Traveling With Toddlers
Thanks to Google Drive, I am going through the archives of stuff I wrote a long time ago and cleaning out files I don’t need. If I come across something I really like, I’ve been publishing it here or on Agoura Hills Mom. This one is especially relevant because I am getting ready to fly cross country, solo, with my two little boys. Again.
From Being Savvy Los Angeles: March 22, 2009
Every new parent has this question for me at one time or another: “How do you DO it?!” and they don’t mean in the general sense, like how do you look so fabulous and thin while raising two young boys? No, they mean, how do you take two young boys across the country and back on airplanes and not go completely insane?
They answer is, you don’t. I think that every time I fly with my 1 and 3-year-olds I go a little bit crazy and come that much closer to being reduced to the muttering, wild-haired lady you see in the grocery store produce section. The one you avoid.
While that is slowly happening, I manage to get the children to our destination, enjoy ourselves, and then get us all back safely. Then I crack open a beer.
The trick, for me, is preparation. I never pack without a list. At the top of that list, I write all of the events and weather conditions for the trip. If we’re going to a wedding in CT in the wintertime and there will be a birthday party to attend as well, it is all noted. I’m very thorough, including travel outfits for every member of our family and setting them all out the night before the trip.
Also, snacks. If you are stuck on a 3-hour flight with no snacks, you are out of luck in this day and age of airlines cutting back on service. Snacks are a great distraction from the fact that you are wedged into a 3-foot space with your fidgety toddler. You might even want to share with the guy in the seat in front of him, since he may keep kicking the back of it. It’s not easy to give a time-out on an airplane.
You can try, though. On our last trip I brought the 3-year-old to the galley at the back of the plane to get him away from his father, whom he kept smacking on the arm, shouting “NO! NO! NO!” because Daddy wouldn’t let him shake and open a bottle of soda. The boy asked me what all the metal boxes were. I told him that’s where the captain puts the naughty kids. He looked up at me, wide-eyed and serious, and said “Can I see?”
Now that they are bigger, this is how they entertain themselves during long airport waits: