Here's our obligatory #bathroomselfie.
I had to do it.
There's no parenting badge for single-handedly wrangling two small children in an airplane, so collecting virtual high fives via Instagram had to suffice.
Tory's a fairly seasoned traveler for her age. I think she's been on at least a dozen flights? New this trip, Tory insisted she walk the entire distance to our very far away gate in the Minneapolis International Airport (and through the smaller Lincoln Municipal Airport on our return) which was a welcomed advancement. More preschooler independence means less kid crap I have to lug along with us on trips. Every bit helps when I'm traveling by myself with them. As it is, I transport two children, two convertible car seats, one stroller and one giant suitcase. I'm honestly not sure how I manage to get all the kids/stuff from Point A to Point B; I basically layer kids and bags on my body and drag what I can't carry. I'm sure it's quite the sight! Tory able to walk on her own now means I catch a glimpse of future travel with no strollers and baby carriers, and that makes our dream of traveling the world as a family seem even more attainable.
With Tory's newfound independence, I decided to begin teaching her how to navigate the airport. We had time to dilly-dally at MSP last Wednesday, so I pointed out overhead signs and asked her to guide us toward Gate A. She did really great! As we stood in line for security on our return flight from Lincoln, Tory dead-panned to the guy standing behind us, "We know we're safe, but they don't know that." Ha! That was her personal rationalization of the process.
Aden's been on a handful of flights in his short lifetime, too, and he's usually so well behaved. I'm typically feeling smug as we depart the airplane and passengers ooh and ahh over how quiet my children have been on the flight. This time though, I received no such comments. [insert wide-eyed smiley face emoiji] Aden was ... noisy. And wiggly. Did I mention wiggly? No crying, per se, but with Aden's latest accomplishment of crawling, he wanted to be put down on the ground so badly. Add in my rookie mistake of leaving the iPad in my checked baggage and having no warm bottle on hand, I had little ammo in my arsenal of tricks to occupy him. He had absolutely no interest in the handful of toys in my diaper bag, so we ripped up Sky Mall magazines and played pat-a-cake a million times in a row. I even let him dump an empty cup of half-melted ice onto my lap over and over again. Pre-parent Heather, you've fallen so far.
To my surprise, Andi greeted us at the airport. He moved his flight up 24 hours and landed at MSP within minutes of us. It was like a scene in the movies as Tory ran full-speed into Andi's arms; so cute.
Traveling with kids isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it's completely worth it for quality time at home with my family or for the memories we make together in far away places. The airplane ride is only for an hour or two ... or three in some cases, and I can do anything for a short amount of time. Even wrangle kids if I must. Andi's gone again for work next week and I'm taking the kids to Kentucky to visit my good friend Lindsey (and Tory's best friend Ashley). So excited! Off to do this airport thing all over again ...