I have been meaning to write about our last trip with the family, and yet I’m been delaying this as well. I think I have been avoiding it because I did not want to relive our last flight experience. We have never really had any flights to complain about, that have given us grief, until this last trip.
We had planned our flights both leaving around 10am, this way it was still early in the day, close to nap time but also a reasonable time if the boys didn’t nap. We had also talked and for the first time in all our flying experience (which is about a dozen flights with kids) that we would give the boys Benedryl. Hoping this would have them sleep allowing Dave and I to have a little bit easier flight on our hands. Since we would both be holding one of the boys we wouldn’t have the chance to allow each other a reprieve.We managed to get our 4 seats together with Dave sitting on the aisle so that was helpful and the washrooms right behind us. One of the best things we did was use the Jet Set parking. They had a West Jet counter right inside so all our luggage and car seats got checked and ready for the plane before we were even in the terminal. The girls loved the bus ride to the terminal too, almost as fun as the plane ride.
So we arrived at the airport feeling good and prepared. On time, baggage checked, everyone happy we are good! We head for security to get that done as it is a bit of a juggle for us, 4 kids, the stroller, Dave practically having to walk through in his underwear (he never learns, leave the belt, the steal toed shoes and everything else he thinks he has to wear at home in or in his suitcase). We finish our security dance and marvel at the new changes we can see since it has been a year since we flew (probably our longest time since I moved here), we look at the flight status board and see our flight is now delayed for almost an hour. Oh darn. Oh well, more time I guess for the kids to burn off steam at the playground (one of the perks to EIA). The kids run around and play for a bit, Dave and I sit about. We all snack on some of the things I’ve packed and Dave goes to Tim Horton’s for a few refreshments, more caffeine for us both (side note, don’t drink anything large or from something you cannot screw a lid onto before you get a on a plane). So finally our kids are ready to get on the plane and so are we, we do the whole who had to use the restroom dance and change the diapers before we go to the gate. We didn’t have to wait long before they started pre-boarding and sent us on our way. We all get in a set up, the girls watch some TV and the boys want to go everywhere to check all the new stuff out.
So it begins our flight to Toronto, I give the boys the Benedryl before we take off hoping the sound of the jets will lull them into sleep and we can all sit back and enjoy the flight. Nope. Not going to happen. Apparently Benedryl given to babies who aren’t having symptoms makes them hyper. We had boys going this way and that way. Trying to touch everything. Tray goes up, tray goes down, tray goes up, tray goes down. Mark! Stop touching me! Amy those are my buttons! I’m thirsty, I’m hungry. I need to pee. Yes it quickly became and active flight for us. Thankfully after all the ants seemed to get of everyone’s pants Amy fell asleep and Diana settled into her own thing and watched TV. Dave and I just had to juggle the twins and us now having to use the rest room since we both drank those drinks before hand. I was just glad I did not drink the Large (which is the old extra large) like Dave had. I eventually also got Mark settled enough to watch some TV for a little bit and little David did fall asleep I think on or close to descending for Dave. It was one of the more antsy, active and squirrelly flights we have had. Amy did wake up and the dance started all over again. We arrived in Toronto at Dinner time a little frazzled and ready to get off the plane. Thank god that was over! My parents were ready and waiting for us at the baggage claim. We made it home to their place, Mark slept in the car all the way and we didn’t have to fly again for 2 weeks. Surely that flight will go better.
