It’s coming. Soon. My friend dropped off this the other day:
In case you don’t know what that is, it’s what I like to call an airplane/car seat/stroller thingee. Which means it’s almost time for our first flight with two littles.
I decided that it’s best to avoid flying until your child is 2 ½. At this point, they have the interest and attention span to watch a show on the iPad. But until then, NO FLIGHTS.
(But there’s this wedding in Chicago for an amazing couple and we really want to go.)
FINE. For them.
The first time we traveled with D-Bop was when he was 18 months old. We went to visit Mac Daddy’s family on the east coast and we were TERRIFIED. Not of crashing, but of getting YELLED AT by someone because our child was acting obnoxious. So to help ease my anxiety, I did some research of course.
First off, we borrowed the fancy airplane/car seat/stroller thingee from my friend. You can also buy it from Amazon. What’s awesome about it is that your kid is STRAPPED IN and I’m not talking about for safety issues, but I’m coming from a place of “I don’t care if you want to do flips off the seat, you are strapped in.” (When D-Bop was 2 ½, we took a flight where he literally did front flips off the armrest into our laps for at least 2 hours. We got plenty of stink-eyes from flight attendants and fellow passengers, but I don’t care because it KEPT HIM BUSY which KEPT HIM HAPPY which MADE A PLEASANT FLIGHT FOR ALL OF THE STINK-EYES.) And it pretty much looks and feels like a car seat, which meant D-Bop fell for the whole “I can take a nap because it’s just a car seat” trick. (Sucka!)
When he did wake up, I had a bag of tricks. Literally. Actually two of them. I researched the f*** out of what toddlers like to do on airplanes (Play with masking tape! Coloring! Unwrap small gifts! Eat a lot of lollipops! Sticker books! Magnets! Wikki Stix! Pipe cleaners! Regular books! Cheerios!) and it was actually totally fine. Then we landed, had an awesome but absolutely exhausting vacation with family because a vacation with your kids is not relaxing in any way whatsoever, then before we knew it we were back at the airport thinking we were pros and letting down our guard a bit.
And that’s when the storm hit. Again, literally.
We were GOLDEN. We got there early, made friends with other families at the gate, and D-Bop fell in love with two 5 year old girls that entertained him while we waited to board. They ran, they jumped, they let out sooooooo much energy, we knew he was going to sleep for most of the trip home. Then our flight got delayed. Then it got delayed again. But we were still ok because D-Bop was still running and tackling the girls. Then our flight got canceled.
At this point it was 9:00pm. We had been at the airport since 3:00pm. Since everyone knows exactly what this feels like because flying SUCKS these days and flights are canceled all the time, I’ll spare a lot of details. But we basically had a wide awake toddler that we strolled around the airport as we argued with everyone. We had to argue for our flights the next morning. We had to argue for a hotel. We had to argue for a ride to said hotel. We had to argue for a cab since we waited for 2 hours and there was no said ride to said hotel. We finally got in the cab to go to said hotel that was about an hour away, turned D-Bop’s airplane/car seat/stroller thingee into “car seat” mode, and then D-Bop decided to scream and cry the entire ride to said hotel.
(Let’s pause for a moment and say THANK GOD we had the airplane/car seat/stroller thingee. Our flight the next day was out of JFK, which is about an hour from La Guardia, where we were. If we didn’t have that, I would have just had to “lap” him the entire way on the freeway in a cab???)
We looked up the website of said hotel and noticed some interesting reviews, the most poignant one being, “I WOULD NOT WISH THIS PLACE UPON MY WORST ENEMY. DO NOT STAY HERE!!!!” Well, we still decided to call and confirm our reservation and even they said, “Do not stay here! We don’t have room! People are sleeping in the hallways!” So after making a few calls and getting turned away from other hotels because there was NO VACANCY ANYWHERE we finally got the last room at a Courtyard Marriott.
We arrived at 1am in the middle of a huge thunder and lightening storm, checked into our room on the 11th floor, put D-Bop to sleep (finally), and crashed. Then woke up an hour later because our hotel was shaking. I learned that the East Coast does not have earthquakes, but they have SCARY ASS THUNDER AND LIGHTNING STORMS. This California girl seriously thought our hotel was going to crumble in that storm.
But at 5:30am, our hotel was still standing and it was time to head to the airport and continue our adventure.
We got on the plane and again, we were GOLDEN. We had the last row, D-Bop was surely going to sleep the entire time because he had only slept about 4 hours, and we were going home.
And that’s when Chelsea Handler first yelled at us.
Ok, not really, but this woman looked just like an older version of Chelsea Handler and she was reading Chelsea Handler’s book, so I still can’t look at Chelsea Handler without wanting to cry.
“STOP THAT RIGHT NOW,” she said to Mac Daddy.
Mac Daddy and I looked at each other confused. “Stop what?” he asked.
“You know. Oh, you know.” And she went back to reading about herself.
Apparently D-Bop was kicking her seat. We had no idea—we had him strapped into the weird airplane/car seat/stroller thingee, and I guess his feet were too close to her seat. He was 18 months old and an active boy, and when he moved his feet up and down, I guess it hit her seat.
When we figured out what was going on Mac Daddy tried to hold D-Bop’s feet down as much as he could, but then…
“I AM NOT ABOUT TO SIT ON THIS FLIGHT WITH YOUR CHILD KICKING MY SEAT. YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. YOU TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR KID. YOU DO NOT TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN!!! NEXT TIME, YOU LEAVE YOUR CHILD AT HOME!”
Well, Mac Daddy and I handle things a bit differently. He started
yelling saying things back, and I practically started hyperventilating because someone just yelled at me. When I heard Chelsea Handler say to him, “I WILL PUMMEL YOU!!!” that’s when I checked out, burst into tears, scooped up D-Bop and started rocking us both while begging a flight attendant to find some kind folks to switch with us.
Guess what? No one wanted to.
“PLEASE!!! Chelsea Handler threatened to pummel my husbaaaaannnnnddddd!!!”
At that point, it was announced that we were delayed on the runway and to sit tight.
We finally got things under control because a sweet 25 year-old-
kid Saint offered to switch with her. He took the MIDDLE SEAT between a mom and her son (yes, Chelsea Handler was traveling with her teenage son as she went on an on about how terrible kids are), and the switch finally shut her up. I eventually stopped crying as I sang our welcome song from music class over and over until D-Bop fell asleep in my arms. 6 hours later, we landed safely back in LA.
And decided we would never travel anywhere with a kid ever again.
But in a few weeks, we’ll attempt to do it with two kids.
But I still won’t watch Chelsea Handler…EVER.