Friday, June 8, 2012

What not to forget on a cross-country trip

When I was packing for our trip to Virginia, I had this feeling at the back of my mind that I'd forgotten something. But I couldn't figure out what it was, and I figured I was just being paranoid.

I was not just being paranoid.

After arriving early to the Seattle airport and spending some time playing in the playarea and eating breakfast, the kids and I boarded our plane to Charlotte.  Seattle to Charlotte is a 5+ hour flight, but I had bags full of DVDs, toys, coloring books, you name it.  Ethan was particularly excited about playing a new game on his LeapPad. He'd been looking forward to it for days- it was something special that he only got to do on the airplane and he could not wait.

We took off, I turned on the LeapPad, it flickered and went dark.  I tried again.  And then I realized that I hadn't gotten around to changing the batteries after the last time they played it.  And I also realized that the first thing I had forgotten was the GIANT BOX OF BATTERIES THAT I BOUGHT FOR THIS EXACT PURPOSE.

I confessed to Ethan what I had done and he began to sob.  I apologized and apologized and tried to explain that we were currently 20,000 feet above the ground and there was nothing I could do. He continued to sob brokenheartedly, as only a disappointed 4-year-old can do.

Thankfully, that's when the dad in the row behind me spoke up from between the seats and asked what size batteries I needed and how many. This man is on my list of favorite people, close to the anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural when I was in labor with Ethan.

In a really weird twist, we were on the plane from Seattle to Charlotte with that family (the battery providing one) and then they were on our tiny flight to the tiny airport in Virginia.  Which I thought was kind of unusual.  Until I turned around in the security line a week later at the beginning of our trip home and saw them behind me. :) Ethan was in heaven, as he had decided on our out-going trip that their little blonde daughter was his new best friend, and there she was again!

The other thing I forgot?  My anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pills. And my sleeping pills. Yeah, I don't recommend that.  Again, I'd packed these in my pill case, along with my vitamins, but then I only grabbed two of the three cases. 

I could have called the doctor or the pharmacy, but it sounded like it was just too complicated and besides, I would be home in a week and I'd be fine, right?  I don't even notice the difference when I'm off my meds. Usually.

Let's just say that when one is traveling alone, cross-country with two preschoolers, one should be taking extra anti-anxiety medications, not less.  I was fine during our visit, but on our trip home, when I was going on 36 hours with nearly no sleep, and was traversing large airports/sitting for hours on the plane with the kids, I could have really used some pharmaceutical help.

But we made it. And there really is no place like home. We had a great time with my parents and it's always good to see them, but I missed home. Ethan kept asking when we could go back to "our country, Seattle".  We do love this city and our little condo and all the activity going on outside.  And there's nothing as great as falling asleep in my own bed with my husband next to me. 

It's good to be back.

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