7.20-21.2010: we woke early – earlier than the alarm – and thus began the realization of our great transition. at 4 am we gathered sterling out of his bed and made our way to the airport. our check in was relatively smooth…
we boarded our 6 am flight and began to mentally prepare ourselves for the long leg ahead. unfortunately, that is also when some of our greatest difficulties began. for starters, sterling wanted nothing, nothing to do with mommy. and his exhaustion was taking a heavy toll on all of us. thinking this was nothing more than a mild inconvenience (after all you can’t take a 22 month’s irrational behavior too personally!) we consoled ourselves with the great relief that would occur on the trans-continental flight in the form of sleep – even if it came in the confines of a hard, upright seat.
but apparently such thoughts can be mere delusions. note to self: a toddler’s past stellar history with traveling can be broken at the most inopportune moments.
looking forward to a bit of relief (ie. wiggle room & walking space) during our first layover proved to be impossible for as soon as we landed we walked one gate over and thanks to pre-boarding with a toddler walked straight onto our waiting east bound flight. still, sterling didn’t want anything to do with his mommy.
as was suggested by a traveling with children tip sheet, we had reserved the seats just over the wings for optimal white noise and sleeping possibilities. but again, sleep alluded us.
because from 4 am to 1 am houston time sterling literally sleep 2 hours… oh, and 15 minutes… during the landing.
it seemed that nothing worked, either to calm him or to get him to sleep. we had packed stickers, books, toys, ipod (complete with white noise sounds just for his pleasure, music & the first movie he was to ever watch – toy story) but he was not interested. he was miserable. delusional. and so were we.
needless to say, we were totally wiped. exhausted beyond our natural ability to function…
we landed on the east side and still sterling was not enthralled with his mommy. by this point – everything our 22 month old toddler did felt very personal!
with just under 2 hours between our flights jarod was gathering all of our luggage (it was so good to see that it had made it) while sterling continued to refuse his mommy. it was then, during that moment when all eyes were on me… and my screaming, flailing child that i was overwhelmed, really for the first time, with feelings of complete inadequacy, failure, and disapproval (after all, i could almost feel the questions of the locals penetrate me). it was also at this moment that i felt a warm gush come over me. apparently, during his tirade sterling had filled his diaper to overflowing… and it overflowed all over me. but seriously, being peed on was the last of my concerns. i wanted to console my baby boy. i wanted him to accept me again. i wanted… and as all these things (things that i wanted) rushed into my mind i was overwhelmed.
since being good stewards of our time (particularly when traveling) is one of jarod’s greatest requests, we promptly rechecked our baggage and went through security. thankfully we passed with flying colors… but what we didn’t know would come back to hurt us.
though we were at a fairly new and very nice airport (by all previous experiences) we were alarmed to find ourselves in what felt more like a holding cell than an airport. it was a waiting room for various flights and seats were hard to come by. even so, our greatest shock of our trip was yet to come. apparently, it’s common custom here to book flights and then work out the plane schedule. in short, our plane actually arrived after we were supposed to have already landed at our final destination. again, this stretch of waiting and being confined was too much for sterling and his attitude toward both of us made it abundantly clear that he was very unhappy with this arrangement. but there was nothing that could be done about it… except wait.
eventually we boarded our final flight and sterling passed out… for another hour and a half.
when we landed we felt wore out and beat up. fortunately all of our luggage (6 check & 6 carry-ons) made it and our ride was waiting.
our 40 minute ride from the airport to our new apartment felt like small potatoes compared to the fiasco(s) we had just experienced… and finally sterling settled down and seemed content to once again have mommy in his life.
as you might expect, feelings of sadness accompanied us and i for one shed way too many tears as the sense of loss (coupled by exhaustion) threatened to overtake me.
but joy comes in the morning…
and so it was at midnight, after we had moved all of our luggage into our sparsely clad apartment and we were taking quick showers and getting ready for bed that sterling was running around the house, excited.
soon thereafter we were all in bed and getting some much needed asleep.