Traveling solo with two little boys is a challenging task. The first time I did this, I flew to Minnesota to visit my mother when she had a stroke in March. She requested to see the boys, so naively, I booked a ticket for myself and Gadget, and the Lion traveled as a lap child. The highlight of that trip was when the flight attendant came around with drinks, and Gadget spilled orange juice all over his pants. While I was trying to clean it up, while holding the Lion, I managed to spill a cup of water on the Lion. Gadget immediately insisted that I remove his pants because they were wet and cold. That is a totally justified request, except, I did not have an extra change of clothes and it was winter in Minnesota.
Negotiating with a then, two-year old usually finds me caving in, so upon deplaning, Gadget wore a sweater and his diaper. We were one of the first passengers off, so while I struggled to open the stroller in the jet way (while holding the Lion), Gadget stood and shivered in his diaper as passerby’s gave disapproving looks of my toddler in his nappy. Because clearly I intended for him to travel half-naked.
Upon remembering this experience, I confidently said I would only take the Lion on my second trip to Minnesota this year, because his travel was free of charge. Unfortunately, hubby was still studying for his series 7, and the weekend was primetime for studying. So, I sucked it up and bought the ticket for Gadget. This time, however, I booked a direct flight. It was at the expense of me having to drive to JFK to catch the flight. I figured I only have one ten year high school reunion, and would regret missing it because I chose not to experience five or six hours of stressful travel.
Surprisingly, the rest of the flight to MSP was problem free and easy. The boys only cried for about ten minutes on the plane and then went to sleep. (I know I just belittled those ten minutes, but imagine being the passenger in the seat in front of us, listening to two boys cry and whine and thinking, “is this going to last the entire flight?!!!”) When we landed, since we were the last ones off, I asked the pilot if Gadget could take a picture with him, and he did me one better. He let the boy command the cockpit!