21 July 2010

Traveling with Kids

Have been putting together a post on traveling with children. Reminded me of this very funny story. Early this summer The Little Bug and I flew out to meet up with The Man (aka The Daddy) on a work trip in Newport, RI.

The Little Bug did great, as she always has, on the plane. Slept for a while, colored and played. Near the end of our first leg her ears started hurting. I showed her how to pop her ears. "No, I want you to fix it," she said pitifully. My heart was breaking. I tried again to get her to pop her ears. She refused, "No, I want you to fix it." The crying did not stop until we got close to the ground and her ears adjusted to the air pressure again.

As we landed I prepared her for what would happen next. We would stay on the plane, some people would get off, some people would get on, we would take another short flight and then be in Providence. She was not fond of this plan. I again rehearsed my encouraging speech. This did not go over well.

"I n-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-d  my  fre-e-e-e-e-dom! I ne-e-e-e-e-e-d  a-i-r-r-r-r-r! I have to get O-U-T of here," she yelled. Then she repeated the same sentence again, then came tears, then anger. I understood her desperation but had to bite my lip hard not to bust up laughing. "I need my freedom," really, where do kids come up with this stuff?!

Our seat mate and all the people now jammed in the aisle looked at me holding back their laughter and smiling with looks that seemed to say, "Good luck with that," "Sorry for you," and "That's hilarious." 

She was inconsolable while the plane emptied, was cleaned and restaffed. My saving grace was the head flight attendant who gave us another kid pack with crayons, activity book and pilot wings. I thought The Bug would grumpily tell her she already had one. I cringed, waiting, but she happily took it, quieted right down and did all the activities in the book.

In the end, she was a complete gem for the entire trip and had one of the greatest travel adventures a four year old could ever have. It was a magical trip where she enjoyed hours and hours of outside play each day, chased butterflies, birds and bunnies, made art projects from dandelions, leaves, sticks, rocks and grass, gathered shells and sea glass, had all the freedom she could hope for and breathed lots of fresh ocean air.

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