Friday, July 31, 2009

come fly with me

Because I'm a crazy person.
That's why I did it.

That's why I decided that flying with 2 kids under 3 would be a good idea.

That's why I decided that flying with 2 kids under 3 by myself would be a good idea.

Flying to Dallas seemed like a much easier option than driving 8 + hours alone.
How bad could it be? Right?

Let's review exactly how bad it could be.

First, David and I drove 2 hours to the LIttle Rock airport at midnight because the flights were cheaper from there. We arrived at a hotel at 2 am and slept for exactly 4 hours before driving to the airport to catch my flight.

The word "tired" and possibly "exhausted" comes to mind.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by this lovely lady.

Why is she life sized?
Just wonderin'.

After checking the bags, we headed to visit my dear, dear friend.

Hello, My Sweet. Come to Momma.

Avery had a little Wake Up Juice too.

Until I drank my coffee, I literally couldn't open my eyes.
Not figuratively.

Then, we pushed Charlie and Avery to the Security Checkpoint where we were greeted by this lovely red-vested gentleman.

Actually, I think that he may have been larger than life-sized.

Moving on...

When we arrived at the Security Area, we saw a large bin of footies.
As soon as she saw the fancy shoes, Avery insisted on putting some on.

The (clearly) heartless Security Man informed me that we couldn't take my life-sustaining liquid through the checkpoint, so we stopped so that I could chug the rest.

Shortly after my caffeineation, David said "Goodbye".
That's when the real fun began.

People are surprisingly sympathetic when you have 2 small children to take care of at the airport.
A really nice gentleman helped me fold up the stroller and put Charlie's infant seat through the x-ray thingy. 'Cause there was just no way that I was going to get that done on my own.

With Charlie on one hip, I hoisted Avery on my other hip as we prepared to walk through the metal detector.

Just before we walked through, one of the Security people noticed Avery's teeny tiny Little Mermaid doll and said, "Honey, I have to put that through my special machine so that I can make sure her insides are O.K.".

Imagine, if you will, the response that a 2.5 year old might give to such a request.
Then magnify the volume of that response by 1.5 million decibels.

I was forced to pry the doll from her white-knuckled grip and throw it toward the belt area. As Avery shreiked at an ungodly volume and flailed like a crazy lady, I busted it to the metal detector.
Laughing, I might add.
Because that was all I could do at that point.

The Security People helped me take the gear off the belt and I finally got everybody settled in the stroller again.

As we prepared to board the plane, I tried to prepare Avery as best I could for the events that were about to transpire.
"Avery, we're going to go down a big ramp and get on a big plane.
Then we're going to sit in a seat and the plane will go high in the air. We will go up into the clouds.
You might hear a loud sound, but it will be o.k.
It might be a little bumpy, but I will be here.
It will be fun."

Evidently, I'm a HUGE liar.
Because it was anything but fun.

I managed to maneuver the kids onto the plane by myself. Thank-you-very-much.

As I entered the plane with a kid on each hip, I said (out loud), "Who's the lucky person who gets to sit next to me?"
I got a few chuckles...but only a few.

We were traveling Southwest, so we got to choose our own seats. I headed toward the back (as far away from normal people as I could get) and settled everyone in.

At first things went well.
Avery was excited.

Then, the Flight Attendant told me that she would have to sit in her own seat.
With a seat belt on.
Evidently, Avery considered that unacceptable.

Commence shreiking.
And weeping.
And gnashing of teeth.

She was totally petrified and a.n.g.r.y. that I couldn't hold her.
Charlie, true to his sweet laid-back nature, just watched his uncontrollable sister from his seat in my lap.

We had about 10 minutes of time during the flight where Avery stopped screaming and calmed down.
That's when I decided to document the experience with a few photos.
If I document the happy moments, maybe that's what I'll remember.

The Flight Attendants served Avery a Sprite - her favorite treat.
After she had a couple of sips, I tried to put it on the tray.
Again, a totally unacceptable move.

She kept saying, "it's going to fall off! it's going to fall off! hold it, mommy!"
So, I did.
And Charlie.
And my drink.
And what was left of my sanity.
Which wasn't much at that point.

Then, randomly, the screaming started up again. I tried to tell her that I couldn't hold her. That it was just like when we ride in the car and she has a seat belt on.
In other words, I tried to reason with a two year old.
Because I'm not quite right in the head.

As a result, I'm pretty sure that my hearing is permanently damaged.
And that the lady in front of me has a death wish out for me now.

We finally arrived and were met by my parents at the gate. The entire flight was only an hour or so long, yet it felt like an absolute eternity. I've never been more excited to see them in my entire life.

I made it. I did it.
I hope to never have to do it alone again.

But at least I have pictures of the 10 happy minutes, right?


Jill said...

Ohhhh sweetie! I can feel every ounce of your pain. Recently my husband I flew with our 3 and 2 year olds. Even with him there, it was soooo not easy. Every person near us moved. Yeah, don't wanna do that again any time soon :)

The Brandts said...

Amen sister! Just did this last week with a 2.5 year old and a 9 week old. Only add in a layover, mile walk between planes, and refusing to use public restrooms. It's the stuff nightmares are made of! And we get to do a return flight next week!

Sara said...

"...I tried to reason with a two year old. Because I'm not quite right in the head." Bwahahahaha!!

I have lived this. I continue to live this--only with slightly older sometimes unreasonable children.

Kodi said...

Oh goodness. I still get nervous to fly, so I can only imagine what the future holds! :)

With hubby being in the military I do forsee myself flying alone with children. Maybe I'll spread them out so that by the time baby #2 is born baby #1 is old enough to help...yeah right!

beth e. said...

That sounds miserable and makes me never want to fly with children!!! Bless your heart! You didn't tell me it was that bad!

Tiffany said...

Oh, wow. You are one brave and strong mama! If you made it through that, then you can make it through anything, right??? Wow. What an experience! Makes for a great blog it was all worth it, right? : )

Brittany said...

I thought that was you behind me on the plane! Oh, wait... THOSE children did NOT have a parent with them.

Your kiddos are way cuter than the heathens that kicked the crud out of my seat from Dallas to Houston last week. Nice.

BTW, you have a beautiful smile! And, your teeth are perfect!

SarahHub said...

Whew! I'm glad you made it! And now I know not to attempt something like that on my own...

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

How I wish I could've been there helping you!!

You know - with a 6 year old who is 45 pounds and needs carried or needs help walking, a 4 year old who loves to run all over, a two year old who gets freaked out if a stranger looks at him and a 6 month baby belly.

That would've been good times - no?

Yeah - I try reasoning with a 2 year old quite often. I don't know how I can continually forget that there is no such thing...

GOOD FOR YOU!!! Really! You just did an amazing thing!!!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

You are my hero. Truly. I don't know if I would have been brave enough to try that. We flew with Savananh for the first time when she was 11 mos, AND Ricardo was with me, and I still almost lost it when she woudln't stop screaming. I think because of the altitude deal hurting her ears. But anyway - by the time we got off that plane, I was vowing to never ever go anywhere again.

Charlie - oh my word, he is growing up so fast! I haven't seen a pic of him in awhile and he is so big. Beautiful

I am so very sorry to hear about your cousin. I've been praying for you.

Cassandra said...

I so would have come to Little Rock to meet a bloggy friend in person!! But congrats on the flight...I cannot imagine your bravery...

Jennifer said...

Girl! I somewhat feel your pain. Lainey and I have flown solo several times now, and believe it or not--it doesn't get easier! She just gets more and more "independent" as she gets older! I can only imagine getting through security/teeny aisles/teeny seeting with two! You are an accomplished woman! :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this so much!


susana said...

Wow!!!! You are one of the brave and strong mother...I cannot imagine your bravery...thanks for sharing..
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