I was about to take my first plane trip alone with toddler twins. I felt pretty confident in being able to handle them once we were on the plane. We are at the age where if they miss a nap they don’t totally lose it, so I knew if I had a lot of snacks, activities and videos we might all make it out alive. My main concerns were getting on and off the plane and using the bathroom. I was right on all accounts.
Thankfully Kris was able to get a pass and walk right up to the gate with us which was incredibly helpful. We did great walking down the ramp, mostly because the boys were in their stroller, however, once I had to check their stroller at the plane door, people began barreling by us to try to get on the plane. How is it that no one saw a woman, holding onto three backpacks, a carry-on, with two 2 year olds, trying to close a double stroller is questionable at best. Also, why the rush, the plane isn’t going anywhere.
Fasten Your Seatbelts
Needless to say, we made it to our seats and they did amazing. I had so many activities and toys they were totally occupied. Then one of them had to go to the bathroom and of course the other one didn’t want to go. I felt a bit at a loss at first, how to get one to the bathroom, quickly, because when they have to go, they always wait to tell me right when it is about to come out. And how to get the other one to come when he didn’t want to? Could he stay in his seat? Would he freak out when I was in the bathroom with Kellan? Would people think I was a horrible mother if I left my toddler alone in his seat? Could he get kidnapped on a plane? After all, it happened to Jodie Foster’s child in FlightPlan, she ended up in a coffin. Where there any dead people on this plane? Thankfully there was a family sitting right behind us and I asked them to keep an eye on him while I ran down the aisle with his brother.
Going to the bathroom with a toddler on a plane is never enjoyable. The bathrooms are minuscule which makes it really easy for them to touch EVERYTHING. The last flight we took, Kellan hit the emergency call button so I was hoping not to repeat that one. They are also afraid of the toilet. “It is dark in there mama.” I had to convince him he was not going to fall into a black hole of sewer, which was not easy. So between his fear of the toilet and his need to touch everything, mixed with my panic that we are taking too long and Atlas was having a meltdown or being hid in a coffin, it was a stressful experience. But we did it, made it back and I don’t think Atlas even knew we were gone.
Cut to 3 hours later and they both have to go to the bathroom. So myself, toddler twins and the Elmo toilet seat topper make our way down the aisle. Thankfully there is no one in line and we get right in. There is no room for 3 people in those toilets and again their hands go everywhere. I swear people on land could hear me screaming “don’t touch the toilet seats!” Atlas took one look at that toilet and was like no way. And Kellan who had already gone and didn’t fall in, was still not interested in sitting on the black hole. Thankfully after much begging and demonstrating that I didn’t fall in when I sat down, he went again, However, trying to make sure everything makes it in the toilet was no small feat. I am trying to help Kellan and move Atlas who is now licking the edge of the sink, and yet there is no where for anyone to go. I am sure whoever was next in line was praying that the other stall opened first.
The Long Road to Aisle 10
After what seemed like the entire duration of the flight, both kids most likely covered in bacteria head to toe and me dripping sweat, myself, toddler twins and the Elmo toilet topper made our way back to our seats. Only this time there was a line to the bathroom. So I had to somehow maneuver both kids around all these people and try not to brush the seat against anyone. Sadly a few elbows got hit with the Elmo toilet topper. Then they wanted to stop and investigate everyone’s seat as people were walking towards us headed to the back of the plane. I feel like I got a real glimpse of what it felt like to be a salmon swimming upstream.
When our flight landed I realized, shit I have to get off the plane with all this stuff. The boys are desperate to get off now, not understanding why we are stopped but no one is getting off. I am trying keep them occupied while I do my best to gather all of our stuff when Atlas decides he wants to be held. They always want to be held when you are least able to hold them. So with 3/4 of the plane behind us, (no exaggeration as we were in row 10), I am trying to get off this flight. Kellan is leading the way, moving as fast as a sloth, stopping by every seat we pass exclaiming how they looked just like our seats. Atlas was facing me, hanging on to my legs, walking backwards, crying because he wanted to be held. I use the term walking loosely as it was more, my steps pushing him along. Then me, holding 3 backpacks and a carry-on, patiently (at least in my head) telling Kellan yes, all the seats look alike can we please keep going and promising Atlas as soon as we get off I can hold him, all the while feeling the angry burn of people’s eyes in the back of my head, cursing us because we are clearly holding people hostage on this plane longer than the 5 hour flight. And once again everyone barreling past us off the plane, only this time I got it. No one wants to sit on a plane any longer than they have to or have to wait for my team to get their shit together.
Even still, we made it. They did really great considering. Everyone’s hands got washed. Atas finally peed in the private, roomy bathroom at baggage claim. And now we are about to do it again. Thankfully, I have had a weeks worth of wine to prep for the return flight home.