We took a week long trip to visit family in New York. It was great to see everyone but damn, I need a vacation from our vacation!
The flight there was pretty torturous. We purposely booked our flight during Lachlan’s nap time so he would be tired and sleep. Only it backfired when we were in one of United’s new planes that removed about 3 inches of leg room. So his car seat wouldn’t fit in the seat backwards, we had to put it forwards, which made his seat completely upright and therefore, not able to rest his head back. Plus his feet rested perfectly on the back of the seat in front of him, so he pushed and kicked and we offered the guy in that seat a beer or a free snack. And once he finally did fall asleep (maybe 10 minutes) with his head bobbing forward, a group of kids sitting behind us started screaming and woke him up. So he was pissed. All the toys I had gathered with great thought and apps and movies I downloaded meant NOTHING. So he screamed and screamed and yelled. And both Brian and I were wishing for the plane to fall out of the sky.
Anyway, we arrived and stayed at Brian’s parent’s house. It was a challenge keeping him safe in an unbaby-proofed house for 8 days. Both of us were pretty exhausted because we had to keep him in our sights literally every minute of the day so he wouldn’t hurt himself or fall in the pool. Lach was also teething that week, growing his eye teeth. So he was super whiny for the first few days which grated on everyone’s nerves. Once Lachlan went to bed at night, instead of going out like we wanted, because FREE BABYSITTING, we ended up going to bed too…though I struggled with some insomnia for maybe 5 days of our 8 day trip. So we missed out on a few things we had plans to do. I did manage to go out once though with Brian and his brother and wife, though I almost didn’t go because I had my pj’s on already. But I’m glad I went, it was fun and I got good and drunk so that was nice. But at least Lachlan slept well. It was really a blessing that he did. Brian’s parents got him a crib to sleep in. If he was in the pack-n-play, who knows what would’ve happened.
Lachlan’s cousins came to visit and they all went swimming together which was fun. There was an insanely cute moment where Lachlan’s cousin was kissing him and my heart near exploded. So we had a nice time and he did too. I got to eat east coast Chinese food and pizza which is what I grew up on so I always love eating in NY. And we made a few trips to the new Dunkin Donuts in town, which is always strange to see new businesses in places you remember as something completely different. And on our last day, my dad gave Lachlan a tractor ride, which he was absolutely entranced with. He sat on my lap in the back and was so still and quiet with this very serious face on, yet taking everything in. It was really sweet.
The flight back to CO was a little bit better than the last flight. The plane we were in was an older one thankfully, so we had those 3 extra inches of leg room back. So we were able to put his car seat in backwards with the hope he would be able to nap this time, and bonus – not kicking anyone’s seat but his own. But the woman in front of his seat, couldn’t recline her seat because the car seat jutted up right against the back of her seat. She asked me if Brian would be willing to switch seats with her so she could recline, and I’m like, “are you nuts? I need my husband in this row to help me with this child that’s going to be crying and yelling most of the time.” Though I wish I said that… I actually said something much nicer and more sympathetic…again offering to buy her a drink or snack, which she refused.
This really upset me for even a few days afterwards, replaying it over and over in my head. She actually would rather be in the same row as me and Lachlan while Brian was in the row in front of us all so she could recline? She had no idea what she was asking. Can you imagine if I had to get up to pee and Lach didn’t see anyone he recognized near him? He’d have screamed the entire time I was gone. Plus, he threw up, which I caught about 95% of it in one of those barf bags (GO ME), so she’d have to deal with all that and all the flurry of toys being pulled out of my bag and stuff being thrown around. He napped maybe 20 minutes this time, by the way, so that was good but he was still pretty annoyed and antsy. But at least some of the toys and apps I had worked.
So yea, I was SO happy once we landed. It must’ve been similar to the feeling that survivors of a horror movie must feel (if they were real, of course)… exhausted and traumatized, but so grateful to be alive. We took our time de-boarding, got lunch in the airport, walked back to the car and picked up the dogs from daycare. That first night back in our own bed and air conditioning was pure bliss.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we went back. It’s the only way Brian’s mom can see Lachlan since she can’t come out here with the elevation. I got to see my nieces, my grandma, one of my best friends, and got so many sweet pictures of the kids together and I want Lachlan to know his cousins. But damn, traveling/taking “vacations” with a kid is exhausting. And what makes it worse, is that we moved to Pennsylvania a few years back to be closer to family, but we had to move 6 months later for Brian’s work after just buying our first house, do you remember that? So we were right there, within driving distance. It was within our grasp! But things just didn’t work out and we had to come to Colorado. We tried.
So yea, I don’t ever want to fly with a toddler again in my entire life. We will drive next time. Seriously, we’re looking into getting a popup camper.