Flying to Texas for Christmas was the second time we've taken a plane with two children. The first was this past summer for my brother's wedding, but Stephen was only 8 weeks old and slept and ate and that was it. William was old enough to understand what was going on and enthralled with it all. This time was different.
We arrived at SFO with plenty of time to check two large suitcases (we don't pack light anymore) and find our gate. It was right at Stephen's nap time so I bounced and shushed for a while until he fell asleep. Chris took William to the window to watch at least two dozen planes take off. Seriously, I can see an airport creating a "museum" with this view and charging admission for none traveling visitors. It would be worth it. William asked one hundred questions about all of the planes, so content to just stay there the whole day. Forgetting that we too, had to take off!
We boarded our plane without too much hassle (Stephen wasn't given a boarding pass so I had to stand in line for a bit). William was happy to watch the window while we taxied away from the gate.
Things got interesting about 40 minutes after takeoff. Stephen who had been happily jumping in my lap and looking around became agitated and William demanded to get off the plane. I tried to calm him down suggesting Chris give him a snack, water, and books. He was hot (because the shade was open--and wouldn't let us close it!) and tired. I fed Stephen had him just about asleep when the stewardess came by with the snack/drink cart. We got our drinks and then they parked the cart right next to us taking up any extra inches of elbow room to rock that baby. This made him really frustrated, or maybe it was just me! We aborted the idea of a nap and focused on William. He still wasn't happy even with some milk. Anyway, after a while I suggested to William we go to the bathroom -- without realizing the snack service was still blocking the aisle. Then he started to scream "I have to go potty" and cry in hysterics. These are the signs of a tired toddler.
Eventually we were cleared for the bathroom and I stood up with Stephen only to have him spit up and cover my jeans in white curds. And William's arm. I was really thankful he completely missed my shirt and our neighbor! After William used the toilet he was much more calm and interested in reading with me. Chris took Stephen and got him to fall asleep on his lap (magic I tell you!) and the next hour continued in peace. I really enjoyed getting to focus on William more; we worked on a Christmas coloring page and sang Christmas carols. He was really very tired but not interested in napping until the very last 10 minutes of the flight, but he wasn't able to actually fall asleep.
We landed and got our bags in record time! It was in reality a really great flight. No delays, nothing lost, but even the most excellent of travel days still leaves me exhausted and completely grateful for my husband! We tag-teamed the boys very well and they didn't do that bad, really. When we went to bed that night I said, "Hi Honey, how are you? We've been sitting next to each other for the last 12 hours and haven't really had a conversation yet!"
Our return travel started out with an hour-long car ride with a screaming baby. When we arrived at the airport we had at least 90 minutes before take-off and there were only eight people in front of us to check in. We thought we'd be just fine. But it took nearly 45 minutes to go through the line!
Thankfully, the line at security was non-existent. But we had breast milk and water for formula which meant it took an extra 15 minutes! I ran on ahead with William and Stephen so I could use the restroom and met up with Chris just in time to board the plane. Ah! I hate being so rushed. Thankfully the sandwich we purchased on the plane was filling and tasty.
The fight went well. William occupied himself by listening to classical music (for 15 minutes), going to the bathroom three times, eating snacks and reading his airplane book. He also loved watching the map on the screen declaring loudly every time we got closer to San Francisco! I had brought some really fun activities but he just wasn't interested in them.
Stephen took a 40 minute nap on Chris's lap again and was fairly content to jump around and stick everything in his mouth the rest of the time. We arrived home a bit early so had to wait for our ride at the airport a while. We were all exhausted when we got home. We unpacked the essentials and went straight to bed. Happy New Year indeed!