Oy. OY. OY VEY. See also crappity crap. That was the longest trip I have ever made since well since Matthew was 18 months old and we took a plane trip for the first time.
We feel like we are pretty good travellers. Matthew has more frequent flyer miles then most adults and he knows the ins and outs of it all. I think that is pretty neat and I want him to be well travelled. I think kids can tend to have a very myopic view of the world otherwise. We do travel a lot by plane and automobile so it is not a huge thing but the past few times flying by plane with Marisa has been in a word: hellish.
Of course the last trips by plane were to Canada to see Barb before she passed and then to go to the wedding after Barb passed. Both were emotionally difficult trips so I just chalked the negativity of travel to that. BUT I was oh so wrong. It was travelling with a now mobile child. A very mobile child. Whom we did not buy a seat for. What the heck were we thinking? Oh right, it is less expensive.
Not only are we good travellers we are very well prepared travellers. We generally think of everything. Treats and toys and snacks galore. We know the ins and outs of most of the airports we regularly travel too. We know that a three hours time change sucks with kids under the age of 2 maybe even under the age of 3. Potentially even under the age of 20... We know that you have to let the kids run when you get the airport. And not to board until the final call. To make sure that everyone is changed or has used the potty before getting on the plane. To pick flight times that correspond with normal nap times. To let the kids have treats they normally do not get at home. Same for shows and movies. We know a million little tricks but none of them seem applicable to a 13 month old...
Here it what we learned collectively:
Do not do air travel with a 13 month old/young toddler. Obviously that is not an option but dude it seems like a great idea today. Especially if you could see the scratches on my neck and arms.
Get your kid their own damn seat. Do not cheap out. He or she can just sit on our lap. HA. It worked beautifully on our Orlando trip when she was six months old and not moving and would fall to sleep every time she nursed. And weighed NEXT TO NOTHING. And she left me cut her nails without a fuss. Not so much this time.
A kid who has no discernible attention span cannot be entertained by anything. Not cheerios or puffs or toys. Mostly kicking the chair of the poor grouchy man in front of her, screaming at the top of her lungs and tearing at my body made her infinitely happy. Wait for it... YES WE WERE THOSE FUCKING PEOPLE!
Do not wait for the last minute to locate the 4 year old's extra car seat and the fancy $120 umbrella stroller. Both of which happen to be with the nanny. Especially the fancy umbrella stroller. Since said Nanny was already gone far far away by the time we realized it was missing. Also, cheaping out and buying a $16 stroller from Target at the last minute - NOT a good idea. Oh well.
Take heavy sedatives with you. Either for you or your child. Or both. You all can share in this and feel better after it all happens. Or just drink if you can. The man who had the Tanqueray and tonic next to us? Well I considered him one lucky dude!
Going to an airport you have never been to and finding out it is like a 3rd world country. Salt Lake City: you are a pretty place to fly into and out of, breath taking even but your airport sucks my rump.
Get the biggest fucking hotel room you possibly can. Travel and kids are like oil and water. They do not go I have decided. There are no places for kids to play any where both in the airport and once you reach your destination. Especially if it is raining. Kevin and I have been talking about Disney World and visiting there again next year some time. As I was thinking about Disney World on this trip I thought fogit about it. It is big kid land. Little kids, not so much. The rooms are tiny compared to the room we stayed in. The play areas for little people are far and few between. Marisa was so little when we went there she was either in a stroller or the Baby Bjorn. Kevin is dying to go back and I told him, I would go again. When hell freezes over. Or Marisa turns 3. Which ever happens first.
People do not think my normally adorable 13 months old with her sweet chubby legs and charming outfits is so cute when she is blocking the walk way in the airport. OR screaming at the piercing top of her lungs in a plane. Even when you are seated in isle fucking 48 of 48. FORTY EIGHT PEOPLE?! That was long walk. I saw a lot people staring, looking deer in head lights. Written across their faces was the thought 'OH PLEASE do not let those FOUR sit by us!'
Three hours people. That time change about killed us all. Seriously one would have thought we had flown to China! Marisa was up at 3:00, 3:30 and 4:30a each of the first three days we were in Seattle. She was toast by 7:00p every night and keeping her up at that point was not an option. Matthew was no better. Marisa would only nap when we got into the car and of course it was never long enough. We were all tired and cranky and very very very very very glad to get home yesterday.
It was nice to see my family and we had beautiful weather. Boy oh boy. Needless to say, I am not exactly looking forward to the Olympics trip when Marisa will only be 18 months old. The only good thing about that is that we will be out West longer. In short, or long, it was one helluva trip. We are glad to be home. We are glad to be done travelling for a bit. We will only be scarred by this trip. FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. Err I mean for another day or so. Then it will be back to normal. Weekend anyone?!