Day 13 – The long trip home

I was surprisingly good all day – no big meltdowns!!  A few minor, but very understandable fusses, but nothing major.  That is VERY impressive since I was traveling for close to 20 hours (12 of them were on a plane…the rest were getting ready, being in the car or at an airport).That is a LOT of travel, especially for a toddler.

We got up early to get our cab at 8 am to head to the airport.  Things went pretty smoothly, save one huge exception at French security, and we go to the gate with plenty of time to grab a quick bite and hit the bathrooms.  If Mummy and Daddy would only listen to me more, I’d be almost totally potty trained.  I am very good at saying “I pee? I pee?” and actually having to go.  Most of the time I say “I pee” and someone listens and takes me to the potty (if I’m not already there), my diaper is dry and I do indeed need to pee.  I even went pee in the airplane bathroom (kind of yucky, but still impressive).

The exception at security you are wondering?  Well, just like in the US they had to manually check my car seat because it is too big for the x-ray machine.  They took it and said they’d be right back so we didn’t see what actually happened.  However, when we got it back, the harness was broken!!  It would not tighten, or loosen – not good!  I ended up riding with almost all the way loose straps (one was more loose than the other too) for both flights and in the car on the way home.  Daddy is going to see fi it can be fixed (maybe something just got stuck?), otherwise, I am getting a new car seat for Daddy’s car.  Mummy and Daddy are not happy about that!

As we were taxing to takeoff, not during the hour we were ont he plane before that, a flight attendant first decided the car seat was too loose.  The seatbelt had a long leather piece on one side that did not fit through the car seat strap place.  So, for take-off I had to sit on Mummy’s lap with a baby belt thing.  It basically threaded through Mummy’s seatbelt then around me.  We also had to switch seats with a guy in the bulkhead because for some reason Mummy’s seat was not OK for me to be in.

After we were in the air the flight attendant was back.  After first telling us the car seat would be fine for the rest fo the flight (just not for takeoff and landing) we are now told that we can’t use the car seat in the seats we have because there is an airbag in the seatbelt…that leather part.  What?!  What good is an airbag going to do you in a plane crash?!  In any case,  we ended up getting moved to the bulkhead, the only row in our class that does not have airbags in the seatbelts. (Oh, we were in these exact same seats on the flight over and nobody said a word.).  Mummy was on the aisle and I was next to her.  The b*(&H next to me refused to move so Daddy sat behind Mummy.  After what we paid for tickets together I think Air France should have made sure we could all sit together, no matter what.

Note from Mummy:  It had been a very long last few days in France.  We were all cranky and Thatcher had been melting down almost hourly.  I was aggravated that our expensive car seat was broken at security, that we weren’t told that Thatcher was in a potentially dangerous on the flight over (or that nobody mentioned this when I made the reservations for us with a car seat) and pissed that the woman next to Thatcher wouldn’t change seats…to a better one, by the way (middle to aisle). I had to have Todd sit by Thatcher so I could go to the bathroom because I was about to lose it.  I ended up sobbing in the airplane bathroom for a solid 30 minutes before I could come back…and have Todd get my sunglasses because you can probably imagine what I looked like after 30 minutes of sobbing (not tearing up, full on heaving, sobbing).  I felt a little better after and actually appreciated the time in my own row to watch part of a movie and have a little me time…I’d have none for 13 days so I was due!  I was just on everything overload.  I am only sharing this since I think it is important that we (parents) are open about the ups and downs so we don’t feel so alone and like we’re terrible parents because we just lose it and breakdown sometimes.  Being a parent is HARD and traveling with a toddler, while pregnant, while fun for most of the time, is downright exhausting.  I’m so glad we went and have the memories, but I am also so glad we are home!!

Pretty soon I took my first of 2 naps.  I fussed some on the way down (Daddy intentionally didn’t do much about it in an effort to get the lady next to me to move) but eventually slept for an hour.  After I woke up I had some lunch.  Daddy saved me an orange from his meal.  It was a little tough so I sucked and slurped on each piece then flung the pieces around.  Again, Daddy did nothing trying to get the lady next to me annoyed enough to finally offer to move (she’s been asked by the flight attendant when we were all moving and refused).  One time, I flung an orange on her arm…I wanted us all together too.

Mummy came over and stood in front of us to talk to me and I was so happy and smily then.  Finally the lady offered to switch seats with Mummy – HOORAY!!!  It took almost 2 hours, but we finally wore her down.  I was pretty perfect for the rest of the flight and Mummy was happy again too 🙂  We played with stickers (best game EVER for airplanes) and that was a blast.  We got a book of 1000 Cars stickers so there were plenty to plaster myself with.  For fun, I also got to walk up and down the aisles in big circles and the man next to Mummy played with me.  He was pretty cool and showed me how to use headphones, use the TV and fist bump.  Mummy let me sit in her seat during this because she needed to stand up a lot.  The next time we fly I’ll be in a Cares harness in the seat and not in a car seat.  I’ll be MUCH happier.

After another nap (about an hour each) we landed in Atlanta!  I got to ride on Mummy’s back through customs and to the next plane.  We had just enough time to get some pizza for dinner.  I was HUNGRY and ate almost an entire 8″ cheese pizza!  After a diaper and jammie change we got on the next plane.  Mummy and Daddy thought I would sleep for sure!

Hahahahahahah…I was wide awake for the whole thing.  Well, I did fall sleep with 3 minutes to go.  I mostly watched football, ate pretzels and drank Fresca from a can – except for the Fresca part, I sound like a big man, huh?  LOL!  At long last we got out bags, got in the car and went home.  I fell asleep a few minutes from home and Mummy brought me right upstairs to sleep.  Ahhhh, my own bed!

Note from Mummy: Todd and I got to bed around 10:30 pm…we were home by 8:30 pm.  Our neighbor who was keeping an eye on the place and taking in any packages was not home when we got home.  HUGE bummer since he had the new pregnancy pillow I ordered (since the old one is still in France!) and I can’t sleep without one anymore.  I tried making a pillow nest, but no dice.  Oh well.  I wasn’t going to unpack, but got a second wind and unpacked everything!  I was so tired I needed 1/2 an Ambien to get to sleep…I was at the so tired I couldnt’ sleep place.  Thatcher slept OK but was up at 5 am.  We realized he thought it was morning so we all went to iHOP for breakfast since we were hungry too.  When we got home, around 6.  Thatcher and I took naps but Todd, oddly was not tired (he is napping now though).  Thatcher was up at 9 and I was up around 9:45.  Todd had to go get Nicholas so I had to watch Thatcher.  That nap was the best sleep I had…better than the night sleep!  I think we’ll all adjust to being back faster than when we got to Paris.  Fingers crossed!!

A few photos from the flights:

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3 Responses to “Day 13 – The long trip home”

  1. laurapayette Says:

    That is one ridiculous story! BTW, what’s a cares harness? Never heard of it. Glad our flight home was much more uneventful than yours (and ours on the way out).

  2. Thatcher's Mummy Says:

    which story? there are several ridiculous moments in there, lol The CARES harness (child aviation restraint system) makes any airline seat into a 5 point harness for kids 22-44 lbs. http://www.amazon.com/CARES-Child-Aviation-Restraint-System/dp/B001GPKN4Q It means you can check the carseat (or just rent one with a car or borrow from someone at your destination) and not have to lug the carseat in the plane. Thatcher LOVED when he got to sit in my actual seat anf I think he’d do sooomuch better like that. It will be a LONG time before our next trip though!!


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