Spoiler alert, but in case you want to skip the prose and just glance at the photos, the moral of all of these stories is: Thank God for Grandparents!
The Way There
With three children under age five, three checked carseats, two pack n' plays, a beach tent, two rolling duffels, a suitcase, a backpack, and a diaper bag, I set aside my own upbringing and finally succumbed to the importance of leaving home with plenty of time to spare. As a direct result, our flight took off five hours late.
That's five additional hours of testing out the moving walkway just for fun! But as my mother in law pointed out while waiting at the gate, there is nothing like reading a book about North Korea (which she happened to be) to make the terminal look luxurious. After we finally landed late in the evening, June, who remained cheerful throughout even though she should have been running on fumes by that point, exclaimed to the amusement of all passengers in the surrounding rows, "That was a GREAT flight!" We received a positively embarrassing quantity of compliments on our children's behavior from strangers, which made me undeniably proud even though I know it proves only one thing: on the right day, in public, if we have to, with help, we can hold our act together for approximately 12 hours. I'll take it.
By the way, when you're the last one to arrive at the rental car counter for the night, this is what qualifies as a "compact" since it's the only vehicle left. Look closely and you'll see Georgia in the passenger seat and June driving.
We also committed an environmental sin by opting for two cars for our five-some rather than one van, but surprisingly it was significantly cheaper.
The Way Home
An on-time takeoff, easy pre-boarding privileges due to Georgia's allergies (it's all about the wipe-down, in case you were wondering), and a sleeping baby on his daddy's chest made for a smooth (and adorable, am I right?) start to our Mother's Day return. At this point in the flight, Joe was making me look like the laziest mother on Earth, which I loved so much that I had to take pictures.
Despite checking so much luggage that it looked as though we were emigrating, we even caved and let the girls bring home the MOST IMPRACTICAL CARRY-ONS OF ALL TIME.
Georgia enjoyed the lap(s) of luxury, sprawling out as only a child can do.
Awww, sweet. Except things soon went from quaintly picturesque to barf bag town. So the next thing you know, I'm nursing a baby on my left boob while steadily holding an open barf bag out with my right hand as Georgia masterfully puked into it from Joe's lap.
Somehow in retelling this story to my friend Jessica I found myself uttering, "But it really wasn't that bad. I mean, I don't think we were causing a scene or anything." And then as I heard myself I realized, THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A SCENE, PEOPLE.
Long story short: this is why we had Mother's Day (Observed) a week later. Thank you, Joe. You are the best.
The Next Trip:
The next morning, Waylon and I hopped in the van along with some re-packed dirty laundry and drove 7.5 hours to Missouri. That boy is a well-traveled baby and a real trooper. I'm sure he took quite a few Cheerios to the eye-hole, and the ear-hole, and the nose-hole as I attempted during his fussy moments to blindly reach for his mouth-hole with my go-go-gadget arm. Waylon's also an expert on Mark Twain now, since I listened to a 7-disc audiobook biography on the drive back to Chicago.
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