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!


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