The following is an account of the longest 3 hours and 45 minutes of my life. It happened between the evening hours of 7 and 12:15 am. The events occurred on theday of my return trip home after a relaxing vacation.
1. After checking in and walking the nearly one mile to security, I vowed never to travel without a stroller again. Carrying a carseat in one arm and a 1 year old in the other is crazy!
2. Always take your 1 year old's shoes off, they will search children.
3. Always remember to take your own sunglasses off, so you don't look like a fool walking back and forth through the security setting the alarm off and not knowing why? Only to have the guard say, "Ma'm on your head, your sunglasses."
4. NEVER pack Grammy's cocounut cake in your backpack, no matter how badly your other child would like to taste it. It will cause you to have all your luggage checked at security.
5. REMEMBER you have taken your 1 year old's shoes off, so you must put them on. Otherwise you will have a security guard running after you with tiny shoes in his hands, trying to be helpful.
6. NEVER travel without a stroller for your 1 year old.
7. ALWAYS let your children stand in front of you on the moving sidewalk so they can see when it ends. If you don't your 7 year old will hit the end and go flying in the air, land on her knees and you WILL have to wave down someone drive your family to your gate because your daughter is crying hysterically and now you cannot hold your 1 year old, carseat, diaper bag and your 7 year olds carry on.
8. ALWAYS travel with several one dollar bills, so you don't feel horrible for not tipping the man who so kindly transported your crying 7 year old and now fussy 1 year old.
9. ALWAYS KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TIME. Or you might find yourself boarding the wrong plane headed to El Paso rather than Nashville. It is also embarassing being notified of your mistake and to watch your 1 year old off down the hall to board the plane without you. You will have caused EVERYONE headed to El Paso to wait because you are waiting for the flight attendant to retrieve your 1 year old from the plane.
10. Always plan for anything. Say for instance, your 1 year old spies someone with cheese pizza and walks over to the box of pizza and grabs a slice? Better yet, the stranger says, "thats okay, I'm done with it."
11. Remind yourself that following the rules doesn't always work to your advantage. So, no matter how long you have been at the gate, if other people start their own pre-boarding line; remember majority rules. If you choose to stand under the sign that says "pre-board" you will be stuck boarding last. This means you will not have seats for your family to sit together and the flight attendant will then have to ask, " Would someone kindly move so this young mother can sit by her 7 and 1 year old." You can be thankful that these are not the people from the El Paso flight.
12. Take note that Benadryl sometimes gets children wired up and not sleepy, especially 1 year old little boys.
13. Remember pacifiers are wonderful only if used properly and not chucked out of frustration two rows back only to be found once everyone has deboarded the plane.
14. A box of 64 crayons are great for 7 year olds, however, 1 year olds might see them as, lets say an airplane? You can bet that you will deplane with only 41 crayons left in that box, because the others could not be found.
15. Stickers are great for 1 year olds, it occupies about 20 minutes of their time, but remember they go everywhere and when you get up and walk the aisle with your little one, you might told by your 7 year old, "mommy you have stickers on your bottom."
16. Be prepared that changing a stinky diaper midway through the flight might be an inconvenience to those around as they wait. They just don't get how difficult it is for a 1 year old to balance on the seat of a toilet and how a mommy has to try and wipe that balancing 1 year old in flight.
17. Again, remember that stuff about the benadryl.
18. Be thankful you did bring the carseat even though you forgot the stroller.
19. Remember an empty plastic cup, lid and straw can occupy your 1 year old for about 11 minutes.
20. Landings. They are the best, they idicate you are home and will put your 1 year old little guy to sleep 3 hours and 45 minutes later!