Posted by AVM

I have distinct memories – and I have seen the photographic proof – of my parents taking me and my sister on vacation when we were young.  My parents gave us the travel bug, and we were lucky enough to go to some amazing places and experience some lovely things.  I remember flying all the time to tropical spots, Europe, all over.  My husband and I loved to travel together before we had children.  It’s one of our common interests – one that has been dormant since Lovey and CeeCee came into our lives.  When you travel with young children, you need to change your definition of “vacation.”  You don’t come home refreshed and relaxed.  You’re not reading a book in the sun with the waves crashing for hours.  Long, lingering romantic dinners, are a thing of the past.  We do try, though.  I want my girls to experience what I did.  Some of those trips were the best times of my life.

Just a couple of months ago we took both girls to Florida.  We had traveled with Lovey by plane a number of times, but this was our first time with both children.  With a 3.5 year old and a (at the time) 7 month old in tow, security clearance is its own specific and unique flavor of hell.  Never one to pack light (note to self: WORK ON THAT),  I had the Sit-n-Stand, CeeCee was in the infant carrier, we had a laptop, a portable dvd player, plus the carry-ons (one carry-on roller suitcase, my enormous diaper bag, Lovey’s backpack, and the camera back pack, plus a snack bag with bottles/formula, etc).  The stroller had to go through the conveyor belt, as did the car seat.  Everyone’s shoes had to come off (including Lovey’s), all the electronics in separate bins on the belt (we had what felt like 30 bins), and picture me, dear readers, as I’m trying to hold a squirming CeeCee while bringing the formula over to a separate area to get tested for explosives, and making sure Lovey actually walks through the scanner and doesn’t get us kicked right out of line with her “What’s THAT for??”s every 3 seconds.  When we get through the line, we had to reassemble everything.  Where are our shoes?  WHY ISN’T THIS STROLLER OPENING??  How long does it really take to put a belt back on, Husband?  Where are the boarding passes?  Everyone on line behind us is huffing and puffing because we’re taking forever (karmic payback for my single days when I rolled my eyes at any parent in a restaurant with a screaming child).  It was right about this time that I was wishing CeeCee’s formula had contained explosives so I could drink it.

This was one instance where I thought – WOW, having two kids is exponentially harder than one.  When we finally boarded the plane, got the carry-ons in the overhead bins, got Lovey settled with her harness and her snack, and CeeCee happily taking her bottle, my husband looked at me, in a sweat, and said, “I never want to travel again” to which I replied, “FINE BY ME!”  The universe took pity on us, and both girls were angels the entire flight and didn’t make a sound.  Although CeeCee’s blow-out at 30,000 feet gives new meaning to the term Mile High Club and what you can actually accomplish in those tiny plane bathrooms.  I think we wound up having a great vacation.  We did, in fact.  Lovey learned to be truly comfortable in the water, and at the end of the day, both girls had a wonderful time.  And so did we.  Truly.

And once again, I am in total awe of my parents.  I have no idea how they did this often and lived to tell the tale.  I think they just had a lot less gear.