I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning and organizing and having two small kids conflicts with my own personality. I would love for them to play in an organized fashion, pick up as they go, and dust. (Not too much to ask, right?) Like every other parent, I have had to give in a little. Unlike most, it is very difficult for me to live in the moment when there is a mess calling my name, but I didn’t want to miss out on their memory making to ensure playdough labels were all facing forward. (Is there anyone else out there like this?) So, I adapted, but it is something I have to constantly work on.
Next week I will be sharing my best tips on making room for the new Christmas toys your kids received. A little thought and a plan will improve your chances of avoiding stepping on a Hot Wheels car and flying across the room or breaking your back picking up the endless game pieces scattered from room to room. Yes, organization is our friend. Yes, everyone can do this and no, I haven’t been drinking. Ask my college roommate about putting dishes away early in the mornings! I just really love to clean things.
However, no one can be perfect. My brother reminds me of this in his loving brother way as much as possible. The perfect storm occurred while we packed our bags for a trip home for the holidays.
Our trip was scheduled a month in advance. I had emailed everyone our itinerary and printed a copy for myself and my husband. In my mind, we had the whole day. Flight was around 6PM and my brother knew to pick us up at the airport around 7:30PM. You may have already picked up on the problem.
I had the thought to confirm this itinerary at 11:54AM the day of our departure just before I had planned to start packing for two small children, my husband, and myself. It is here that I discovered our flight was actually at 3PM – not 6PM. We needed to be there early to check luggage and preboard with children, which meant we needed to leave in 20 minutes to make the flight. The airport was a 45 minute drive and I had one child somewhat packed. Panic set in very quickly, but somehow we were in the car driving to the interstate when I made another good decision. I asked my husband to confirm everything else on the confirmation.
This lead to the realization that we were departing from an entirely different airport than I thought. The good news here was the correct airport was only a 30 minute drive and parking did not require a shuttle. This shaved 30 minutes off and possibly saved our chances of making this flight.
We arrived. Parking lot full. Minus 10 minus. Finally found parking after circling the airport. Unpacked the car and raced to the terminal and ticketing counter. Forgot the car seat – no time to go back. Best case scenario we rent one – worst case we buy a new one. Either way the car seat would be left behind – we had to keep moving.
At the ticketing counter I am brought face-to-face with my third strike out. I had not remembered any proof that my youngest son belonged to me. No birth certificate, no passport, no insurance card. Absolutely nothing. We ended up calling our insurance provider and working something out proving his birthday and that he could come with us and sit on my lap. Minus another 20 minutes, but saved $300. Let’s call this one a wash.
Bags checked, baby confirmed, tennis shoes on and running to our gate. Security was a breeze thanks to no planning at all and Southwest Airline’s family boarding was a godsend.
We made it. It was messy and it caused me great anxiety. Did I learn any lessons? Why yes, thank you for asking. I learned that vacation brain should not be turned on until your official arrival. That reading your itinerary is somewhat important when you have others traveling with you and that it doesn’t matter what you pack as long as you have your identifications in order. Lastly, if you forget the carseat, rental companies will not rent the seats only, but great neighbors might have extra ones.
We wonder how we will get the baby to fly back with us, but I do know what airport I am flying out of and the exact time of the flight. When my brain turns back on, I’m sure this experience will make my skin crawl, but right now someone could/should put a frozen cocktail in my hand because it may not have been pretty, but I made it and my vacation is officially a go. Bonus, my brother arrived at the wrong terminal but at the correct time. When he arrived at the correct terminal he stepped out of his automobile wearing a onesie batman costume. Come on folks – there really is no better way to start a vacation!
Happy New Year!