Hello all friends who cared to pray/think of us on our big trip yesterday–it went fantastically!!!
Kabyn took her out to the zoo yesterday morning, so I could have some quiet preparation time, in case I needed all my mental and emotional reserves on the trip. I packed up every entertainment item and travel aid I could think of. I even got out her “Monkey” (aka toddler leash, not into them except in airports… they’re brilliant for those).
Getting through Security was a big scene last time, but this time it went fine… except, of course, when I required her to give up her shoes. “Pretty shoes!!! Pretty shoes!!!” she wailed as they went away into the mysterious, dark security scanner. Hopefully in another flight or two she’ll be used to it. Then as we were about to walk through the scanner thing, the guy asked us to take off Monkey. No, obviously that was not well-accepted news. I think everyone around me was trying to hide laughter as she wailed and fought to keep Monkey and begged me to let her have Monkey. Once all her precious things were restored, however, she was fine.
More than fine, actually… I think all the talking-up the trip helped… she was WOUND UP. She walked on her KNEES all around the waiting area space. I couldn’t decide whether I was amused or embarrassed. She cruised all around, smiling at complete strangers, even talking to a few friendly faces. It was quite the scene, obviously made more of a scene by the fact that she felt she had to walk on her KNEES all the sudden. Which apparently she’s pretty good at. I was too busy trying to keep track of her and the carryons and her abandoned cup of milk to video it, my apologies, I do wish I’d had a copy of that so I could have laughed more later!
Once we finally lined up to board, I smelled it—oh yes. Pre-trip power-poop. I was happy, as that meant I was not going to be changing it in an airport bathroom. So we raced off, cleaned up, and jumped back in line in time to get a decent seat.
More than decent though–we had the sweetest seatmate in the world, a 20-something girl from St L area who had moved to Seattle area, and who goes to our old church, Mars Hill. She talked with us, and even colored for a while with Alaythia. (Which began as Alaythia shoving a purple crayon in her face and yelling, “COLOR purple!” We’ve got to start working more on politeness with people one doesn’t know… The main help for the flight was that Alaythia got her own [free] seat, and she had a marvelous time playing with her mountain of toys and books. Two hours into the flight (well past the typical END of her naptime), she did kind of curl up on her seat and sleep for 45 mins or so, with dear Monkey as a pillow. Enough to be ready to roar and a bit restless when she woke. But, thanks to having her own seat, she climbed on and off her seat for a while, put the tray table up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down… thankfully no one was on the seat in front of her, either! She also filled and emptied the seat-pocket thing for a while, and played with the plastic water cups they bring. Apparently the best fun about flying was the fun things provided by Southwest Airlines.
We flew out of a comparatively cool St L day, into a clear sunny Seattle day! That’s an experience I’ll hold onto as probably a once-in-a-lifetimer… Once arrived, Alaythia jumped into her excitedly waiting grandmother’s arms with about as much sense of excitement and drama as if I’d handed her a spoon. I don’t know if she had no sense of it being a while, or perhaps, was still distracted by the airport. It was a big like when grandma MaeMae arrived in St L during her naptime, and when she woke up, was there at the door to surprise her. AE took one look, then began yelling about something on the other side of the apartment and ran to it. Seriously. So much for the tear-jerker sweet reunions… I don’t think toddlers go in for that kind of experience.
Once arrived, we took off to the Southcenter shopping area in search of a bed rail that we’ll need on all our travels while here. Which required a stop at the massive and somewhat warehouse-like Babies’R’Us. That place is something else. Alaythia loved it because everything looked familiar, like her kind of thing, and she RAN through the aisles, gleefully announcing items as she saw them: “Pink stroller!! Green stroller!! Yellow cup! ELMO!!!!”
We got some Thai food, and by then it was about 6.30am PST–near bedtime CST. Mom kept her awake, barely, on the drive home, with lots of books, and her recounting all her letter sounds to us. The didn’t know she can say all her letter sounds, thanks largely to her beloved Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD.
Once home, the energy returned… she raced around seeing all her familiar toys, raced around on the porch, and raced up and down the stairs to check on everything. She did have a brief, sad moment when she first came in and immediately went looking for their cat (who has moved out recently). She came and found me with a very sad look on her face and said soberly, “No Meow-meow.” I confirmed that there was no Meow-meow, but that it was okay. She seemed fine with that, and moved back into racing around gleefully.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for us—it’s going great! And at 9.44am CST, she is STILL asleep in her bed!!