Travelling with children is loathsome for me, be it plane, train, or automobile. I spend a solid month preparing myself for it, mentally and physically. I go through a checklist with things I may need for every possible scenario and for each child. The boys have their own back packs now, so I do my best to load them down (without tipping them over) with every book, movie, colored pencil, and stuffed animal they may need. Still, I’m not as fully prepared as I’d like to be.
When we go to Rochester to visit family, we fly, ALWAYS fly. Being cooped up in a car with my two boys for 12 hours or more is not my cup of tea. With flying, it’s usually five hours total, with a two hour layover built in so the boys can at least walk around, in their cases run, and expend some energy. Of course, at times there are delays at the airports, thereby extending my time of misery as I find myself sprinting to catch up with Henry as he’s climbed onto the moving sidewalk and is strategically trying to look into other passengers’ bags. Fortunately, most people just smile at the boys, while giving me an “I’ve been there before” pity look.
This past Thanksgiving’s travel started out cumbersome and was a bit foreboding. We arrived at the airport early, about an hour and a half before our flight was to leave, only to find out that it was delayed an additional two hours. Unfortunately, we didn’t find out about this delay until AFTER we’ve already gone through security, meaning we were stuck in the terminal with two overly excited and rowdy boys. I was at my wit’s end and needed a drink. Actually, I was tempted to have my flight, and ONLY my flight, moved so that my husband could experience the joy of flying solo with the boys. I’ve been there and done that.
Henry didn’t sleep during that flight. He cried a lot, wanted to roam around the plane, kicked the seats in front of us. Davey watched his movie on my iPad before finally laying his head on my lap and falling asleep. Thank goodness!
So, Saturday morning, as we were busy packing, I went back through my mental checklist, bringing back everything bothersome that had occurred on the flight up, and a solution for those problems.
Unlike the flight up, I was not given a pre TSA boarding pass for having an infant in my lap. Side note…Rochester, NY is HORRIBLE with their security. HORRIBLE!!!!!! So, I had to practically undress myself, including my vest, which the TSA agent called a coat and I nearly lost my cool as I wanted to yell, “it’s not a coat”, and encourage Henry to walk through the metal detectors and wait on me. After we made it through and were fully clothed and loaded back down with our carry ons, I needed a coffee, and here’s where the adventures began.
While getting my coffee, the boys sat at a table howling like dogs, their howls reverberating and bouncing off the walls in the terminal. Both sat with their heads towards the ceiling literally howling. I pretended not to know them for as long as humanly possible. Once we were in the lobby area waiting for our plane, I gave the boys my iPad so they could watch “Land Before Time” (I love that they love what my husband and I watched as kids), along with their own personal headphones we’d just bought. It went off swimmingly for about 15 minutes, before Henry wanted to shove Davey and take the iPad from him. Of course, once Davey fought back for his fair share, Henry took off the headphones and went for his normal sprint through the airport.
Once we were on the flight, Davey watched another movie, Henry and my husband napped, and I was actually able to read a book! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t. The last time I was able to read a book on a plane, that wasn’t about dinosaurs and knights, was on our last cruise in 2010. It was nice, so nice.
When we landed in Baltimore for our standard two hour layover, we found a restaurant carrying the Clemson/Carolina game. Naturally, we had to stop there, but the downside was that all the tables were high top, and there were no booster seats or high chairs for Henry. We weren’t going to be enjoying our lunch and game in peace. Nope. It’s quite exhausting trying to eat with one hand while using the other to keep a busy toddler in place.
During our layover; however, Davey did what he does best…he made new friends. This time they were fellow Clemson Tiger fans, decked out in their orange, much like my entire family was. Davey did his C-L-E-M cadence cheer, and the sweet lady gave him her Tiger Rag!
We killed a bit of time before boarding the final leg of our journey by walking the boys back and forth on the moving sidewalk. Finally, when boarding the plane, the flight attendant did something that I despised her for the entire flight. She asked Davey if he’d like to sit in the cockpit and get his picture made when we landed. Why oh why, would you ask a child, MY CHILD, this and expect him to not want to do it? So, for the hour and 15 minutes we were in the air, Davey whined off and on about wanting to go into the cockpit right now. Couldn’t she have asked this as we were exiting?
We were the last ones off the plane, which is usually the case, and as we were exiting, the same flight attendant said to have a great weekend, while looking at us and not registering who we were. Seriously? I’m the tallest female on the plane, you looked at me when you asked Davey about the cockpit, and now you act as if you don’t recognize me? Naturally, I reminded her and she happily got the pilot and Davey was allowed the chance to see in the pilot’s seat. The pilot let him grab the yoke and even told him what buttons to push, as I cringed the entire 3-4 minutes. Please don’t tell my 4 year old he can push the buttons on a multi-million dollar plane.
So, for now this adventure and the travels that go along with it are over, and not a minute too soon for me!