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Sunday, November 27, 2011

traveling with children (formerly known as vacation)

Traveling with smalls is never easy.  Smalls usually ask way too many times how long it's going to take to get to wherever you are going.  Smalls also have a need to use the restroom at the most inconvenient times.  Inevitably, a small's hunger is inversely proportionate to how easily food is acquired, meaning:  if a small is hungry, there usually is no food around.

And while all of the above is challenging with smalls, nothing can compare to the actual travel itself. Namely, airplanes.  Oh yeah, and the irritating people you sometimes have to sit next to.

Take my most recent flight.  It was a red-eye and I was stuck as the odd man out; the only one not sitting next to a family member.  Instead, I was sitting next to a gentleman who slept the entire flight.  His eyes closed upon taxiing for take off, and didn't open until the seat belt sign went off upon landing.

Quite incredible.

Now, this gentleman clearly was not concerned with his airplane neighbors.  He hogged the armrests, splayed his legs open, and generally took up way more space than he was allotted, without regard for his cramped flight companions.  Miserable.

Nowadays, the average seat size, width, and distance from the other seats is meant for someone the size of Tiny Tim, which may be generous, considering that the smalls seemed miserable too.  I remember looking over at my smalls mid-flight, checking to see if they were ok.  They were squirming and shifting, complaining that they had no room and that they were so uncomfortable.  Wow, if THEY were uncomfortable, clearly we adults were going to be crippled.

Airplane travel nowadays is definitely an international Abu Ghraib.

Upon landing we had to go through customs.  The smalls were tired, not understanding why we had to wait on line.  And they were whining.  Oh, how they were whining!  We had a melt down at the car rental counter, and then the drive to our destination was charming.  And while we knew the smalls were tired and could barely help themselves, we were tired too, and on our very last nerve ending.

Not a good combo.

We made it to the house where we were staying; the melted turquoise Caribbean Ocean was calling and we all went to the beach to recharge. As I watched the smalls frolic, building sand castles, squealing with joy, it felt worth it -- the hell of traveling, and the hell of traveling with smalls.


Suddenly the sibling fighting began, complaints of hunger ensued, and I realized that it was really just like at home.  It was just like home -- except with a good backdrop.


  1. Seared in my brain tearing up with laughs: "Airplane travel nowadays is definitely an international Abu Ghraib." Thank you for my dose of laughs!

  2. Hilarious! Even the turquoise Caribbean Ocean can't stop the usual stuff with smalls.