets easier to manage and to road trip and travel. However, I always imagined a larger family. So I’ll read about the ups and downs of both in your blog. So happy for you and the pod.

    • Matt Villano says:

      Thanks, Meg. We’re prepared for both ups and downs. Thankfully L and R are eager to help! Please do keep reading.

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