The Airplane Nightmare

My big boy is turning 4 in just two days, where has the time gone? As I take time to reflect on the best and interesting experiences of being a first time parent, I thought I’d share one of the most memorable moments with you. Whenever you are having a rough time with your kids, you can always think back to this story and know you are not the only one going through it! Sit back, this is going to be a long one!

The Airplane Ride that Made me Question my ENTIRE Life!

A few years ago my husband and I took junior on his first airplane trip to my family reunion in North Carolina. We were so excited to see family but wondered how Junior, then 1 ½ and highly tantrum-proned, would cope going outside of his normal routine. The plane ride to N.C. was un-eventful as he was pre-occupied by cartoons most the way.

On the way back our first flight was canceled due to a pending storm approaching. We had to re-configure last minute, making the first flight only 30 minutes and the second half about 5 hours. (There was the first mistake.) On the first flight we were delighted to sit with a lovely 80+ year old woman who thought Junior was the most beautiful toddler she’d ever seen.  She asked to hold him in order to play a few games of peek-a-boo. Ten minutes in, Junior about had enough, and to both of our surprise, he quickly let us know by hauling back and slapping this poor little lady right in the face. I gasped and grabbed him quickly, apologizing at the horror. She laughed it off, but I’m sure she was side-eyeing him the rest of the trip.

This ride couldn’t have ended soon enough – he was getting antsy.

Upon getting on the next flight it was now evening and Junior still hadn’t been able to nap. He was anxious, sleepy, teething and out of his normal element…(if you are a parent or have spent any time with small kids, you already know this is the BIGGEST recipe for an earth-shattering disaster). Did I mention my husband gets queasy on airplane rides? Well, on this particular ride, his stomach was so upset he held on to the arm rests for dear life, unable to assist me with the events to come.

I took the seat nearest the window, Junior in the middle (for a short period, of course), Hubby on the end. Junior more restless than before, decided the sound of the window cover slamming down was the perfect activity. He must’ve slammed it shut one too many times because my nerves were on edge and I had other passengers giving me the stare. I tried pulling him away from the window but instead of a simple oblige, he decided to have a scream-a-thon and attempt to collapse beneath the seats. I, trying to regain somewhat control of the situation, offered EVERYTHING in sight to him to reconcile. “Does Junior want to watch cartoons? No? Okay, how about a sucker? A sticker? A cookie? A toy, you want your toy right? Look how cool this is? Do you want mommies phone? No phone, Okay, how about this?”…and on, and on, and on.

To my astonishment, and his amazement …NOTHING worked.

His screaming got louder and even more inconsolable so I decided to take him to the restroom. At that point things got worst. I stood in this tiny restroom, holding him, praying both in my head and out loud as he grabbed the paper towels from the dispenser with one hand and simultaneously pulling up the handle for the water faucet with the other. His loud and frequent screams, recached off the walls. I mustered up enough strength to stay calm and thought of every trick in the book: I sang him a lullaby, rocked him, threatened him, told him a story, reasoned with him (Hahaha), popped him. Nothing worked. At this point I simply….CRIED!

A good 15 minutes went by and I thought perhaps he had tired himself out, so I went back into the cabin and continued to pray hard. The airplane staff did not look amused, as I’m sure they heard all of the goings-on from the other side of the paper-thin walls.

We got back to the seat and my little bambino hadn’t lost an once of energy. He was back to grabbing at the window and attempting to crawl under the seats. My husband still woozy, attempted to help, but not even Daddy’s charm could sooth this little one. At some point Junior got tired of us trying to console him and started swinging at us both and throwing anything in sight. Helpless, I gave up. Passengers staring, flight attendants annoyed, I teary eyed, embarrassed and angry….I simply, gave up! I thought of all the reasons this trip was the worst idea in history, all the warning signs that we missed. (which of course couldn’t have been avoided either way.)

After one more, equally atrocious trip to the restroom, Junior FINALLY conked out, but only a good 30 minutes before the plane landed.

I’m sure the people nearest us was happy to be exiting the plane, but NO ONE – AND I DO MEAN NO ONE – was as happy as yours truly. I had just experienced 4 ½ hours of pure torture at the hands of a sweet baby boy. Not even his cute, chubby cheeks and incessant drool could’ve spared him from the side-eye I gave him for the next few days; (And at randomly ever sense whenever reminded of this day.)

We vowed to NEVER take him on an airplane again until he’s 10, and even then we may just wait. We also vowed not to have another kid till he’s 10, and even then… BIG SIGH!

In preparation of Junior now turning 4, I am so grateful the tantrums are close to being over! Cheers to us, and all the parents that survived the crazy one’s, terrible two’s and tricky three’s.

Now I want to hear from you. What was your most challenging moment as a parent like? How did you cope? Did you ever have a moment that broke you? I want to hear?

We’re all in this together. Last thought: Parents of multiples are SAINTS.

Here are a few pics from the trip, a day or two before we left!

#shetalkslife

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Identity Over Experience

Here’s a quick reminder that what has happened to you, is NOT you! You are who God says you are and NO past, current or future failures can change that.

You are, because He is and He said so. Period.

#shetalkslife

The Children’s Book that Read My Life!

My hubby took our son to the library yesterday and got some cool new books to read. During his nightly bedtime routine my husband read the little guy a book of his choice. Our son, being the Boss-Baby that he is, convinced me to re-read the same book to him because I missed the initial reading by my husband.