OR NOT! Flight two begins with us all arriving at the airport in two vehicles. My dad had Dave and the girls, my and I with the boys. Well my dad missed the we were going to park and walk in details. So he dropped Dave and the girls off at departures and figured he’d circle around waiting for mom and I. We did get separated in traffic. My mom and I park, haul the boys and their car seats to the terminal. Where we find Dave and the girls waiting, with no Dad. We get the story and figure we’ve missed him. Oh well, we’ll skype him later to see him. We get all our stuff figured out and check our bags in. Turns out Mark is a little on the funky side so I go change him. He had been having the runs since the day before and this was probably the 2nd or 3rd diaper I had changed that day for him at 8:00am in the morning. Mark is fresh, the girls use the restroom too. We head off to the gates. Things are on time and we are doing good. We say good bye to my mom and part ways. For once Dave remembers to leave some of the things off his person that usually set the alarms off. So we get through that dance, hit Tim Hortons for some muffins and breakfast. It is easier and cheaper for us to fill the kids up outside then on the plane. We still have a few granola bars and snacks in bags if we need something on the plane. The girls eat a bit and then have ants in the pants. So Dave lets them run on the moving sidewalks to burn some energy off. We get an announcement that the flight is delayed by 20 minutes but they will do what they can to move us along quickly once they get here. The boys are still eating and Mark is getting squirmy and a little cranky. So I figure we are just about when we’d do the restroom dance I’ll go change him to get him out and start that since the plane will be there soon. Well I pick up Mark and I can tell right away we have a blow out. Thankfully the jammies he wore the night before are in my carry on. I run and completely change him, poor thing it was a terrible mess. I am pretty much trying to give him a bath with wipes on one of those wall change units, which he hates and is screaming the whole time from his red tush and where he is. That ordeal is done. Time to change David, he screams too since he doesn’t like those things either. The girls have their turn and we then go close to the counter since the plane should be ready any minute, right? Wrong! So it is delayed more, it was a foggy morning and apparently the plane arriving from Montreal is further delayed. So we wait and wait. Finally we get the chance to board about 40 minutes behind schedule. They promise they can make it up. I’m not bothered I just want to get this going and get home. Well we get on and set up and Mark is not happy. So for the first 2 hours of the flight he cries and screams off and on for about 20 minutes periods. I can tell as we go up too that he is getting funky again. Of course too they leave the seat belt sign on a lot longer, only a little jump here and there nothing that usually causes them to leave the sign on. The stewards are already serving snacks and drinks, why won’t they shut the lights off! Dave is already complaining next to me he will need to use the restroom (large coffee again!), I tell him not before I change Mark. I finally after awhile the lights go off and I bee line for the room. Mark is so excited again to be on one of those tables, and it is still a little jump here and there. I’m trying to make fast work as he screams. He bum is getting redder each time and I’m out of cream, he also leaked a bit on his onsie so I take that off. I finally get him done and out, noticing a line out the door. I get back and then notice Dave holding David rather odd. He tells me it is his turn now, I ask what him too? He said oh yes him and he is leaking all over my pants! I grab the extra jammies for him and head back to the rest room holding him as best as I can so I don’t get leaked on and his bum isn’t in a strangers face. The fellow in front of me lets me ahead when he sees the parcel I’m toting. I get David in and well, I think he must have been holding it for a few days! Not to gross anyone out but bits and pieces (literally, solid ones) were everywhere! Mushy stuff too. So I try to get what I can out of his pants in the toilet, wash his pants in that dinky little sink, clean him up, and myself now, all while he screams murder in there. It has been only 2 hours into the flight I’m about to burst into tears in an airplane toilet that you cannot even turn around in. Now both boys are in jammies, Dave and I have managed to use the restroom ourselves, and wouldn’t you know it Mark is drifting off in Dave’s arms (why does he always get the sleeping one, David slept in the car on the way to the airport so he was ready to party still), well at least Amy is sleeping at the window and Diana is being helpful with me to entertain David. When the second round of drinks get served things seem like they are going good until David makes a quick grab and drinks go all over Diana and myself. We mop up best we can and just pray it will be over soon. At last the flight is coming to an end. It is a bit of a jumpy landing, which freaks Diana out a little, Amy finds it a bit like a thrill ride, and I’m just praying we touch ground soon so I can get as far away from airplanes as possible! We land, frazzled to the core this time, Dave and I are just trying to get the stuff as quickly as we can so we can get to the van and go home. I tell Dave once we finally get all the car seats back in the van and it packed to stop for pizza on the way so I didn’t have to cook. It was about 2pm by the time we arrived home. We all did settle down nicely the boys got a good dose of cream on their behinds and many more changes as we began a week of diarrhea with them. But we were home. We ate, everyone had baths, and day finished off nicely. I am so glad though that I do not have to fly anytime soon and when I do the boys will be 2 and old enough for their own seats. 18 months is a tricky age to fly with. The girls themselves have been antsy around that age too but not too hard to manage when you have 2 parents around, Diana was the only one I flew with by myself at that age and she and I just played the whole time, it was easy with just the one.
So even though Dave and I are seasoned flyers with our kids we still can hit snags. We try to be as prepared as we can and have our bag of tricks, most often they work. When all else fails they serve adult drinks on the plane. One for everyone and you should be good to go! OK not really. Even in the heat of it all Dave and I try to keep our cool because it won’t last forever and we will touched ground again. After this though I will always make sure to have a spare change of clothes. Usually I do, not sure why I didn’t this time but I was so thankful I had those jammies. I did find though that coming home midday was a good thing we did get unpacked and started on laundry so it was nice there, and the kids were able to settle into our daily routine nicely.
Anyone looking for tips for flying with kids you can read this post I did before on flying with small kids. Oh and that flight with our 2 & 4 year, plus 3 month old twins was so much better, babies sleep!