Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Long Flight Back

Yes, I know, I haven't written a post in ages, so I don't know if anyone will actually read this, but I'll just write it anyway. A and I got back from a 5-week vacation in France (SleepyPapa joined us for the last two weeks) earlier this month. I'll write more on our trip later but today I need to rant about our return flight.

A and I were flying back on a separate flight from SleepyPapa because his ticket was bought with miles and buying our tickets on the same flights would have cost $500 more. The way there is usually easy because it's nighttime so A sleeps the whole way. The return is another story because we leave Paris around lunchtime, so I can usually count on a nap and the little individual TVs to keep A happy and quiet for a good chunk of the 8 1/2 hour flight (which is followed by a 2-3 hour layover and another flight back to Syracuse).

So on the return day, we woke up early to get to the airport on time (7am Paris time/ 1am Eastern time), got to our plane just fine, but as we got to our seats, my heart stopped a little when A asked "where's the little TV?". I looked and discovered with horror that we were flying on a dinosaur boeing plane that only had one screen up front, with one movie showing! No offense to Nicholas Sparks, but there's no way a three-year-old will be interested in The Lucky One. Here's the thing, we fly back to France every single year, and I can't even remember the last time we didn't have an individual TV, so I hadn't planned too much to bring along because I didn't want to carry too much stuff. I did have our own little DVD player, but its battery is getting old and only works for about an hour. I had one book, some little cars, some markers and paper for coloring.

Because of our early start, A fell asleep at take-off. He slept for about an hour, watched the DVD player for the hour that it lasted, and then, I was on my own, with 6 1/2 hours to go until Charlotte! To top it all off, we were surrounded by French people, who are definitely not kid-friendly like Americans are, and gave me the evil eye the minute A spoke louder than a whisper.

I ended up making up a lot of stories, which A loves, and I have to say that A was the perfect little traveler, who behaved and stayed still the whole flight. I was the one getting tired and cranky..
When we got to Charlotte, we both got a little reward - A a small plane, me a Jamba Juice. That refueled us for the next flight, which ended up being delayed by two hours ( including a boarding, de-boarding, re-boarding episode.)
A was excited to get to Syracuse, see his dad, and his house, so even though we got there after 8pm (which makes it 2am France time), A still took a little time to play before going to bed.

Me? I was pretty cranky and did not find it amusing when SleepyPapa mentioned the several movies HE got to watch on HIS flight. A good night of sleep helped my mood.

Now, just a little plea to USAir: please update your fleet so that moms can get a little rest on your transatlantic flights, we do pay quite a bit for those tickets!

Have you had bad experiences traveling with your kids? What do you do to keep them entertained?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Early BFFs

We have entered a new phase, and that's the "friends" phase. A is now obsessed with playing with his friends and when I offer to go to the park or do other fun stuff, his first question is "with whom?" ( well, he doesn't have a perfect grasp of grammar yet, but that's what he means) and if I say "just us" he loses interest -- I don't take it personally though, there's still plenty he only wants to do with me. If I tell him we're going to see one of his friends that day, he gets so excited, I can use that to get him to do pretty much anything, including napping!

Seeing him have so much fun with his friends is a true pleasure! Right now he clearly has two BFFs, one from school and one who is the son of our good friends and whom he has known forever. Last week, we even had him sleepover and it was great! A was soooo excited and the two of them behaved perfectly, they played until it was time to sleep, and then they both fell asleep without a problem! (I don't think it would be as easy the other way around though...)

The craziest part is that A cries when I leave him with family (even with his own father), but doesn't care on bit when I take off if he's at his friend's house. (he does cry when I pick him up though... nothing's perfect)

I really enjoy watching him enjoy himself with his friends, because to me, there's nothing better than friends. And I know from experience that early friends can turn out to be some of your best friends for life. I met one of my very best friends when we were 3 1/2, and more than twenty years later she was my maid of honor!

How early did your kids really develop friendships? When did you meet your best friends?