Today I'm busy packing for my first solo airplane trip with both children. Judging from our last and recent trip to Scottsdale, the children are not quite ready to make this voyage an enjoyable trip for all...
Packing for any trip with little ones in the house is like receiving or placing a very long important call. All of a sudden your children only want to be a part of every single thing you are touching or doing. Prior to this it seems like everyone has been part of a week long marathon that no one told me about whereby everyone else in the family does their best to soil every single item of clothing that they own. Leading me to a pre-trip laundry wash-dry-iron-a-thon that only my mother could cherish.
I simply started packing my clothes during their nap. When Alexa woke she helped by counting her pairs of socks for the trip. Then she took it upon herself to select the items she felt would be imperative for the trip.
5 tutus, 2 gowns, 1 dress, a skirt, 1 hairband, all of her favourite dolls (except Ana, I wonder what Ana did to have to stay home?), and two flashlights.
While I was addressing the pile of darling accoutrements Alexa had selected for her trip, Henry decided that he should make a pile of the items he felt were important for the trip.
Packing for a trip is a lot.
At the end of the day, I packed our necessities, plus a few items that I have found to help the kids adjust to their new "short-term" home. Bedding that has been used for a few days and has the smell of home, lovies for both of them, we still use noise machines, a fun evening activity that gets them super excited to be away, like glow sticks or finger lights from Dollarama and a few of their favourite books and toys.
For the plane I pack:
- Snacks (obviously) but one that takes time to consume that they don't often get, like cheese and crackers;
- Stickers and paper;
- A magnetic doll and accompanying outfits (again Dollarama);
- A dry erase board;
- Silly putty / Slime, and most parents last defence;
- iPad with pre-loaded movies.
Of course like all parents, I'm running through a list of possibilities and worst case scenarios. We've done a number of trips all together, so I have a reasonable expectation of how things are going to play out. I'm planning on bringing a plethora of activities and an abundance of hope. While I don't worry terribly about ruining someone else's flight, I do worry about losing a child in the airport as Henry is boundless right now and Alexa is not quick to follow his ernest pace. I worry about how I will take one into the teeny airplane washroom with the other in tow. I worry that Henry will miss his nap and fight my every attempt to lure him into calm. I worry that a stranger will, once again, feed my kid a strange snack from a strange bag while I'm distracted by the other.
Look, at the end of the day this shouldn't feel like the tightening noose from a Stephen King novel. In all things, I try to remember to look at it from the kids' point of view. They're excited, they're a bit overwhelmed, they're a bit unsure. If we roll with it, it will help them to too. Tonight, we decide one glass of wine will celebrate my 'holiday' and perhaps ease some of the anxiety. We choose the right and delicious bottle. Another parent necessity.
Ensuring you that we're about to make a lot of ruckus, let's hope it's all blissful.