I’m a traveler. I love love love to board that airplane and head somewhere new.

Because I’m also a mother, I take my kids on my travels.

This means I’ve had my fair share of flights with babies, toddlers, tantrums, diaper blow-outs, kids throwing up, etc. When we lived in D.C. for six years after we got married we’d travel from there out here to the West a lot. Max and Elle are only 14 months apart and I remember being sick to my stomach for days before my flights alone with my two babies for hours and hours trying to get them to stay happy, nap, stop whining, etc. I’d go to the dollar store and buy all kinds of trinkets to keep them busy. I’d pack all kinds of new treats to keep them happy. Then Gracie joined the mix and I did it alone with all three of them, nursing her while trying to juggle the others. We packed all our kids back and forth to China. We’ve taken them on flights all over the place.

I say all this because even after all those adventures for so many years on so many different flights with so many different combinations of babies and ages and needs, I’d like to announce that Lucy won the award last night.

The award for making the worst flight yet.

I’m not sure why I doubted she’d do it. I knew she had all the potential. Feisty, strong-willed, unable to communicate needs, an awesome and well-practiced scream…she had all the right ingredients.

The trouble is that I didn’t prepare enough in advance. I got cocky. I thought I’d seen it all. I thought that after all those years that really, building towers with plastic cups from the flight attendant would to the trick. Or trying to find pictures of dogs in the sky mall magazine.

Nope, didn’t work.

The fact that we were parked on the tarmac de-icing in Detroit for an hour before we even took off didn’t help.

Enough said.

I’ll just say she sure was delightful when we finally got OFF the plane at home at 11:30pm (1:30am Boston time) and she hadn’t slept one wink. She got the hugest grin on her face and insisted on doing her run-walk-leap thing through the airport which just makes you smile no matter how naughty she’s been…mainly because it’s so funny to watch her try to lift up that much weight in a little jaunty skip. Man she can be funny. And it was extra funny since she had no pants (diaper blow-out thing) and her chubby thighs compliment her crocs very nicely.The girls at home couldn’t wait to get their hands on her. They missed her SO much and I wish I could have captured their expressions this morning when I told them they could go get her up.
(I tried to make them re-inact it after they already got her out but it didn’t really work.)
So, she won the award, but she’s got herself wrapped around our hearts so tight that we forgive her…and love her even more.
More about Boston tomorrow…
It was so great that I’d still do all the flights all over again to get to be there.

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  1. Oh man, they just win your heart back, don’t they? We fly a lot too. I remember one bad flight (and it was only Lindsay). She was 14 months old. She would not stop screaming and I was about at my wits end. I was sitting near the front, maybe even a bulk-head aisle on Southwest, I don’t remember. Anyway, woman came from the back of the plane and asked if I needed a break and offered to hold Lindsay for a while. I handed this perfect stranger my baby (where was she going to go with her? Not like she could kidnap her or anything. ) I went to the lavatory and cried for about 10-15 minutes and then came back ready to brave the next couple of hours. Somehow, we survived, but I am not sure how.

  2. Oh Shawn,

    Thanks so much for doing all that traveling for my sake. Man, that was a big sacrifice! It was so fun to have you here, and helpful and soul filling….you are the best. Little Emmeline misses you already (we all do).

  3. Love that you named all my same tricks when flying. wE have to do it a lot, too, living on the east coast with family all back west. I dread the flights. I dread the 18month old. But seeing that I only have one baby left, I think I’m starting to feel a little cocky as well. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I hope you can decompress today. I remember flying back to Maryland, with Ike, and he screamed the entire flight. No exaggeration. I was a ball of nerves.

  5. You get credit for all that flying. You are a brave soul! And I love how much your girls adore that little one! What good mommies they’ll be some day!

  6. seems when you pack tons of stuff you never end up using half of it anyways. but it is just too nervousing to guess just the right thing, so it all must come. I have to say I am truly truly grateful for portable dvd players. a blessed invention for long trips.

  7. Hmmm… I know exactly how you feel. I have a little boy that puked in every plane we boarded until he was 4yrs old…sweet memories.

  8. Oh do I have a airplane story for you…I will have to tell you one day. I have got you beat though so that should tell you how bad it was!
    Lucy really couldn’t be any cuter in that diaper!
    That makes me so mad when they make you take the baby out especially if they are alseep..take the blanket away etc…
    I am glad you had Max too…sounds like you had a fun trip and the Blue Man Group would be awesome!

  9. I realize this is an old thread, but I have a flight experience to share as well. Last year I flew from Alaska (my home) to Dallas. None of MY kids were with me, but I was traveling with a friend to help her go see her mother before she died (so sad–I know). She has a newborn and a almost 2 year-old. The newborn was bottle-fed, so he my my responsibility (yay!). Her almost 2 year-old was another matter altogether. He screamed the entire flight to Seattle. Not cried, SCREAMED! Wow! Seattle was a layover–we had to get BACK on the plane! He SCREAMED all the way to Dallas. Finally he fell asleep right before landing. He was on the floor at my friend's feet. The flight attendants knew it, but made a good call to let him continue to sleep on the floor during the landing. They just pretended they didn't notice. Bless them! My friend bought a car seat for him to sit in on the trip back to Anchorage, and that was the solution. He was a trooper the whole flight home. An experience I'll never forget, for sure. Makes anything my kids ever have done pale by comparison.

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