Traveling with kids can be hard. I boarded the plane with my 5 and 7 year-old kids. We brought iPads, books, blankets, pillows, and stuffies. We pulled away from the gate and went onto the tarmac. We had no idea that a thunderstorm arched across the US and into Canada blocking air traffic. We sat for two and a half hours.
The conditions were fine. Everyone was apologetic and nice, getting us water and keeping us up-to-date. The plane had the AC on. But, one of the iPads ran out of charge and the kids grew restless. They kept asking, “when are we going to fly?”
The plane moved, but we headed back to the gate. We deplaned and sat in the airport until the storms finally went past. Add another two hours at the airport.
I walked that fine line with the kids. They needed to burn energy without burning down the airport. The airport’s security was on a specific gate section, so there was only so much to do. The kids had roller bags and backpacks. This constant pile of stuff made maneuvering harder.
The airlines brought out treats and our flight kept getting delayed instead of cancelled. It was near the end of our time in the airport when the kids started to come unglued. Too much sugar and nowhere to run were coming to a head.
They were sitting next to each other by the pilots. I sat on the floor. They did the poking thing that only a brother and sister could do. All the signs were there for a complete melt down.
I could not yell. What would that get me? There was nowhere to go, the plane could start boarding at any moment. Then inspiration struck. I had a good mama moment.
I interrupted my son who was about to lose it.
“I need your help and only you can do this for me.”
He forgot the argument and perked up. I held his gaze. “It’s really important. Do you think you can help me?”
He reluctantly nods. My daughter meanwhile is starting to look mutinous.
“I need you to draw me a treasure map. Can you do that for me?”
Now he was smiling and very enthusiastic.
I caught my daughters gaze and grinned at her and mouthed, “You can too if you want.”
She caught on and smiled back.
They forgot the argument. I had five glorious minutes of both kids quietly and intently working on their projects and ten minutes of distraction as they explained their projects. My daughter decided to do a menu of yucky things. My son did a pirate treasure map.
What have you done to prevent the melt down?