Lessons Learned when Traveling with Monsters Very Young Children
1. DO NOT fly solo. Batman had Robin. Cher had Sonny. Thelma had Louise. Laverne had Shirley. Bert had Ernie. Frodo had Sam. Butch had Sundance.
DO NOT attempt to travel with a ratio of one adult to two very small children.
I must have been crazy when I booked flights for Bunder, Kiki, and me one week prior to Mister’s departure. At times, my zeal for life and adventure is just plain stupid. This would be one of those times.
2. Embrace your sense of humor (embrace it and don’t let go)!
Kiki still naps twice a day, and she’s past the age of napping well on the move. Furthermore, if she falls asleep in the car right before a nap, she won’t nap once we’re home. This creates a terrifying situation for a stay-at-home mom who NEEDS her two children to nap at the same time. That is why I trained Bunder to scream when he sees Kiki falling asleep in the back seat of the car. Let’s face it – a two-year old doesn’t need a lot of motivation to scream. As soon as he sees Kiki close her eyes and start to bob off, he’ll yell at the top of his lungs, “AHHH!”
I know you’re waiting for the funny part. Well, what do people do on flights across country? That’s right. They fall asleep.
On our flight from Texas to Minnesota, every time someone near us attempted to sleep, Bunder screamed as loud as possible, “AHHH!”
Although unpleasant for the other passengers, it provided a much-needed comic break for me.
3. Pack as light as possible (and yet prepare for the worst).
Although it’s tempting to pack only two diapers, remember you may be stuck on a plane with a stinky diaper and a bunch of unhappy, delayed passengers. Pack enough diapers, wipes, drinks, and food for your wee-ones to survive a day of travel, but keep in mind security personnel show no mercy for women with babies.
At the security checkpoint, I had to do everything that everyone else does: remove shoes, detach my watch, belt, and keys, separate liquids, lay bags flat. IN ADDITION, I had to remove both children’s shoes, disconnect the kids from the stroller, separate the car seat from the stroller, collapse the car seat, fold the stroller, remove all toys from the stroller, and detach the two-year old from his strawberry milk. All while holding Kiki and threatening Bunder to stay next to me (even as he’s screaming for his strawberry milk being passed through the x-ray machine).
4. Fly direct.
Luckily, on the trip home, I had Mister with me to help navigate through the security checkpoint and other perils of air travel. Unfortunately, our 8 a.m. flight was delayed almost two hours causing us to miss our connecting flight. At which point, the pleasant airline clerk behind the counter informed us, “If you don’t make the next connecting flight from Houston to Austin, you’ll be grounded in Houston until 7 tonight.”
Thank God, we did make the next connection -only by running through the airport, babies, stroller, car seat, luggage in tow, taking two elevators and a train to terminal B. Our checked bags weren’t as fast as we were. I didn’t even care. Comparing lost bags to a day at the airport with two overtired babies is like comparing leftover apple pie to the sticky substance stuck under the fridge.
5. When in doubt, stay home and beg for visitors.