The Funnest Thing About Flying When You Are Thirty Months Old

I must take my Trio.

We leave for Idaho tomorrow to visit my parents. We will fly on an airplane. The weeBots are excited. Because they have forgotten about the lady that comes around and hands them their own bag of peanuts, they are most excited about their own pieces of luggage.

Mbot’s carry-on is a Spiderman rollie bag. Gbot’s is, in the absence of a rollie bag of his own, my rollie bag. I’ll lug my computer over my shoulder. But, as with dogs that can carry their own food and water in little sideslung backpacks, the Bots are both, for the first time in the history of mankind, the North American continent, the Earth, the universe, and whatever may have come before, able to carry their own toys, goldfish, raisins, and spare pants by themselves. Or at least drag them. For the first time in all those things previously listed above, we will proceed through an airport without a stroller and car seats. I will hardly recognize us.

Because I had a lot to do today, in addition to packing (wash the dog, have spare house keys made, clean out the fridge, finish an essay, laundry, laundry, laundry, do the dishes, enjoy conversing with a Delta representative to change Husbot’s ticket to return earlier (ackk!), check in online, buy more kitty litter, plug in the DVD players, look for Gbot’s snowsuit again), I let the Bots entertain themselves this morning by packing their own rollie bags.I had asked them earlier this morning what they wanted to put in them.

“I will put Tesserwell in mine!” said Mbot without hesitation, and was momentarily tearous (a lovely new term, coined by a four year-old, I came across on RookieMoms.com), when I explained we couldn’t take the antique cat.

“I will put Nanny in mine!” announced Gbot. “And then she’ll be ALLLL done.”

“I can’t find Nanny. A train track will work.”

I was so tired just thinking about packing, having still not quite unpacked from last weekend in Chicago, that I briefly imagined just letting them pack by themselves.

“Mom said I can’t take the cat but she can’t say no to Junepbear!”

“They might just learn a lesson, when they get to snowy Idaho with only Buzz Lightyear, a big plastic dinosaur, two giant bears, and no clothes.” I Skype-messaged to my little brother.

His reply was, “HAH! I’m not sure who would be learning the most from that one….”

It’s true. None of us are ready for that. I’m still experiencing a few mental aftershocks from the realization that not only can both Bots now walk in the airport, but they can also walk in the right direction. (A skill set Gbot had not yet achieved last August.)

Everything’s the same, but everything’s different. Just as I was beginning to master air travel with toddlers, I’m being thrown into a whole new game. I’m sure I’ll be reporting back with many hard-won (heart-won?) travel tips for the 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old set.

“I know I can get him in here. I know it.”

It’s very late now and, although I accomplished most of the things I mentioned seven paragraphs up, I still have to finish packing. By 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, like Nanny, I’ll be ALLLL done.

My brother would roll his eyes and laugh, “HAH!”, recalling my tendency to procrastinate.

Maybe Junepbear has grown, too.

At least some of us are growing up.

Are you?

8 thoughts on “The Funnest Thing About Flying When You Are Thirty Months Old

  1. Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip! And you are smart to let your kids pack their own carry-ons. Whenever we travel, whether it’s a long road trip or a flight, we let the kids pack their own small backpacks. They get so excited! I have no rules. Anything “important” goes in my suitcase, and they fill theirs with whatever they like, so proud to show them off when they’re done!

    • Thank you! Your idea of small backpacks is great, and definitely where we’re headed as they get older. They actually have small backpacks, but the novel suitcases that zip and roll and whose handles go up way outcooled the backpacks this time and kept them busy longer! They’re so young still that that evening, I was able to remove a few of the toys and add extra diapers, a change of clothes, and snacks in with them–and no one noticed.;>

  2. Kudos to you for flying to Idaho so soon after AWP! How did you do it? (Plus, blogging here and on Brevity!). You’re a testament to incredible Mommy-energy.

    • Thanks, Ava–funny how you never feel as energetic as you might look.
      I just realized, when I read your comment on Brevity, that I was at your panel, “Prettying Up the Baby…”–couldn’t believe it was you because–who knew you were eight months pregnant?! That was a fun panel, thanks for that–wish I’d had time to write it up for Brevity. After my Idaho “vacation” (my husband asked with awe during our first “vacation” with five-month-old first son, “You know, if he’s with us, it’s not really a vacation, is it?”) I will check out your blog on urban foraging and the NYT column. I look forward to keeping in touch!

  3. Thanks for coming to “Prettying Up the Baby”–it was a fun panel to do (though I know it’s odd when the moderator is also a panelist; we had a drop-out so it couldn’t be helped). Don’t worry about writing it up–two folks wrote it up for Brevity, so it was well covered 🙂

    Thanks for checking out the blog and keep on doing the wonderful job juggling writing/blogging/motherhood!

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