Continued from the 3-month transition post…
It was a hard flight over here. My sister and I, Big Ive, Little E, a bassoon, a guitar, a double stroller, a laptop case (with laptop, important paperwork, iPad, cords, etc), 2 backpack diaper bags all had to go on the planes. (Sounds like the start to a really bad joke.) That didn’t include the 6 bags and 2 car seats I checked. It was beyond crazy. We could not have physically carried much more stuff.
Because the double stroller is so large we had to gate-check it and didn’t get it back in London between connecting flights.
Big Ive vomited on me twice during the first flight to London. Of course it got on my one jacket. I tried as best I could to wash it in the airplane bathroom. No chunks remained, minimal staining, but the smell was still there a little bit. This meant one of the first things LOML said upon seeing me was that I smelled like puke. Thanks, Love. : )
Joy and I were seated 1 seat away from one another with a middle-aged man between us. During take off Big Ive did not want to sit in Joy’s lap. She only wanted me. As we were already going we couldn’t trade babies. This meant I was forced to reach across this man and his seat so Big Ive could hold my finger. It was enough to calm her down. But I was reaching across another person in an already confined space, infringing on his space. Thankfully he later told us that he’s a father and understands how children are. Shortly after takeoff he offered to trade seats so we could sit together. That was a huge blessing.
Big Ive must not have felt well. She puked twice and really just wanted to sit in my arms. Maybe she knew everything was changing. This was another step in her mom-only phase she went through. The good news is that Little E was a fantastic little traveling baby and slept a good portion of the time. She wasn’t very needy and slept in the bassinet the airplane has in the bulkhead rows.
Since I had to hold an uneasy toddler the entire flight I didn’t get much sleep. While this was extremely hard that day, it ended up being a good thing. It helped me adjust to the new time zone quickly. I was tired and wanted to sleep at a decent-ish time starting about the 3rd night. There was only 1 or 2 nights I was up late because I couldn’t sleep.
We landed in London, picked up all our carry-ons and children and headed to find our connecting flight. I was wearing Little E in my Moby Wrap, but she wasn’t too fond of being confined for that extended amount of time. I’m sure she just wanted to stretch out on the floor for a while by herself. We didn’t know where we had to go in the airport. Our connecting flight was not showing up on any of the monitors, I think it was too early for them to post it. Or they didn’t have listings of “domestic” flights in the international terminal? Big Ive only wanted to walk, but being 20 months old she doesn’t walk very fast and no one is looking for a small human when they’re walking. We eventually made it down and around and through what felt like the entire airport. Then we have to go through security again. The first time we had a stroller (and were a lot less frazzled) and it was easier to unload and load it with children and stuff. This time it was all in our hands. The children’s Benadryl that had made it through security in AZ was confiscated. It was 1 oz larger than is allowed. The security agent said we could buy more through security. I never did find a place to even look for more.
We walked slowly and took our time, heading toward where we thought the next flight would be. 2 bathroom trips for us, juggling and handing off babies, a quick exchange of money so we could use a vending machine, grabbed a boxed sandwich lunch (which we didn’t end up getting to eat until AFTER we landed in Frankfurt). We had parked ourselves in a waiting area that ended up being right next to our scheduled departure gate. Our flight didn’t show up on the monitors until it was practically time to board. Joy and I thought that was strange.
Over at the gate I forgot to give Joy the baby ticket for Big Ive. We had to check the bassoon and guitar at the gate. The agent looked at them and was, like, Uh, what are those things. They’re too big to carry on. We get on the plane and we are in the very last row, sitting next to one another on the same side of the isle. Which is not allowed with lap babies. They only put 1 extra oxygen mask per side so 2 extra people would be over the limit. The flight attendant went up the aisle asking everyone if they would switch seats with one of us. One guy up about 5 rows finally said yes. Joy took Little E because Big Ive was having a serious melt down and only wanted me at that time. I have purchased a box of mixed fresh fruit and Big Ive devoured that before we took off. She very quickly fell asleep in my arms and stayed that way the entire flight. I was able to sleep for a good portion, too. Thankfully, Little E decided to sleep and be extremely content for Joy, too.
At the Frankfurt airport you get off the plane by walking down stairs they bring to the back of the plane. Then you get on a bus which takes you to the terminal. Since my bassoon and guitar were gate checked they put them on the ground outside the plane for you to take on the bus with you to the terminal. I didn’t notice my instruments until the bus was driving away. They brought them to the luggage claim for me.
One of the hardest parts of this whole trip was getting all of our bags and car seats and musical instruments and stroller and babies through the door to see LOML. We got 2 of those little cart things and piled them HIGH. Joy pushed one. I pushed one and pulled the stroller. Or some combination like that.
We made it through the door and saw LOML. It was the best. Unfortunately, children do not allow for picture perfect romantic reunions in airports. One of the first things LOML said to me was that I smelled like vomit. And then Joy and I had to go find a bathroom to change the kids because at least one was stinky. : ) The life of a parent — never stops.
We made it to Germany. We were reunited with LOML and our family was back together. We were tired, a little smelly, but happy.