Saturday, August 22, 2009

NC Vacation: Getting There

This is the first time we have flown as a family since the twins were born.

Rehm remembered flying and acted like the practiced traveler he is.

Even though Charlotte is a seasoned traveler she had no recollection of flying and found the whole experience fascinating.

Everyone was very excited about the prospect of riding on "the big airplane."

We had to get up super early to make our flight. I think our flight left at 6:30 and we woke the kids around 4:30 am. Everyone woke up in good moods and did a good job of getting out of the house. We parked at shuttle parking and got on the "bus." Everyone thought that was fun and compared it to riding the shuttle bus at church. We checked our baggage and made it through security with no problems. I expected Eliza Claire to have issues with security due to having strangers talking to her and telling her what to do. She did not.

Even though Ruby and Eliza Claire are three and do not have to have a car seat on the plane, we took theirs along. We learned a long time ago that the kids traveled better in their car seat than just the plane seat. In the car seat they know they aren't getting out until the vehicle stops. That same principle doesn't carry over very well to a lap belt. We used old style luggage carts to strap the car seat to to make them easy to transport through the airports. This worked very well and also doubled as a stroller or luggage carrier. The girls thought it was much fun to ride in their car seats around the airport. And it made it much quicker to get from one plane to the next.

Everything was going swimmingly until it was time to board the first place. Eliza Claire and I were the last of our family to board. She did fine going down the jet bridge but about 5 feet from the door of the plane decided she was not going to get on the plane. She started backing up and saying "I not want to go! I not ride on big air plane! I not go see Cici and Papa!"

Micheal and the other three children were already on the plane. I was holding my backpack, Eliza Claire's back pack, the car seat, and the luggage cart. The first class flight attendant was standing with her ankles and arms crossed giving me a very indifferent "don't think I'm going to lift a finger to help you look," and Eliza Claire was still backing up and telling me "I not wanna go!"

I tried reasoning with her. I tried giving her choices. I tried bribing her. But in the end I set down the car seat picked up Eliza Claire, and picked the car seat back up. Now I had a screaming toddler and so much stuff there was no way I was going to fit down the aisle of the plane. The flight attendant was still lounging in the galley. I decided that if I got on the plane and was blocking everyone else from getting where they needed to be she would have no choice but to help. So I got right in side the door smiled at her and started setting things down. The coach flight attendant came up at that point and took the car seat from me. A nice lady behind me grabbed the luggage cart. Eliza Claire continued to scream "No! No! No!" All the passengers gave me very ugly looks. I smiled and kept walking.

Eliza Claire screamed the entire time it took me to stow our stuff and get her car seat installed. She was still screaming when I strapped her in. She was still screaming when we took off. She refused to let me open the shade on the window. She told me, "I not wanna see!" She changed from "No, no, no!" to "Out! Out! Out!" some where along the way. About 10 minutes after take off, I asked her if she wanted to play a game on Mommy's phone. She said yes and spent the rest of the flight happily playing Memory on my phone. Everyone on the flight was very glad I had a phone with games, I'm sure.

She did great when we got on the next flight. No tears, to screaming. She just asked several times when she could play with my phone.

Ruby, loved flying and never missed a beat. She walked right on the plane, got in her seat, asked lots of questions about what she was seeing and enjoyed looking out the window.

For some reason, no one's reaction really surprised me...

1 comment:

stace-c said...

Charlotte looks so much like you in that picture, it's not even funny.