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Toddler Travel; a new type of terrorism (part 1)

Posted Oct 15 2009 11:54am
Since we are such seasoned travelers with the twins we decided the whole family would fly into Detroit for our friend Maser’s Ohio wedding. Obviously we weren’t thinking clearly. Getting up at 4 am the day of departure wasn’t bad and the drive to LAX was smooth sailing! Then Tadd dropped us off at the skycap with luggage, car seats and stroller while he went to park the car in long term. This is where things started going downhill. Our safe yet incredibly heavy Recaro car seats had to be checked in a special area and the sky cap informed me he couldn’t help me just point me in the right direction. Considering I had twins in a stroller, backpack, carry on and two 25 pound car seats I was going no where when it came to checking things. So we sat on the bench and waited for Tadd. Not bad, just a little blip in the road. Then we got to security. My insulin pump beeped so I was pulled aside along with our cooler full of milk bottles. Tadd had to contend with the other luggage and wait for it…..a child that peed not only through her outfit but the seat of the stroller. How does this happen?? So I get the extra special wand of security then they checked every single bottle of milk. I told her I would take a drink to speed things up but nooooo there was special strips that had to be waved over the open milk bottles checking for fumes then another test involving droppers. I didn’t pay that much attention as I was watching Tadd wrestle 2 screaming kids. We got through and in true dad style Tadd plopped Loen on the floor of LAX to change her. No pad or blanket, just down on the carpet that millions of dirty travelers walk upon. I started to get annoyed then realized it wasn’t worth it. We got to our gate and sat down. Well the adults sat down, the twins took off in opposite directions. Do you know there is no longer special boarding for families? Just one more level of hell when traveling with kids. Lets speed this story up shall we. On the plane, screaming, me wishing they still took binkers, more screaming. Then we resorted to all the things we say we wouldn’t; M&M’s, DVD’s, iPod, stickers, cookies, crayons. I would have given them booze and cigarettes to get them to be quite (not really). Finally after singing the chorus to a Veggie Tales song about a 100 times I got Derby to sleep. Loen my little resilient darling stayed awake the whole time. Did I mention there was a senior citizen trip on the same plane and many were seated next to us? From the looks on some of their faces we did not bode well for them. Finally we landed and got our luggage. After getting our car seats I noticed that one of the pins on Derby’s car seats was missing. Yes, I know it sounds like we put flair on the seats but 1 was the guardian angel pin that they’ve had since their birth. It was on their incubator in the NICU then on their car seats ever since. The other pin was a hummingbird that belonged to Tadd’s grandmama. Well Derby’s angel pin was missing. I had a lump in my throat as I looked all over and Tadd pulled the plastic bags they wrapped the carseat in out of the garbage. The pin that had been through the ups and downs, the surgeries, the periods when he stopped breathing was gone. Now it had been a long trip so far and I think we had eaten half a bagel and maybe an airline cookie so Tadd & I weren’t at our best. Tadd was snappy and asked why I hadn’t sewn on the pin like he told me to weeks ago. You all should be glad that there was no bloodshed at Detroit Metro right then. Remember this scene because it pops up later in the story.

Loen only slept for 10 minutes while waiting to get the rental car and what? Did she just pee though another outfit? This never happens at home! Finally we are off to Ohio. By now I’m starving and Yelp is useless in finding food where we are. I see a sign for an Arby’s. I haven’t had Arby’s in years and I believe there was a reason for that…ugh. I gave the twins a french fry and went back to my ‘meal’. All of a sudden I hear gaging noises so I turn around. Derby is about to puke so I cup my hands under his mouth and catch the most insane amount of vomit I’ve seen come from my kid. I’m disgusted and gross and I have a handful of puke. I’m kneeling backwards in my seat with said handful of puke as Tadd is tearing down the highway weaving between semis trying to get to the exit. We change yet another outfit and realize that a fair amount of puke had gone down the straps and into the lock. That’s fine I already have to wash 3 outfits and a stroller why not a car seat as well. We are off to a great start and it is only the first day. I should stop and say that the trip really went back into an upswing after this. We got to the hotel where Tadd’s mom was waiting to greet us (really just the twins) and we were able to get everyone cleaned up. The hotel had a laundry area so that was a feature. Since Tadd was a groomsman in the wedding he had to leave to get fitted for his tux. We were lucky enough to get a suite and Tadd’s mom had the adjoining room. That made life SOOOOO much easier.

The twins were loved and spoiled and loved some more from their Mima and Papa Don. Tadd and I actually went out to dinner with friends without kids (gasp!). I missed the babies but enjoyed getting out. Tadd was gone a lot due to his obligations in the wedding. Where we stayed in Perrysburg, Ohio was like a citywalk. With the hotel at one end and shops, theater, restaurants, bars all along a long boulevard. So there were things to do once you walked out of the hotel.

Since this post is already ridiculously long I’ll finish part 2 later. Until that time I’ll throw in some pictures of why it took me a day and a half to pack. I wont even get into how they wouldn’t take naps that day or when they decided that taking everything out of the suitcase was a great idea.

“Mom, it was Derby who unfolded all the clothes. NOT me, I swear”

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