Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Blast Off"

The kids and I just took an impromptu trip back to Wisconsin for a family reunion. Light is a seasoned traveler and does really well with the security procedures, all the waiting and is okay when he has to sit across the aisle from me. Happiness is getting to be an expert at it too, although she is not a big fan of the “blast off” as both of my kids have independently coined the take-off.  

Travelling alone with two small children requires a great deal of endurance and patience. Most of all, though, it requires a sense of humor and excellent problem solving skills. You must be prepared for things to happen. Things like waiting in line to board the plane and your 2 year old yells “I have to pooooop and I can’t wait!” Or as soon as said 2 year old falls asleep on the plane, your 6 year old yells across the aisle “Mommy I have to poop” (and it echoes through the entire cabin on the plane ‘poop poop poop poop’).

One might think that traveling with a 6 year old would be the easy part and the 2 year old would be more challenging. The trouble with that thinking happens when said 6 year old doesn’t want to sit alone in his seat while I take Happiness to the bathroom and he won’t stand outside the bathroom either. So, imagine 3 people crammed into the airplane potty. Talk about space invaders!

And, poor Light. He always seems to come down with something when we fly. So of course the day we are scheduled to leave, he gets a fever. He’s a trooper, so with Advil in his system, we are on our way. He has the chills on the plane and it’s super cold anyway on this particular flight. I have him wrapped in blankets and he’s sipping his drink when “POW” Happiness kicks and his iced drink spills ALL OVER HIS LAP!!  Light has a scream like no other kid in the world. It is ear piercing and intense. Everyone on the plane heard this one! Poor poor guy. It’s uncomfortable to get spilled on in general, but with a fever and I have no extra clothes for him, so it’s even worse! Time to get creative. Luckily he is wearing underwear today. So, I take off his pants and turn his underwear on backwards and tuck his t-shirt into the front of his pants. This way the wet spot is at the front so he can sit on his bottom and the t-shirt is semi-protecting his skin from the wet at the front. Then I wrapped a couple of extra blankets around him. Lesson learned- Light will also travel with an extra set of clothes in his carry-on from now on.

Happiness almost always sleeps for some part of the travel day. It’s great except when she falls asleep with only 20 minutes left in the flight because that means I have to carry her in the Ergo carrier, carry her little back pack, my big backpack and usually Light’s backpack, especially if we are in a hurry or we have to go super far between gates, which is almost always.

Our flight home was quite turbulent much to the dismay of Happiness and the pleasure of Light, who is quite interested in roller coasters. This time at least he was yelling “Wheeee, it’s like a roller coaster ride” instead of what he yelled 2 years ago when we experienced a similar level of turbulence: “We’re gonna crash.” Remember how I mentioned before that he has an ear-piercing scream? Yep, he can really yell and everyone around heard him that time, too!

He is also of an age where he has started asking questions about why everyone has to take their shoes off to go through security. Why is their security anyway? Why can’t anyone walk with us right up to the gate? Why can’t Grandma and Grandpa be waiting for us right when we get off the plane? Why can’t we leave our bags sitting right here for a minute while we go look out the window? Lots of questions that I wish I didn’t have to answer.

So after trying to nurse a 2.5 year old discreetly on an airplane, wearing a fanny pack for easy access to essentials, trying to keep little feet from kicking the seats in front of us, and the exhaustion of entertaining two intense kiddos on our travel days, I am extending invitations out to everyone to come visit us, please!

If you come here, I won’t have to explain to Light why we have to fly to Wisconsin from California via Tennessee and then home to California from Wisconsin via Detroit. Because he is absolutely correct when he says “it makes no sense at all.”

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Little Scientist

The last few posts have focused primarily on Light, so I thought I’d provide a little insight into my little girl, Happiness. Happiness is 2 years, 8 months old, going on 15. She is very busy, very curious, very persistent, very lovely, very everything. Sometimes she frustrates me to no end. For example, the other night she drew on her entire body with a green marker. The next night, she was painting happily and decided her newest canvas would be her stomach, belly button and INSIDE her ears.

One day I was skyping with my mom and venting sharing some frustrations observations about Happiness’s latest antics experiments when it dawned on me that she is a scientist to the core: a researcher, explorer and experimenter.

Here are some of the questions she asks herself on a daily basis:
1.     What will this color look like on the wall? How about the floor? How about my ear?
2.     What sound will these crackers make if I drop the whole bag on the kitchen floor, how about the living room floor,  how about the floor of the car? Will the sound be the same? Will the crumbs fall the same way each time? Then what happens if I step on them?
3.     Will the kitchen sink clog EVERYTIME I put toilet paper in it? What about the bathroom sink?
4.     Will Mommy’s glasses really get to the ocean if I flush them down the toilet?
5.     Will my hair fall out each time I use the scissors on it?
6.     If I spit water out my mouth, is it the same as spitting juice out of my mouth? How about food?
7.     Do my fingers and a pencil make the same kind hole in an avocado?
8.     Is it easier to get ink or crayon off of piano keys?
9.     Does a penny come out between the piano keys easily as a puzzle piece?
10. Does water spray out of the faucet in the tub when I use my hands to cover the spout? How about if I use a toy? My foot? My brother’s head?
11. If I pee here on the carpet, will it make the same shape as if I pee here on the hard wood floor?
12. Does my brother get the same kind of mad when I cut his new quiz cards in half as he does if I rip his new book?
13. Does a Zingo piece melt in the toaster? How about a Candyland Guy? A Go Fish Card?
14. Do I really make people smile a hundred times every day?
15. Does my mommy cry tears of happiness every single time I hug her and tell her I love her? How about my daddy?
16. Do I always have this effect on people? Yes, my sweet, curious, independent girl, you do. That, I know for sure.