Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family Vacay Part I: Flying with a Toddler

I recall, with an unappreciated-at-the-time level of fondness, when flying meant a carry-on bag full of fashion magazines, my current book, an ipod with a new playlist, and perhaps a new movie on my laptop. 2, 3, 4 or more hours to do nothing but relax, catch up on my celebrity gossip, maybe grab a quick nap. Ahhhh, those were the days. Because now that I've experienced it, I can tell you that flying with a toddler is about the least relaxing thing you can do. Seriously, it ranks right up there with taking the MCATS, or having a double root canal. Except at 30,000 feet and in a 2x2 foot area.

If you have a TV-loving kid, flying could actually be something of a breeze - cue up Toy Story on the old ipad and you might even be able to peace out to napland while Junior gets his movie on. I, however, do not have one of these children, and on a normal day, I am quite grateful for that. What I have is a kid who is constant motion 12 hours a day, and what I heard 10 minutes into our flight was "all done airplane!" Now, I have to say that on the way there, Sweets actually did very well, all things considered. He loved the wrapped up toys ("more presents please?"), played happily with them for most of the flight, watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the ipad, and ate his weight in airline pretzels. Descending into Orlando he was given his very first lollipop, ever, and he thought that was pretty special. All in all, a successful, albeit not relaxing in the slightest, flight.
Checking out our plane with Daddy

.2 seconds before he ripped off the headphones and refused to wear them anymore

2 1/2 uneventful hours later, we arrived at the Happiest Place on Earth!

One shuttle ride after that, we reached our final destination: The Disney Dolphin Resort

We were psyched: who wouldn't want to be here?

To wrap up travel day 1, we grabbed a quick dinner and got the lay of the land.

We arrived at the airport for our return flight not anticipating anything other than what we got on the way in. After all, Sweets had slept fantastically well for the week, and was in a great mood. We had a snack, saw the sights, and boarded the plane. And what we got, for the ensuing 2 hours and 15 minutes, was this:

Toddler hell at 30,000 feet. We were totally that family with a screaming, miserable, can't-reason-with-him two year old. Surprisingly, I wasn't that concerned with what other people thought about the situation, because anyone could see that we were working our arses off to pacify our kid, but I did feel pretty darn sorry for myself. I was a human jungle gym who got snotted on, kicked, screamed at, and finally, contorted into a most inhumane position when Sweets did finally manage to fall asleep. I wanted to jump out the window, but barring that, I managed to hang in there, juuuuust barely, until we touched down at home. I was nauseated, with a pounding headache and no nerves left, but while we taxied to the gate, Hubs and Sweets had a little chat that ended with Sweets saying "Sorry, Mama," ever so adorably, and all was forgiven ;) 

More to come on the fun stuff we did in Family Vacay: Part II!

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