Today I realized that I dislike traveling. I used to quite enjoy boarding a plane and zoning out, listening to music, watching Animal Planet re-runs, or reading a trashy novel. At this point in my life all of these things are impossible, because I have a toddler. I love my son more than anything in the universe, but he will not let me relax!
As soon as we boarded the plane, he was raring to go. He wanted to roam up and down the aisles, talk to strangers and steal their food. I was exasperated. I tried to bribe him with toys but he was uninterested. I was so desperate to calm him, I turned on cartoon network on the individual TV screen at our seat. He didn’t care. I was at my wits end.
My boyfriend was no help at all, he had been up for 36 hours straight working and left the childcare for the flight to me. And when he did try to help for moments at a time, my son would scream “mama!” And reach for me. So we took walks up and down the aisles. Low and behold on our journey we found three babies with mamas and daddies attached to them.
One couple was particularly wonderful. They had two little boys, Baxter,3, and Anakis, 17 months. The dad offered me a seat as I was chasing my son down the endless plane aisle. “Only parents truly understand…” I remarked to him as I collapsed into the plane seat. He smiled in agreement.
The mom and I got to talking about sleep issues, pre-school, having siblings and the works. This couple was so down to earth and dare I say “normal.”
My son blatantly stole their crayons and they didn’t even bat an eye lash. When my child began drawing on the plane walls with these same crayons, I cried out in a panic, the dad responded: “Don”t worry! They’re washable!” And he handed me a baby wipe to clean the wall with.
I loved this couple. I told them about what a rough flight my boy was having. They consoled me by letting me know that my son’s stir crazy travel behavior was, indeed, just a normal phase in development.