Thursday, July 17, 2014

On Travel With a Toddler, Part 1

Airports sucks.

Okay, maybe when I have traveled on my own, I haven't minded the strange solitude that came from grabbing my carry-on and hunkering down in a chair near the gate to read until my flight was called. Sometimes during long layovers, I even enjoyed the regional food I only got to sample in the airport.

But mostly, airports seem like cruel and unusual punishment.

Throw in a toddler who refuses to nap, and...well...

We knew that our flight to go see my husband's family would not necessarily be what you might call pleasant, because getting to the airport and waiting for the plane would be during what should be the all holy, sacred time set aside for a nap, and we weren't set to arrive until the deepest, darkest pit of night.

Little did we know how fast a toddler can go when he hasn't slept or, really, stood still since waking up in the morning, and it's now 11 at night, and he's still going.

For your reading pleasure, here are some highlights from travels with a toddler.

1) Layovers are the Bomb - if by "bomb," you mean a scary, giant puddle of time that makes you wonder what you have done so wrong in your life, then yes. Wait, I feel weird writing "bomb" next to anything having to do with air travel. The NSA is probably tracking my blog now. Ooooh, I'll have more readers!  Anywho, my son loved the airport. He loved running on the "ecalators" (otherwise known as the people movers/moving walkways). He loved almost running into people, then watching us walk and saying, "Watch out, Mommy. Careful, Daddy."  He loved actually running into a woman, hugging her legs, looking up and saying, "Not. Mommy."  He loved trying to steal the coffee we bought from the lone Starbucks right before it closed at 9:17 p.m. (huh?! weirdest closing time ever).  He loved running around narrating his every move, "Ari moving." "Ari jumping." "Ari climbing." "Ari climbing on Mommy." "Ari want down." "Ari want uppppp."
2) Toddlers Who Don't Nap Get...Weird - Ari made a new friend in the airport. He chatted. The new kid babbled in his own little speak. Ari looked at him and said, "Yeaaaaahhhh" after every sentence, then pointed out the airplanes and talked about how it wasn't our plane, "Not our plane. Not yet. Plane take off. Not ours. Not yet."  Then, at approximately WHEN IS THE PLANE EVER GOING TO GET HERE o'clock, he hit his new friend in the face with a water bottle.  New kid cried. Ari looked confused. I thought we were playing. Hey, kid, why are you screaming? Time for our family to apologize and find a new place to sit.

3) Airports Do Care - So, in one of our airport stops, we found...wait for it...a TODDLER PLAY AREA.  In the name of all that is holy, THANK YOU.  We hunkered down, far from the crowds, near our own blessed outlet to charge our rapidly weakening phones, sucked down our precious Starbucks, and let Ari climb, slide, and "make apple juice," until it was FINALLY (only four hours late, thanks guys) time to leave.

4) It's Almost Worth the Price of the Extra Seat - Little man turned two, which means we have to buy him is own ticket. It's cheaper than an adult ticket, you say? Oh, yes, but that's if I buy full fare tickets, then they offer a discount. Nope, it's the same price as any other price I find online.  Still, after traveling with a lap child (otherwise known as a squirming, bored toddler), it was fantastic to strap Ari into his own seat, give him his own tray, and let him play, instead of trying to wrangle him between our legs and backpacks and stuff. Of course, traveling solo with him, all he wanted was to "sit by MY mommy," but more on that later...

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