Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties in the Sky with Babies

As some of you know, I traveled to San Francisco in May for a weekend.  L received a huge award at work, and we were invited for an all-expenses-paid adventure.  L didn't want to go, but I pushed it.  Not only was this award a big deal, but it was a great excuse to see my family and get out of P-Ville even for a short while during our endless winter.

Us.  May-ish. Notice the hoods and jackets.   

There is a reason I haven't blogged about this trip.  I could have talked extensively about our hotel with an incredible view:

Our phenomenal dinner at The Slanted Door:

 (The view from our table- amazing)

(Lychee cotton candy- I die.)

Or the awards ceremony itself, where I was bursting with pride in my hard working husband:

(I wore these shoes.  THAT is love.)

No, the reason I haven't blogged about this adventure was because the trip was hell.  HELL.  I'm talking no-sleep, barf-everywhere, top-of-Nob-Hill-with-a-stroller HELL.  And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, our flight from SFO back to Minneapolis happened.

And the puke.  Oh, the puke.  Everywhere.  Three times.

Hard to believe this girl had it in her.

I am only partially joking when I say L and I have PTSD over this trip.  I cried about it for three days after returning home, not just from pure exhaustion and frustration, but because our summer plans were ruined.  We were set to see our very close friends from China, visiting the States with their two small children-- CANCELLED.  We were talking about going with another couple and their children to a camp up North-- CANCELLED.  And, most importantly, my trip back to California with the kids to visit my family in August.  It killed me, but I couldn't go through with it.  I just couldn't.  

But I didn't cancel.  And now it's August, and even though I'm terrified out of my mind because THIS TIME I'M TRAVELING ALONE, I'm going to do it.  I'm going to California with both kids in ten days.  Because family is family and I live far away, and this is important and there are lots of people out West who need to meet this guy:

I have had dreams about this trip every night for the last week.  The sleeplessness.  The adjusting to the time difference.  The absence of our 'stuff'.  But, more than anything, the flight.  3.5 hours of pure torture.

('Or not!  A woman in her thirties thinks positively!' I can hear you all say. Whatever.  YOU do it.)

In all my thinking and stressing about it, a few things have come to the forefront.  Airlines really don't have it right when it comes to children.  For example:

1.  I would pay extra to be on a flight that does NOT have a drink service.  HELLO!  Leave the aisles open for toddling children and bathroom goers.  Do we really need tomato juice?  Cranberry juice? Just give us a bottle of water on our way in and be done with it.

2. Children should board the plane LAST and de-plane FIRST. Yeah, the frequent-flyers will get all pissy about it.  But you know what is worse than waiting 20 minutes while everyone de-planes?  Waiting twenty minutes WHILE A CHILD SCREAMS NEXT TO YOU.

3. Changing tables.  I have flown a LOT with children, and I would say that maybe 50% of the planes have a changing table in the bathroom.  Seriously, people.  KIDS POOP THEIR PANTS.  Not rocket science.

4. Offer people $5 to check their bag at the gate.  Do it while everyone is waiting in the waiting area staring each other down, and NOT while everyone is boarding the plane and wrestling their neighbor for overhead space.

5.  Give parents flying solo the ability to have a buddy.  Someone on the flight who wants to make an extra buck. Someone un-creepy to hold the kid(s) or play with them so you can get a break.  I would pay $100 for this service.  PROBABLY MORE.

I just finished Jim Gaffigan's book Dad is Fat, and he offers some sage advice for traveling with children:  DON'T DO IT.  Fine, I get it.  Anything else?


  1. I got so excited about those kickass shoes that I wasn't ready for everything else that was coming!! Unfortunately, I have no suggestions on traveling with little ones... this is where people like me say all the wrong things like "Try a little Benedryl before the flight." So I'm going to close with: GOOD LUCK! :)

  2. Well...I'm selfishly thrilled you are coming. And optimistic for your flight. Everything is going to be fine.

    Prom. Prom.

    Now get here.

  3. For a bit of levity, there's always Dave Barry's The Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need -- fortunately the salient chapter on "Traveling as a Family (or, No, we are NOT there yet)" is available as an op-ed:

  4. Pray. And get Aaron his own seat next time...then you have a row to yourselves!

  5. All I can say is childrens's Dramamine. You can do it!

  6. I just realized that my Bloglovin' app is not posting my comments. So, for the record, I was "technically" the first person to comment. Boo.

    Anyway, here are my words of travel-with-children wisdom:
    1. Wine. In a flask.
    2. Let them terrorize the drink cart in the aisle.
    3. Tell people to suck it.
    4. More wine.

    You can do it!!! All night long!

  7. I have nothing useful to add, so I'll just say: