Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The seventh circle of hell air travel with a toddler. Especially across country. Especially when you're nauseated, which I of course was out of the blue yesterday. Oh, it was just awful. And this is even with everything going like clockwork and the baby never once screaming or having any kind of meltdown. The whole way I had this mantra in my head - "this was a huge mistake...this was a huge mistake...this was a huge mistake..."

So, if everything went well, what was so bad about it? Well, number one was being sick. Had I just felt well it wouldn't have been so bad. For me nausea always spirals into high anxiety and panic attacks and weird OCD issues, so being tortured with that while managing a toddler was not fun. I had also underestimated the toll hauling a giant 50 lb suitcase, a heavy, awkward stroller, a heavy carry on, a purse, and a 25 lb toddler strapped on my ill stomach, would take on me. It was just way, way too much. From car to shuttle bus to check in to gate, then on the other end, baggage claim to shuttle bus to second shuttle bus to car rental place (thank God I at least had my sister helping at the other end). Thankfully the car rental place did have car seats; unfortunately they would not install it, so my poor sister had to wrestle with the LATCH system while B happily played with all the nobs on the dashboard. Then we got lost on the way to the hotel. We were both starving and exhausted and I of course felt like puking every minute. Oh, good times.

I really screwed up as far as food for the flight, too. B ate all of the food I brought for him within ten minutes of the first flight. I brought for myself blueberries, edamame, and a felafel sandwich...which I then tried to feed to B, which was an absolute mess, since I had to chew the edamame and blueberries first because of the choking hazard. He didn't sleep at all, nor was he interested in sitting still or playing with anything for more than a few seconds. I let him tear apart magazines, play with my Kindle, play with the toys I brought, and finally just resorted to feeding him tiny handfuls of the dry, crumbly felafel very, very slowly, because it was the only thing that would keep him occupied for a decent length of time. The minutes flew like hours. And I get to do this all again in a couple of days - and heading back west, which adds an hour onto the flight. Oh joy.

So, what do we do about this? I love my family and miss them terribly. I want to see them more often. But I just can't do this. It's way, way too hard, and the arrival of another one will make it completely impossible. For years, until they are both old enough to be ok flying (and I can afford three flights-!). Again it was my choice to move 3000 miles from my closest family member. And I would rather stick flaming bamboo spears under my fingernails than move back east. So what's the answer? Skype, maybe? 

Oh, and today's my 41st birthday. Funny how unimportant this becomes when wrangling a toddler and a new pregnancy!


  1. Okay so I never comment...I've been lurking here for ummm 8 months or longer. But your photo cracked me up so much I had to come say hi. Happy birthday.

    On the family, I have one small suggestion. I split the cost of a flight with my brother. My mom lives near me and he's the one who I want to see the most after her. It tends to work out well. I see him a few times a year and I didn't have to fly with/cough up money to fly myself and my kids to see him.

    So hi, I'm Issa. Congrats on the pregnancy. Am majorly crossing fingers for you.

  2. Hahaha, love the picture!!! Happy birthday!!

  3. OMG! That photo is AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!! Happy Birthday!!

  4. OK, that picture is HYSTERICAL! The fact that you can post that after the flight experience you just described is pretty stellar. A sense of humor is so helpful in all of this, huh?

    I hear you on the travel. My daughter just turned 2 this month, and I've basically taken 2013 off from all air travel with her. Next year, I think she'll be old enough and I'll have recovered enough from the trauma to try again. At least 2 trips already planned...

    You have to focus on enjoying the visit while you're there and, as much as you can, not let the dread of the flight back ruin why you came. At least, that was my strategy :)

    Happy birthday, get a lot of use out of those 2nd pair of hands, and maybe you can fly your sister out to visit you next time :)


  5. love the photo! happy birthday!

    and total and unconditional support of your plan to not travel for a while.

  6. LOVE the picture! Hilarious!

    So sorry the flight was miserable. For future reference, you can cut the blueberries and edamame in half - or even bite them in half - and then there's not a huge choking hazard. I've cut up lots of blueberries in my day. LOL This year it's lovely, no cutting of blueberries, or even grapes! Yay!

  7. Your photo rocks! Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday. I hope and pray that you have an easy flight back. Being far from family is really a drag, I hear you. But living in snow I think would be worse, no?

  8. Just catching up, so sorry for the lateness... but Happy Birthday! And that pic is absolutely HYSTERICAL!!!