Thursday, July 29, 2010

How Not to Travel Across the Country

There are certain things I would rather travel without: small children, baggage fees, plane delays, stomach flu...

I guess I should have reminded myself of that last one before I spent the night preceding our cross-country flight trying to decide which end of my body needed most immediate access to the toilet. Luckily, the bathtub was within conversational distance of the toilet, if you know what I mean. And luckily there was a bathtub, because I slept in it. Literally.


The next morning David requested a late checkout from the hotel after the only responses I could give to his questions were along the lines of those Wesley gave Count Rugen after having been subjected to "The Machine".

After achieving the Olympic feat of keeping down a sip of water for more than two minutes (an encouraging development, as total dehydration is not recommended when one is nursing twins) a few hours of rest, and a priesthood blessing, I was able to get out of bed and into some clothes about twenty minutes before we had to head to the airport.

We made it through check-in without having to pay $90 for a bag that was two pounds overweight (who does Delta think they are kidding?!), and we made it through security even though I had forgotten to empty one of our water bottles ("This is for the baby, right?????," the TSA agent asked while vigorously nodding at me).

Our flight was delayed by an hour, and then another. I laid down on the dirty airport floor and wished I had the ability to apparate. Delta started offering $600 vouchers to take a different flight, but the thought of hauling a truckload of luggage and three small children back out of the airport was too exhausting to contemplate, so we waited. By the time we got on the plane the babies had worn out their good behavior and were both screaming at the top of their lungs.

Once on the plane flight attendants started offering $800 in vouchers. (Oddly, several people in our immediate vicinity volunteered to be bumped). Then the heavens smiled upon us and a flight attendant shifted things around so we could have the entire back row of the plane to ourselves. Unfortunately, the angelic chorus that had started playing in my head was drowned out as we made our way to the back of the plane and were greeted with a huge collective groan from the other passengers. Several of them jumped up and demanded new seats as they didn't want to sit next to "those people". (I felt a burst of empathy for lepers). As I sat down the man in front of us turned around and asked me, accusingly, "Are they sick or something?!" as if babies never have reason to cry after having been stuck in an airport for four hours.

Soon after take-off the babies settled down enough to eat and then immediately fell asleep. Michael joined in the snooze fest and slept the whole flight. And, with the peace of mind that could only come from sitting right next to the lavatories, I was able to rest as well. Ah, Divine intervention. It works wonders.

But seriously, I've paid my dues. No more stomach flu for me for at least ten years.

Okay, I'll settle for five.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bubble Wrap Brigade

Sometimes I think it would have been a lot easier to be a parent 50 years ago - you could send your kid out to play by himself without being paranoid that someone was going to call the police on you for child endangerment, adults in your neighborhood weren't afraid to correct your child's bad behavior and help him learn what was acceptable and what wasn't, and your child didn't have to ride in a booster seat until he was 8-years old.

But then, 50 years ago I wouldn't have had my boxes of disposable diapers and wipies, my groovy double snap 'n go stroller, or my glorious minivan. Yes, now is definitely a better time to be a parent.

But, I do find myself being annoyed now and then at the pervasive idea that we must protect our children from everything, whether it's scraped knees on the playground (playgrounds which became boring ever since the slippery metal slides got banished when the lawyers came out to play) or losing a game of soccer (no keeping score anymore - we must spare the feelings of our little ones!) It's like parents want to send their kids into the world swathed in bubble wrap. We must prevent all accidents!

So I read this article with interest. The gist is that car seats should only be used in the car as injuries are more common when the car seat is set on a counter or other elevated surface.

What struck me was not the article itself (of course babies will be safer if they are strapped in and sitting on the floor instead of the counter - we didn't need a study to tell us that), but one of the comments on the article which said:

"I see parents with car seats sitting on the front of shopping carts every time I am shopping. A warning against this practice is posted on car seats as well as on the front window/door of many stores. I know new parents are tired, but I wish more would use some common sense."

Several other commenters agreed with this person and it made me curious - how many people would not put their child's car seat in a grocery cart (more to the point, how many people are judging me as I walk around the store this way?) I have always done it without worrying too much. Is it ideal? Probably not. But the seat clicks in and is stable enough that it is not going to fall off without some pretty serious assistance (I do check to make sure it is secure before I move the cart).

Honestly, how else am I supposed to get my grocery shopping done, especially with twins? I can't carry both babies, and I'm not about to pull my stroller along with the cart - that is just impractical and annoying. And there is no way I'm going to hire a babysitter so I can run to Wegmans by myself.

So, I'm curious: am I the only one who thinks the car seat on the grocery cart isn't a big deal? I have posted a poll for your input. Take a second to tell me what you think.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Random Thoughts

Yes, it is after midnight, but I'm blogging because I just got back from seeing "Eclipse" and had to write about how good it was!!!!! I heart Edward! Sparkles + Bella 4 Ever!

Okay, not really. (That was just a test to see how well you know me. If you believed it, you should try reading my blog more often.)

However, David and I actually did watch "New Moon" tonight. Well, he watched it. I started it solely because I wanted to blog about it, but gave up after an hour of painful dialogue (and even more painful acting) and fell asleep.

After my nice little snooze I am wide awake, so I guess that means it's time for some late-night random thoughts:

Why is it that there are no children's clothing stores with aisles big enough for a stroller to pass through?

Baby shoes are a giant nuisance. They are cute, but trying to put them on is like stuffing wiggly sausages into barbie shoes.

I have used a magic eraser to get lipstick out of carpet and burnt-on grease off the stove top. I'm convinced these little beauties will save the world.

Why do they make newborn baby clothes with collars? Newborns don't have necks and collars just get up in their faces and drive them crazy.

I think SAG Harbor is pretty much the worst name ever for a clothing line. What woman wants to buy an outfit that makes her think of waist-length boobs?

In the words of my sister: "All Cyndi Lauper songs are better sung by someone else."

If you have a dozen pacifiers sitting on the counter they will all disappear by the time you need one.

They should make bags of Starbursts that contain only strawberry-flavored ones.

Bananas do not belong in fruit salads, period. They just get slimy and mushy and overpower the flavors of other fruits.

David and I went the entire month of June without eating a single bite of ice cream. Elsewhere in the news, hell has frozen over.

There is a direct correlation between how late a parent stays up and how early the kids wake up, so it's off to bed for me.