So, I just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip to New York City.
It was blissful, even though I carted the youngest along with me.
Trips with kids are tricky. Everyone’s always glad to see them when you arrive, but someone’s gotta take that bullet. That bullet has a name, people, and it’s “infant lap sit”. In my case, a second bullet was named “red-eye”.
For starters the word “infant” is probably a misnomer at this point. The boy is a toddler now. You can tell by the way he was tearing all over the terminal grabbing down every package he could reach from every shop. Which also implies the “sit” of “lap sit” may be inaccurate. He was running, squealing, giving high fives, and only standing still with a studied nonchalance next to anyone eating a snack.
They adored him.
In only a few eyes did I see my own anxiety reflected back, “This child will be on a red-eye with me.”
Because boundless energy is adorable until it is confined to your lap or, worse yet, the lap next to you.
He did okay, that is, he only bothered me. Holding a sleeping toddler for the duration of a six-hour red eye when every passerby is intent (as if they could avoid it) on hitting his head or feet, isn’t conducive to dozing off. So, I hadn’t got but half an hour of sleep when we hit New York at five am. Luckily, I have been in training for this contingency for about six years now.
On the way back, things were looking good, he was hitting the peak of his squirmy-fussy-overtired quotient when I got him on tap (again!) and saw his body finally surrender to the sweet familiar cradle of Mommy’s arms.
And then, at this moment, the young lady next to me flips on her overhead light and pulls out a giant crate of grapes. I groaned the inward groan of a dozen deaths! Suddenly it’s Disneyland three inches away from his face. He sits up and starts making friends.
He baby talks at her something like, “So, I see you have some grapes there.”
And, “Did you know grapes are my favorite food ever?”
And, “Seriously, I prefer anything the exact diameter of my larynx.”
He signed for grapes again and again. To her credit she gave him a few.
I kept turning him around and signing “all done”, but he knew better, he saw the crate. They were far from all done. And she would pick at them slowly over the next four hours.
It stopped being a problem when I got him to sleep. I had to stand up and get my carrier down and pace the aisle a few times, but he went to sleep finally. And I was able to get out my ear buds, watch some junk TV, and eat a snack without sharing.
In short, we survived, which gets tallied in the Mommy columns as a “win”.
And wouldn’t you know it, as we were disembarking, not one, not two, but a total of three people said to me, “My, he did so well!”