So, if you hadn't guessed (or already knew it because you SAW me), we traveled last week. We went, as a family, on an airplane. Which might be the first time that the five of us have ever been on a plane together since there were five of us. I think. Maybe.
When you're a grownup, traveling is not fun. There is the packing and the planning and the schlepping. And the more kids you have the more junk there is to schlep. Oh, and the jetlag.
When you're a kid, though, there is nothing more exciting. My kids thought that waking up at four in the morning was the coolest ever. And then there was the parking Far Away from the airport and the BUS. Oh, the bus. Apparently, my children have never been on a bus before. Their grins -- oh, how I wish I could have bottled them. Even the middle one, who tries so hard to stay so cool at times like that was unable to contain her grin. The comment from the oldest when he rested his tired cheeks? "the bus looks a lot smoother from the outside." Yeah, try standing in one. Next to someone smelly.
Anyhow, once we gave all our bags away to the people who didn't fill us with every confidence that we'd ever see them again, it was a little easier (and, oh, so much easier than when the children themselves were something else to schlep). We were slowed by security, who thought that the badge in my husband's wallet was some sort of weapon and had to pat him down and strip search him (kidding!). It was amusing, and a lesson to the children - a smart remark to those in charge will almost always gain you nothing, except maybe a little public embarassment.
Once we were on our way, my husband broke the cardinal rule of traveling with small children. All new things are entertainment. When the nice lady comes by and offers your child a fizzy drink that mommy never lets him have, don't say "no thank you, we have WATER." That's just cruel and you've lost some points with the flight attendant when you have to ask her to come back, your kid needs a ginger ale and he's going to start screaming bloody murder any minute, so hurry if you know what's best for everyone on this airplane. And for some very special children, this form of liquid entertainment can lead to endless fun of going back and forth to the postage stamp sized restroom four times in three hours.
I thought the three hour plane ride was supposed to feel shorter than the ten hours by car it takes to get to the other grandparents, but oddly, it did not. AT ALL.
I was totally vindicated for the cheap parking thing. I cheaped out and wanted to park in the far away with a bus parking, where they pick you up at your car and drop you at your gate, and then pick you up at your gate and take you to your car, oh, holy moly that was the coolest thing ever! Especially since we departed and arrived at gates so far from each other they were practically in different counties! Sarge totally owes me seven dollars a day! Or at least "I told you so" rights for a day. Oh, wait, it's been more than a day. Shoot.
And the best thing yet, (I mean aside from the eleven year old girl my daughter befriended who told her that the easiest way to become a cool kid is to have your mom be in the PTA and my daughter totally came up to me and says, 'mommy, you're in the PTA, right? right? RIGHT?' Oh, yes, baby, Mommy got you into the cool club this time, and don't you forget it.) is that my children are going to bed at the normal time for us in Texas and getting up at the normal time in California. And, I'll make this easier for you, that means TWO HOURS extra of sleep for mom! Or blogging. Or catching up on sappy movies that make me cry and blubber while I still can (Sarge is almost done with night shift, so no more sappy movies for me without mockery and stifled man-giggles).