The holidays are upon us. For many, this means travelling with our children. Yikes. Some of you may be fortunate enough to get to take a plane trip or a super long car ride with your kids. Bless your hearts. I suggest going to the doctor and getting some nice anti-anxiety pills for your trip. I don’t advise taking these if you are driving but if you are flying with small children, you should definitely dope up.
I have recently experienced flying with a person, aged 2 and a much smaller person, aged 6 weeks. We flew from the east coast to the west coast for a wedding. It was nuts.
Please get to the airport about six hours before your plane leaves. This is necessary because everything takes ten times longer with children along. It will literally take you thirty minutes to get from the departure drop-off sidewalk to the inside of the airport. What used to be skipping merrily through check in, dancing through security, and some leisurely time spent buying Dramamine and magazines that will run you $45 at a delightful airport store with delightful airport employees will be a distant, happy memory.
Bring a leash for your toddler. A stroller might be fine except you want to wear your child down. You want your precious angel to be so tired when he/she gets on the plane that they immediately drop off to sleep for the next five hours. You will get funny looks and people will judge you for putting your child on a leash (there is a more politically correct term for a baby leash but let’s just call it what it is, shall we?). Hold your head high and keep walking. Trust me.
What can possibly happen if you let your toddler roam free? Haha. Everything. We got ourselves and our children through security the first time without issue. However, when my long-suffering husband put our son down to put his own shoes on, Ezra escaped. Straight up bolted. Where did he bolt too? The cookie store? Starbucks? Nope! He darted back out of the “secure zone.” I’m making that name up because I do not know the official term. I darted after him wearing a tiny baby and a diaper bag on each shoulder. I grabbed him just as he went past the incredibly delightful TSA agent.
“You can’t go back in there, you’ve got to go back through security,” he said in a tone that immediately made me feel like my head burst into flames.
“WHAT?” I yelled. I was very stressed out.
“You have to go back through security,” he was bored and hateful.
“ARE YOU #@%$*@& KIDDING ME?” I don’t usually curse in public but sometimes you have to do it.
“No ma’am,” he said still sitting slumped on his stool.
I am not sure what I said but I was being very loud and very yelly. I dragged my angel son, newborn daughter and multiple diaper bags all the way back around to the front of the security line. I was livid. Naturally, my toddler decided that this would be a good time to lie flat on the ground and turn into dead weight.
My children are half Caucasian and half Indian. Obviously, I have a soft spot for Indians. Indian children tend to be gorgeous and polite. I suspect that the Caucasian part of my children is the noisy, misbehaving half. Anyway, a wonderful, sweet Indian woman and her polite children came to our rescue. She and her sons took over our carry-on luggage and helped me take off my shoes and loaded everything into bins.
I was able to concentrate on watching helplessly while my toddler ducked under the ropes and into an area that he was not authorized to be in. The incredibly helpful agents kept saying things like, “Ma’am! He can’t be here! Ma’am your child can’t be over here.” Not once did one of them try to return my son to me and when he did return to me it was just in time to throw a full on tantrum. After an eternity, I grabbed dear Ezra and dragged him through security again. I was very hateful and ugly. My husband had been watching this entire display from the other side and he was clearly in great distress. He was standing with our other fifteen carry-on bags while his family created the biggest scene ever.
We finally got through. I thanked the sweet woman that saved me. I put my shoes back on and we took off running to our gate. The entire security process had taken over an hour at this point. We ran past the souvenir shop where I desperately needed to stop and buy Dramamine (I’m the queen of motion sickness) and past the Starbucks that I needed equally as bad as the Dramamine. I yelled all the way to the gate and I may or may not have threatened to put Ezra on a different plane than the one I would be on.
We got to our gate, sweating and completely frazzled, in time to hear, “Berck family! This is your FINAL boarding call…your plane is about to LEAVE.” Oh good. Not only had we missed priority boarding but we missed boarding entirely. We almost missed our plane entirely! We boarded in a super relaxed way by running and cursing at one another. We found our seats, shoved all of our junk under the seats as the overhead bins were taken and settled in to relax. Ha hahahahaha.
How did our flight go? What did I learn? Stay tuned!