See this guy? Happy as a clam in the Austin airport, California dreamin' with his daddy's sunshades in place?
He tricked me into thinking this was going to go smashingly well, that I'd be a source of inspiration to my fellow 2u2 mamas with upcoming travel plans, reporting back to my blog with good news. I fancied myself a pro at traveling with a child after the many trips A and I made in his first 17 months, and figured it couldn't be that much harder with two. Tell you it was a breeze and the children behaved beautifully and I actually had a moment to sip my Sprite before someone kicked my tray table and dumped it all over the freaking place .... but no dice. It sucked. When one wasn't screaming, the other one was. The little one pooped (loudly) just as the plane took off. The big one ripped my UsWeekly to pieces when I was in the bathroom changing the little one. The little one spit up right down my shirt into my bra. The big one screamed ear piercing screams when I refused to let him out of his seat an hour in, then moved onto kicks and slamming his hand against the window OVER AND OVER AGAIN when screaming didn't get him set free. Neither child slept one single wink from takeoff to touch down. It was only a small pile of animal crackers and a record-breaking FIVE showings of Baby Einstein that got us through. Oh, and the cup full of ice I requested from the flight attendant after punching the "HELP" button in a panic - a last-ditch effort to make Anderson stop screaming. A cup of ice which, of course, he promptly dumped onto his shorts and all over his seat. A cup of ice I still let him eat, as he plucked it piece by melting piece off of his germ covered airplane seat. I squelched my germophobic anxiety and let him be because it made him quiet as I stood in front of my seat bouncing his squealing, squirming baby sister who would only cease the squealing if I stood. And bounced.
Fortunately, I really really love my parents (and sister and brother who will be here soon and the friends we'll see later this week) and I also really really love California and I also really really love having a hand with my kids, a much-needed change of scenery. We've spent this Monday recuperating and relaxing and strolling to the neighborhood cafe for my favorite BLTA sandwich, and after naps, taking the littles to the pool. So the misery was worthwhile, even if I was blinking back tears last night when we emerged from that plane all disheveled and sweaty and wet-butted from the melted ice, two bug-eyed babes up way past their bedtimes and one mom wondering WHAT THE HELL I WAS THINKING EVER GETTING ON THAT PLANE. Oh, and with 100+ pairs of eyeballs glaring the stinkiest of stink-eyes at us. Like nobody had ever seen a pair of cranky post-bedtime kids on a plane. As we stood planeside waiting for the stroller to come out so we could run through the airport and into my mom's waiting arms, those passengers who weren't giving me the stink-eye paused to tell me how "brave" I was. And by "brave", I'm pretty sure they meant "insane".
The one high note of the travel? Discovering I hadn't wasted $79 of
my J's hard-earned dollars buying this CARES Harness. Seriously? Best. Purchase. Ever. No need to haul a bulky car seat through the airport, since this contraption basically turns your child's airplane seat into a car seat. I highly recommend it to anyone brave insane enough to travel with a kid or two.