Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's Good to be Home

Yesterday I flew from Indiana to Colorado and then Colorado to Oregon. I flew with my four kids. One adult four kids...

Imagine that you have an hour and half once your plane lands until the next plane takes off. That sounds like enough time, right?

But, you need to get the motley crew dinner. And, you need to pee. Also, your second son is deathly allergic to peanuts so you don't want to try random airport food. You have to go to the food court.

First, you wait for your umbrella stroller to be brought up. It was gate checked. While you are waiting, you let your oldest son go to the bathroom. You really need to pee. The other 2 boys went to the bathroom on the first plane a total of 7 times. You make them wait.

Down the terminal you go, head turning, eyes darting back and forth between all three boys. You decide you H-A-T-E the moving walkways. They are made.for.boys. I mean, how can a boy under the age of 12 resist trying to walk backwards, run, stand, run, stand, walk fast (because walking really fast is not the same as running), dart in and out of other people, and stop directly in-front of someone walking fast? You have to navigate 2 of these moving pathways BEFORE you get to the elevator. After the kids fight over the elevator buttons... stop, okay, this will take forever if I recount every little moment...
Let's see, there are 4 more moving pathways before you get to the food court.

You gather your tribe and grab some grub. You scarf down food and slowly sip a coke (because you desperately need to pee and that's all you can think of as you drink). You explain as patiently as possible that you do not have to run to the gate (like on the trip 2 weeks ago) but you do need to get there as soon as you can because none of the seats are together.

It's an exhausting trip back, navigating those I'm-here-to-make-traveling-with-kids-frustrating sidewalks.

We make it safe and sound.
I tell the lady at the desk that I am traveling with 4 kids and none of us are seated together.
She says, "You've got to be kidding me."
The flight is over-booked.
Your 5 year old exclaims, "I have to POOP!"
You make him wait.
You wait.
The kids push on each other.
She works.
It is time for the flight to board.
The 3 year old screams.
Passengers are called to desk.
She works.
She begins to deal with other passengers about separate issues.
You decide that the desperate 5 year old cannot wait any more.

You tell the clerk that one of the kids has to go to the bathroom.
There isn't a family bathroom on that part of the terminal.
You make your 7 year old go with the 5 year old (and you wonder how long it will take the boy to wipe).
You decide it would be a good time to change the 3 year old.
You discover that it would have been a good time quite awhile ago.
She is soaked.
You make the 9 year old stand with all of the stuff and you take the three year old in to be changed.
You push past the ladies standing in line and make it to the far corner to change your daughter.
You are in the bathroom. You are dying to pee but you cannot.
There's no time.
The kids are scattered and the plane should be boarding.

You gather the over-tired kids and head back to the gate. A sweet lady sitting near the desk (that had been staring at your crew earlier) tells you that the clerk has been calling for you.

You get seat assignments.

Your 5 year old starts crying (I mean, melting: red-faced, slumped on the floor crying) that he doesn't get a window seat this time.

You force a smile and nod as someone asks, "Oh my, are you are flying with 4 under the age of 12?"

You board the plane, get the kids in their seats, switch two of the kids, buckle in, and pee in your pants.


Anonymous said...

did you really??

Jeanne said...

Oh, dear!! I am so, so thankful you are home, safe and sound!

John and Carrie said...

ROTFL!!!!!! THAT IS THE HARDEST I'VE EVER LAUGHED. THANKS DEAR SISTER!!!! oh my, I'm so sorry. move east and never have to fly again. Before we moved east, Matt had flown commercial 5 times.

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry that I was so entertained by this post at your expense!! You are my hero!

Alicia The Snowflake said...

Imagine my best Southern drawl...
Bless your heart!

So glad to hear you made it home safe and sound. May you have a blessed 2011!

Lindsay said...

Funny! Quick question: Which airlines have you had good experiences with? (in terms of accommodations for your child with peanut allergies). I haven't had to fly since developing allergies, but will probably have to this year. Thanks!

sharon said...

wow! I'm so glad that your trip made so many good memories to make all the struggle worthwhile and thanks for sharing your story. I hope you will laugh about it someday.

Foursons said...

Oh my gosh girl, how did you manage to make it out alive AND get this written?!

Jill@Barnes Yard said...

Did you really?! You are the bravest girl I know! If I ever have to fly with my kids alone, I'm just going to put diapers on all of us!

Kimberly said...

i HAVE to know if you really did pee your pants?!?!?

Seth said...

Kim- If she tells you, let me know!

Amy Jo said...

Ha ha! You make me smile. :) Too bad I couldn't have come help in CO!! That would have been fun. I'm so glad you survived. And yes, did you really? ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giggles! I can truly imagine every step of your airport madness :) Reading that made me feel like I was right there with you!! I'm so glad you and the kiddos are safe and sound at home. I know you had an amazing time in TN. I hope your 2011 is filled with lots more family moments like that :)


Ann Kroeker said...

Oh, bless you, friend! What an ordeal! I've flown with four kids ages 12 and under, but never alone. Bless you, bless you, bless you.

Wish we could have caught a quick cup of coffee somewhere while you were in Indiana! I have a house full of babysitting-aged kids you could have borrowed! :)

Leslie said...

First off, I almost spit drink into my computer screen at the end there. :) haha!

Second, days like that, I tell myself, once we've all made it safely to our destination, that no matter how chaotic it was and how many people we probably irritated/terrified, I deserve a SUPER MOM prize for attempting it and getting everyone home alive. :)

Good for you!