Are you being forced to board a plane with screaming balls of fury disguised as adorable children?
Are you dreading your upcoming vacation because you now have a child?
Or worse two children?
Oh, the AGONY.
Are you suffering from night sweats, anxiety issues or having trouble breathing just thinking about the airplane ride that lies ahead? Thinking about giving your friends or family a fake excuse as to why you are canceling the trip? (Don’t be that person. You’re better than that.) Does the phrase TWO CHILDREN ON AN AIRPLANE send your body in convulsions?!
Calm down. Geez.
You got this Mama.
As long as you are mentally sound, in top physical shape and have an extremely solid marriage, then you can definitely tackle this crazy obstacle. Now, I won’t sugarcoat this, the flight may not be pleasant. Like a pap-smear, not torturous, but you can easily think of 105 different activities you’d rather be engaging in. Lucky for you, I happen to be a travel-with-two-kids expert.
Seriously, I am.
I just traveled last month with my two children and I’m still above ground, right? I won.
Take a peek at a very happy and calm row 15 here….
You too can have a peaceful trip, as shown above, by following some of my own personal travel-with-children tips.
- Map out and memorize your strategy.
You need to be over prepared. You need a treat, toy and a calming device for every indecent that may show face. Talk this through with your husband. Better yet, make him flash cards and have him memorize your plan of action. Quiz your husband before boarding the aircraft. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Don’t go down because your “better half” chose to look up vintage muscle cars in bed the night before your flight instead of studying up on how to change a diaper full of human toddler waste in the bathroom the size of a mini fridge.
Because David chose to be an ignoramoose, you will fail.
- You will need a Mary Poppins Bag.
People who tell you to “pack light” while traveling with multiple children are frauds. Don’t listen to them. I bet they drugged their children and possibly themselves. You will need a bag packed with many, many fun surprises. Books, toy cars, barbies, dolls, rattles, food, (we will get more into detail on appropriate snacks in a bit…) pacifiers, blankets, an extra outfit, diapers, and wipes. We always buy a new small toy and keep it hidden until needed – guaranteed to buy you at least 15 minutes of good behavior.
My motto: If you think you may need it, bring it.
- Starbucks. Nope. Not anymore.
This was an absolute airplane must for me before I reproduced, but this is no longer. I tried to hold onto this delicious liquid luxury as long as possible, but after three spills and lots of frustration, I finally put it to rest.
Death be to the White Chocolate Mocha (no-whip)… I miss you.
Think you’re brave enough to try fisting a hot coffee and two babes? By all means, try if you want, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Pack some Neosporin and Elmo band-aids for potential burn victims.
….you selfish lunatic.
- A light blanket.
Always bring a light blanket. Some uses for this very much needed blanket are as follows:
- A snuggle companion for your whiny tired toddler.
A nursing cover. This blanket is light, therefore your babe doesn’t feel like she is being smothered in a sleeping bag. Leave the comfortable fuzzy throw blankets at home. No one needs to die of suffocation, that would put a damper on your Disney vacation.
A clean seat cover. I laid the blanket down onto the seat so my five-month-old could fall asleep. Anything to keep her screeching to a minimum. Girlfriend sounded like a yodeling pterodactyl.
A bib, a drool cloth, vomit cloth, booger wiper, a sweat band… the list goes on and on. Roll that sucker up and tie around your forehead to absorb excessive perspiration.
(I’d totally sport a polka-dot blankie sweatband if needed. Judge me if you dare fellow plane travelers. I will stank-eye the crap out of you.)
You will need many snacks of all kinds. This isn’t the time to try and feed your kids vegetables, quit jackin’ around.
Don’t enter this plane thinking one snack will do the trick either. No. You need a freakin’ convenient store. Don’t be that unfortunate unprepared parent with only apple slices to offer your inconsolable toddler. Do you want organic apple slices when you’re pissed beyond all reason? If I were to ever be in a heated argument with my significant other and he offered me apple slices to calm me down, I most likely would come at him with scissors.
Husband: “But Honey, the peel is cut off just how you like it!”
Me: Shut up. Give me cheesecake immediately.
If you wouldn’t want it, your kid won’t want it. Choose snacks wisely.
You will need to bring foods that the children actually WANT. I understand that sweets are awful, may damage your child’s brain and as an end result, make them unintelligent. I get it. I myself am very strict on sweets. However, my toddler knows what fruit snacks are, and he knows he gets these on the plane.
Do I whip out the fruit snacks at home every day?
I have to keep those babies sacred. Keep them on “special treat” status. He has to covet them. When those fruit snacks show up to the party, nothing else in that kid’s life matters. I don’t even think he could tell you his own name when in the presence of unopened fruit snacks. My friends, this is what you want. My toddler will do anything, say anything and act any way that I want him to act in order to get his pudgy little fingers on these gummy treasures. Organic Annie’s fruit snacks are extremely valuable to my husband and I to say the least.
Just for timing purposes, I’d say each snack will buy you ten minutes of time if you very slowly hand them the treat piece by piece.If you open the bag of pretzels, fruit snacks, goldfish, granola bar, whatever you bring, and simply hand it over to your child, then you are a dumb rookie mom and you shall fail.
No. You have to lengthen out the process, make a game of it. Try these exciting games on for size:
- The food becomes a car that drives up your child’s body and onto his head before getting shoved into the baby pie-hole. My pretzel-car drives down many twisty roads, it’s never a quick route.
Hide and seek. Oh pretzel, where are you? Come out, come out wherever you are….” To me, this one is very entertaining. I once found a pretzel in my bra after traveling. The piece that got away.
Let’s count to ten before every bite. How thrilling!
Mommy pretends to eat every bite, then daddy, then the toddler gets the spitty remains. It’s a community trough.
I never said all these ideas would be fun and I never said they weren’t annoying, but these methods are effective.
My son is obsessed with turning the lights on and off. When they tell us to fasten our seats belts, therefore no longer allowing my toddler to wear out the lightbulb above, things start getting hairy.
Enter all electronic devices imaginable.
Holy mother of all that is sweet and good in this world…… electronics.
Ipads, laptops, and phones, now we are in the big leagues. In my house “Ipad time” is timed and regulated. My 2-year-old gets the Ipad while I cook dinner and it’s so helpful. Prior to reproducing, I always said that I would never use an electronic device as a babysitter.
If I could go back in time and punch myself in my idiotic no-kids face I would, and I think I would get much joy from doing so.
It’s not a babysitter. It’s a lifeline. You can’t cook dinner while stepping on a crying toddler’s toes and you can’t fly in an airplane without an Ipad loaded with fun games and puzzles. It’s that simple.
Think your little tots Clara and Jacob are so well behaved that they would never need an electronic gadget to distract them? That’s ignorance my friend….. go ahead and gate check that along with your double stroller. There is no room for that on the plane.
That’s how it’s done. That is how you negotiate with tiny monsters while trapped in a tiny space. That’s how you survive.
Safe travels and good luck!
(You’re going to need it, sucka.)
– Until the next time this redhead rambles.
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