Remember that time I took a toddler by myself on a flight for two hours one way? And then did it again eight days later? I kind of thought what I was accomplishing was like a miracle or something. Like what I was doing had never been done before by any other mother previously. And when I got to my first destination, I was all, "That's right, my kid is still in his original clothes, I still have my sanity, and he didn't even cry once." ... Even though I resembled some kind of pack mule.
Gigi picked us up while Dad picked up my brother, his wife, and their three kids (ages 6, 4.75, and 4 months). They only had carry on luggage people. They breezed through those doors from their eighteen hour flight or whatever (just kidding - like three hours), and they looked like pros. CARRY ON LUGGAGE FOR THREE KIDS AND EIGHT DAYS AND POOLS AND LAKES AND STROLLERS AND BOOSTER SEATS AND TWO HOUSES AND CAR TRIPS AND WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Clearly, I need to rethink my whole process because my CHECKED bag weighed 44 pounds and Calvin, the friendly United baggage man in Houston? He was all, "Honey, you gotta get better at this."
You're right, Calvin. You're right.
Occasionally, my mom will tell the story of "that one time."
She carted The Brother (who was two like The General) and me (six weeks old) all the way home from Guam by herself. She talks about it in such a cavalier kind of way - like it wasn't a big thing to take a baby and a toddler literally halfway around the world on a military cargo plane.
Like it was no big deal to wrangle a stroller, luggage, two kids, and no liquor through airports and back to a farm in Nebraska.
Like it was no big deal.
Probably because she's forgotten the struggle.
Because in my experience? You forget torture.
Kinda like childbirth.
Tuck slept throughout the entire flight home today, so I didn't even need the 80,000 distractive new toys I found in the Target dollar aisle because THAT'S WHAT PINTEREST "TRAVELING FOR TODDLERS" ARTICLES TOLD ME TO BRING.
So here is my awesome traveling advice - it's tough. I'm not going to show you what I packed. I'm not going to tell you the how-to's. There won't be cute graphics. It's just tough. All around.
It's tough to change diapers with a stroller, a purse, and a kid back pack - because it turns into this wicked balancing act and sometimes your stroller falls backwards you catch it with your toe like the champion you are. It's tough to navigate security - because sometimes you forget your phone is in your pocket. Twice. It's tough to get your kid to not scream like a cray cray when you have to buckle his seatbelt - because he's already been strapped in forever and hell no he will not go gently into that good night. It's tough to get your kid to not yank the tray down forty thousand times - because it bangs, bangs, bangs and the lady in front of him just sighs, sighs, sighs. It's just tough.
Ain't no baby drool scarf, no pretty shiny baby carrier, no new toys, no blanket, sleep schedule, or comfy clothes gonna make it less tough.
But here's the real, real, real truth:
It's all worth it for little precious seconds like this.
And so we will always do the hard things.
PS - Next time, I'll probably do the hard things without about 30 pounds of luggage. Just FYI.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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