Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Plane (Okay, 3) and a Dream

Tomorrow "morning" we leave the house at 4 am to drive to the airport and get on a plane to fly away. Ben has no concept of what a plane is or what flying is, though we've tried to explain and get him excited. Unfortunately, he only has eyes for trucks and trains.

I wished we lived closer to an airport so that we could have taken him there to watch the planes take off and touch down. But it's about twenty minutes away, and we didn't think of it on the days when we had time.

We have two large layovers tomorrow. We also have a portable DVD player (and a backup external power source), many DVDs, many trucks and cars, many little animal figures, many choo-choos, flashcards, books, lacing toys, stickers, crayons and paper... oh my god, is there anything else I could possibly pack in his carry-on? Oh and snacks. I packed lots of yummy, non-sugary snacks because I'm not an idiot.

AND... we tested out the benadryl on him yesterday morning. He got very sleepy and took a nice long nap. The day before, I tried it, and he played quietly for a few hours, but didn't nap. Overall, I think we can be certain that he won't be one of those hyperactive-on-Benadryl kids.

Our total travel time (including layovers) is twelve and a half hours tomorrow. I'll be thinking of my readers near Chicago and San Francisco when I'm stuck in the airport with two rugrats.

I've had our suitcases packed since Sunday, which left us time for troubleshooting such things like 1. Our lack of birth certificate for Anna, 2. The DVD player wouldn't hold a charge on its "long-life lithium battery" and 3. I don't have enough clothes for Anna in her new size. Those issues are now resolved, and last night before bed, Chris and I both started feeling the panic and urgency of "we're leaving soon are we ready oh my god we'll forget something important."

Maybe it will help to itemize my concerns so you guys can tell me it's no big deal:

  • I'm not looking forward to nursing in public. Anna's nose is stuffy, and she breaks the latch and turns away to breathe a lot. I haven't been able to get used to nursing with a blankie over the exposed parts because then it's hard to see if she's aimed right or being suffocated on my maidenly flesh. I'm worried about making other travelers uncomfortable if they see a flash of nipple or a squirt of forceful letdown. I know I shouldn't worry about that, that nursing is totally natural and beautiful, and it's their problem, not mine... but I'm a polite Midwestern girl who was raised to always consider the comfort of others before my own.
  • Ben. I'm preparing for HOAP (hell on a plane), but hoping for awesome behavior and a toddler's shiny enthusiasm for new experiences. I'm worried he'll get totally bored and ornery. I'm worried his ears will hurt and he'll scream.
  • Anna. I'm worried her ears are going to hurt or she's not going to like hanging out in the baby wrap. I'm worried her diaper is going to explode and we won't have packed enough spare outfits to change her clothes. I'm worried she's going to have her screaming fits and upset the other passengers.
  • Us, the parents. I'm worried that we'll be so freaking tired that we won't be able to have a pleasant experience. I'm worried we'll get frustrated and upset.
  • I'm worried that I've packed too much or not enough in our carry-ons. I'm worried that having two carry-ons will be too difficult to manage in the airports.
  • I'm worried about forgetting something crucial before the security points. Like not packing grenades or butcher knives. Gawd, I hope I remember to leave my uzi at home. (No, actually. We don't own any weapons. But I am a little concerned about the new liquids rule, and I'm worried I'll forget to put something in my little quart-sized bag for inspection.)
The list could go on, but Anna's crying, and there's breakfast to make, and three loads of laundry to fold and put away, a bed to strip and remake for our house sitter, two carry-ons to repack, a fridge to clean, a floor to mop... You get the idea.