Thursday, June 19, 2008

Snakes on a Plane

From the moment we found out Michael had the Fulbright I was dreading the flight back to the States knowing John would be almost two. It's just not the best age for flying. Bless their hearts and all that. But I became more hopeful when we got a flight that left Copenhagen at 3:30pm rather than the normal crack-of-dawn flight. This way John's bedtime would fall right in the middle of the nine-hour transatlantic flight. I wasn't worried about James since it's super easy to fly with kids who aren't yet mobile and who are still breastfed. Nurse them during take off and landing to protect their ears, and then the hum of the plane puts them to sleep. Easy-peasy.

We get our four carry-ons, car seat and stroller on the plane in record time, switch seats with a Very Kind Guy so we can all sit together in back middle row of the plane, and start to breath easy. And then discover the one thing John wants to do more than anything is kick the seat of the Very Kind Guy who is now front of us. We pulled out all the new toys we had saved to entertain John on the flight. We plugged him into Horton Hears A Who. We tried distracting him and threatening him. We each took a foot and held it. Four hours later, Very Kind Guy was into his sixth glass of wine and John finally fell asleep. I hope he knew we were doing everything we could think of.

To every person who has had a small child kick the back of their seat on a long international flight, I apologize.

The rest of the journey was physically taxing, but uneventful. We made it through customs in O'Hare at what felt like midnight to all four of us without incident. My first order of business after getting our ridiculous amount of baggage through customs, finding our way to the domestic gate and calling my mother was to buy a super-sized, corn syrup filled, icy cup of McDonalds Coke.

It tasted like America.

No comments: