Recently we’ve been preparing to visit my father in Texas. We’ve made a list, we’re checking it twice, and we’re just not sure who will be naughty or nice. We leave Wednesday morning and have about eight hours of travel ahead of us. We are bringing our two one year old boys through an airport and onto a plane expecting them to behave and hoping we don’t get kicked off like those people on Jet Blue. I didn’t realize it until recently, but this is quite an undertaking.
We’ve done a lot of planning to minimize the chaos – flying out of a less crowded airport to simplify logistics, taking a flight in the late morning to reduce crankiness, bringing umbrella strollers to save space, and renting car seats with our car to reduce the junk we have to carry around with us. We are packing light and planning to do laundry more often. We are sending some things down ahead of time to reduce the amount of stuff we have to cram into our bags. We are bringing our iPads and loading them up with games and videos for the boys to watch on the way. We’re even administering Benadryl (at the suggestion of our pediatrician) to help the boys stay calm during the trip.
But even with this level of planning we still have to make it through security, keep two boys entertained for five hours on the first flight, get from one plane to another with all of our crap during a 45 minute layover, entertain the boys again for another hour, get off the plane, pick up our luggage, pick up our rental car, and make it to my father’s house in one piece. The airport will probably be ok. The security check shouldn’t be too bad since we aren’t bringing a ton of stuff and we should be able to board the plane early. It’s the flights, the first one in particular, that will be the most challenging.
We have to keep the boys behaving during a five hour flight where they have to sit on our laps and stay put most of the time. We can’t bring a ton of toys because they will just get lost. We aren’t going to bring small things like Legos and balls because they will go all over the place and probably get thrown at other passengers. We are hoping that the boys want to take a nap or two along the way, but who knows. Neither of them really like to sit for long periods of time and while we’ve loaded up our iPads with games and videos, the boys don’t really watch too much TV at home so they might not be interested. We expect that we’ll have to get up a few times to let Adam walk up and down the aisle. I’m sure Zach would love to crawl down the aisle and around everyone’s feet, but I don’t know if the other passengers would really appreciate it too much. We have some food to keep them happy, but I don’t think we’ll have enough for the entire flight.
Then we have logistics. What if they aren’t entertained and have a fit? What if they won’t sit still? What if they are teething (Zach has hadhour long screaming fits lately)? And what about diaper changes? Where do we do those? The bathroom is too small so it’s the tray table I guess. Yum. We only purchased two seats so that means that some unfortunate schmuck is going to get stuck next to us. I feel bad for that person. They are going to get poked, kicked, stared at, cried at, and probably will have to witness a nasty diaper change. Hopefully they like children 🙂
Finally there’s our sanity. There are two of them and two of us. That means one baby each for the entire trip. No breaks. No rest. No alternatives (unless we pawn one off on the unlucky passenger next to us :). Wanna go to the bathroom? Better hope one of us can hold two babies in an airplane seat at the same time. Yeesh.
We definitely have our work cut out for us. I think the boys will be OK in the airport as there will be lots of new stuff to see. They will probably even be pretty good when we board the plane. But once they realize they have to stay put and their ears start popping they might go haywire. Hopefully not. Hopefully they cuddle and take a couple of naps. Maybe they will jibber jabber to people and giggle like they usually do when they go out. Maybe they will be perfect little angels. We’ll see. Either way, even if it goes terribly, its only two days out of our entire trip. I’m sure we’ll all have a blast visiting Grampy and Schawnté.