Flying with children can only go one of two ways…really, really good or really, really bad!
Our youngest, who is three, had never been on a plane. So we decided that a quick, relatively inexpensive flight was a good place to start.
Despite being at 5:30 a.m., the flight to our destination went smoothly. Check-in was quick, boarding was fine and the boys watched the plane take-off. Then, they both snuggled up and fell back asleep until we landed.
The way back, not so much!
We left with plenty of time to spare. Sadly, a horrific traffic accident on the highway caused us to reroute. I tried not to panic. Of course, my cell phone dying during our trip wasn’t helping the anxiety department. I had images of missing flights, a split-up family and lost luggage floating through my head.
Thankfully, our detour only added about fifteen minutes to our drive. We were still doing OK on time.
Then we got to security.
I went through the smaller scanner with the boys, while my husband stood in line for the larger scanner per instruction. As we waited for him, our bags were scanned. Our older son’s got flagged. I knew that I had emptied his water bottle and put it in the checked luggage so my mind began to race. What could possibly be in a six-year-old’s backpack that is a problem?!
My husband joined us and I informed him of the situation. He is the calm one out of the two of us, so I knew we were in trouble when he kept continually checking his watch and losing his patience with the security agent who said that the bags had to be checked in the order in which they were flagged, yet was taking bags that came in after my son’s.
Finally, the agent who flagged the bag initially had someone take over his post so that he could help us, but not before he had to deal with the woman who had a huge container of yogurt in her carry-on (who does that?!).
Anyhow, it turned out that he had flagged a stuffed animal that had a lavender beanbag-like filling. The damn thing had no problem getting through security the first time, but note to self: no more stuffed animals while traveling.
After that fiasco we had about fifteen minutes until boarding time. I made both boys use the bathroom (parenting rule #1) and then asked my husband to quickly get us food (because we were all starving) and meet us at the gate.
The boys and I walked all the way to the end of the terminal thinking that Gate 110 would be right next to Gate 109. But of course, having our luck, Gate 110 was before 101…because that makes sense?!
Needless to say, all four of us arrived at the gate at the same time. The boys ate some of their sandwiches and my little guy asked for a drink. My husband hadn’t purchased any drinks, because he figured we would be served drinks on the plane and didn’t want the boys to have to get up twenty million times during the flight to use the bathroom. So we told him he would have to wait.
After boarding the plane and sitting on the tarmac for about ten minutes, one of the flight attendants informs us that the pilot was stuck in the same highway traffic that we had been stuck in two hours prior.
A half an hour later, we took off.
I was sitting with our older son on one side of the aisle and my husband was sitting with our younger son on the other side.
Twenty minutes into the flight, our younger son starts incessantly crying because he is thirsty. My poor (typically calm) husband is at his wit’s end. The lady beside him is annoyed, the man in front of him is annoyed and I’m secretly glad that I’m not the one sitting next to him!
I use my own form of sign language to encourage my husband to hit the flight attendant’s call button, but the plane is experiencing turbulence so no one is permitted to get out of their seats, including the flight attendants.
Eventually, drink are served… just in time to land.