With the completion of travel with a toddler and an infant comes wisdom:
Do not experiment with what is a safe amount of blueberries to allow your child to eat in one
You know you are going to have to take off your belt and remove your shoes meaning that at some point you are going to have to bend over to tie your shoes and you’ll probably do it before you refasten your belt. Do not wear a thong. Your thong will show, you’ll try to cover, it won’t be pretty.
Do not trust the breasts that have not spontaneously leaked milk in months to behave while you nurse your daughter. Or even while you walk laden with children and luggage. It won’t be pretty.
Do not look at yourself in the bathroom mirror on the plane. You will absolutely find new lines, unplucked pluckables and so much more that makes the sludge on the floor seem more attractive than you are.
Pack food. Oh sweet jesus pack food. Unless of course you are counting points in which case I think you can safely cancel out the points of any of the little bags of snacks they give you as you’ll burn that and more off in craning your neck to see if the slow walking snack giver outer is any closer and then of course the sweaty, slick fingered struggle to open the damn things is sure to incinerate the calories ingested in the ancient Coffee Mate you dumped in your coffee oh so many hours before.
Carry ribbons. Ribbons are an in-flight delight. They decorate, they secure, they adorn and they soothe, they work far better than you could ever imagine.
Don’t study the flight attendants, no two are alike and just when you think you have a kind one on your hands
They growl, they mutate, they hiss at your young.
You must flee!
Don’t tell them not to kick, they just kick harder. The children, not the flight crew, though I’m sure they’re tempted.
Don’t use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag for more than one poopie diaper. There is some sort of speed to stench anomaly that precipitously hastens the time during which a normal poopie diaper achieves the steaming scent of an unidentifiable wad sitting in an inch of gelatinous wetness on the bottom of a closed dumpster behind a taqueria on a hot day south of the border.
Do not decline the offer from strange people in the pre-boarding nook to carry the booster seat for your toddler that you are holding while your husband runs a very long way to baggage claim with your infant to retrieve the backpack that was “gate checked.” No one else is going to help you. They will watch you, scowl, titter and literally point while you hoss the damn thing over your head, crumbs and other odd, dry bits showering into your travel nasty hair, and try to keep it together and gently coax your toddler to walk into the sea of dour faces. They will in fact readjust themselves so that their porcine selves ooze into the aisles and then harumph as your bag gently brushes past. And then, oh and then those jovial Southwest folks will turn their cuteness schtick on you and your predicament: Oh, you have another child? Hmm, mm, mm, somebody baby daddy in trouble. Ooo-eee.
But the most important thing, the thing that I give to you as a veteran of this hell on earth called traveling with children: Know the power of the mighty Mac.