This book was called the Good Egg and though child-like in imagery, had a message most suitable for the adults they knew would be reading it. A message that quickly read me from start to finish like it was nothing – GULP!

The Good Egg was one of twelve eggs in it’s carton. The other eggs were not so well behaved and made huge messes all the time, broke things on purpose and cared very little of the consequences. The Good Egg, living up to his name, took it upon himself to clean up after everyone and fix all of their messes to the point of exhaustion and self-deprivation.

One day as the Good Egg looked in the mirror he realized a ton of cracks at the top of his shell. He decided to leave his home and get away from the bad eggs in order to have some time for self-care. After giving himself plenty of time for pleasure and self-care, his cracks had healed and he realized he was lonely and decided to go back to his home with his family and friends. BUT with a new attitude. He was no longer fixing everyone else’s messes, or trying to right everyone’s wrong’s. He would take responsibility for himself only and allow his companions to do the same.

WOW!

This children’s book spoke to the perfectionist in me. The mom in me. The wife in me. The care-giver in me. The sister in me. The friend in me. The daughter in me. It spoke to the fixer-upper in me. I mean, it pretty much just read my life from start to finish.

Though I don’t see my family and friends as bad eggs, I’d be lying to say that their needs haven’t become a priority over my own needs at times. I can also see how my over-achieving perfectionism has in some cases stunted their own growth and personal development.

I recognize moments in my life where seeing the cracks in the mirror scared me. But instead of taking pre-caution in the form of self-care, I bottled up my emotions and kept on over-doing and over-pleasing. This nearly caused my demise. I had to learn the hard way to STOP being everyone’s keeper. I am the mother of ONE – and not of the entire egg-carton.

Thank you to the author of the Good Egg for this unexpected reminder of self-care – I needed it.

Question, When is the last time you were intentional about taking time for you – and only you? Would you be bold with me and start today? What about 5 minutes a day moving forward?

I’d love to hear what your current self-care routine looks like or what you want it to look like. I’m all ears.

#shetalkslife  

Distractions

If there is one thing I’ve learned recently, almost on accident, is that distractions are purely the death of all things good and forth-moving!

I’ve noticed that every complicated measure recently, has been almost always attributed to some form of distraction blind-siding my attention away from what I should’ve been focusing on. Anything from the smallest dime-sized distraction, to the monstrous ones that take me months to recognize and recover from. So much so, that I have now developed a point of action when it comes to winning the battle of being distracted.

…Here’s a High Level Overview:

  1. Be conscious of goals – being aware of my goals and strategies allow me to be conscious of anything that side-steps it’s progress.
  2. I’ve learned to Recognize distractions in 3 easy ways:Does it align with my goals, purpose and Identity? (Having a firm understanding of these three elements is crucial. If you realize you don’t have a clear understanding of these foundational truths, it may be time for some self-reflection.)
    1. Is this self-giving if you are a people pleaser? Or selfish in motive, if you are selfish-natured? (obviously this requires MAJOR vulnerability for honesty.)
    2. Does the end goal of this thought, act of service etc. limit my ability for moving forward? (This is a big one.)
  3. Hands up distractions; I’m arresting you! After you recognize something as a distraction – here’s the not-so-easy part – get rid of it! Evict it. Remove yourself from its destructive path. And quickly. This looks different depending on the scenario and may involve creative maneuvering, but your future-self will thank you for it later.

It in a Nutshell: As if guarding a newborn baby from a vicious attacker – guard your mind, will and emotions from distractions and it’s dangerous off-spring.

– Jae Teague

What distractions, whether small or large, cause you to get off course? I want to hear all about it!

#shetalkslife

Burdened and Gifted – Gifted with a Burden

I am sensing transition, the type of life-changing transition that requires all of my attention, will-power and cooperation. I recognize that this is a good thing and that prayers will soon be answered. However, I am burdened with the possibility of my future being SO big, that I can’t handle it’s pressure or that I will disappoint those in whom I’ve been called to help.

I feel as though I am spiritually and emotionally being stripped of my past and I am about to receive the crown. My crown.

Exciting? Yes. But even more so burdensome, as I ponder if I am I ready for such a change. I sure hope so, because ready or not, it’s here!

I recognize that all of the mixed emotions of this time in my life is exactly what it feels like to be burdened and gifted.

#shetalkslife

If I Could Sum Up…

…this time period in my life as a life lesson for moving forward, it’s simply this:

If something’s not working or not fitting, don’t force it! You may “force” something that shouldn’t be, in place of what should be! And that, is TRAGIC!

It’s like trying to stuff your toes in a shoe 2 sizes too small. You can force it, but why when you can just go get a shoe that was made for you, …your shoe, your size.

By forcing relationship, forcing smiles, forcing prediction, I unknowingly forced myself into a reality not my own. An unhappy version of me that bended, ever so gracefully, to the March of everyone else’s beat, but my own.

I know that now.

My future looks great. It’s emptied of the political wishy-wash of past trauma. It’s emptied of people only seeking selfish gain. It’s emptied of life distractions and time “sucks”.

It’s full of unexpected blessings. It’s full of genuine laughter. Time well spent, jobs well done. Most of all, it involves me not trying to fit my size 10’s in someone else’s size 8.