In a short time we will be flying to Florida. I’m excited to spend a week in the warm and sunny confines of Orlando, but I am terrified of our flight down. It’s not that I’m afraid of a plane crash or hijackers or anything like that. It’s my own children, those two little angels that can become demons without warning. Actually, that’s not all. For whatever reason airplanes always make me anxious. Again, I’m not afraid I’m going to die on the flight, but it does mess with my body and I’m afraid I’m going to be sick. So I always pop a Dramamine or two and by the time the plane levels off at its cruising altitude I’m good to go.

Now, back to my kids. They have flown before so I have an idea of what to expect. Charlotte, at 20 months old, is surprisingly still nursing, which should help. Ashley certainly wouldn’t mind stopping, but Charlotte doesn’t want to give it up yet and we know it will be a big help on the flight. Having her nurse during the takeoff and landing helps with the change in pressure (like how adults often chew gum at those times). Charlotte will likely nap for a portion of the flight, too. The interesting time will be when Charlotte is neither eating nor sleeping. She is typically a pretty happy little girl, but she can certainly be demanding at times.

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Noah is the greater concern. He is almost three and a half now, but he is stuck in the terrible toddler stage. He is a great little boy and (like I wrote before) my best friend, but he sure has his moments at this age. He has a lot of tantrums these days and is not a very good listener when we tell him he has to do pretty much anything. As bad as his behavior can be on occasion, he really is a good boy most of the time. I suppose it’s typical for his age, but it sure is tough sometimes.

As I said, our kids have flown before. Ashley and I love to travel, and while we have toned it down since we’ve had kids, we refuse to stop vacationing altogether. We are certainly more selective now, and base our travels on our kids. For example, we now limit ourselves to short drives and short plane rides.

The last time we flew was the worst experience yet. Noah and Charlotte both napped for a half hour or so, but then Charlotte woke up. She was loud and cranky, which woke Noah up, too. Both of them were still very tired, so they were both very upset since they woke up early. Charlotte nursed and calmed down. Noah on the other hand had an explosive tantrum. I had to carry him and walk up and down the aisle with him. He also peed himself, so I changed him and his clothes. However, the only way he let me do that was while he stood on top of the toilet in the tiny bathroom. He cried on and off for around an hour and screamed periodically, too. Thankfully, Ashley finally calmed him down. We agreed to limit our travels to direct flights after that debacle.

On a previous flight Noah refused to let us buckle his seatbelt. He ended up screaming and taking his shirt off. The flight attendant hovered over us while we had to forcibly buckle him in.  Another time both kids screamed as we flew through some rough turbulence (I don’t blame them for that one).

I swear we do our absolute best to keep our kids calm, happy, and entertained in the air, but it’s not easy. Our carry-on bag included books, drinks, a sandwich, snacks, toys, and even a tablet for kids. This time we’ll surely add crayons with a notepad for Charlotte, more snacks and chocolate, stickers, more toys, their blankets, Charlotte’s baby, more books, and Ashley’s computer. The tablet doesn’t work anymore, our portable DVD player won’t hold a charge, so we’ll just suck it up and pay for the plane’s Wi-Fi and let the kids watch YouTube videos. That is probably our best shot at surviving our two flights.

We just got some good news for our flight. Ashley’s parents were planning on driving to Florida and meeting us in Orlando, then spending some more time in other parts of the state before driving home to New York. They just changed their mind and decided to jump on our flight. Some people may cringe at the idea of flying with their in-laws. Not me. We get along great and they will be a godsend with the kids. It may not “take a village” to raise our kids, but a couple of extra adult family members will surely help a lot.

Once we’re in Florida we’re going to be staying in a couple of condos for a week. I guess there’s a really cool pool area and little water park with a lazy river there. So, I’m pretty excited for that. We’ve booked two days at Disney World (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom). We know the kids are a little young for Disney, but it will still be fun. We’ll be careful to listen to our children and not overdue it. We’re planning on going to the park early in the morning, coming back to the condo for lunch and relaxation, and then returning to the park after naps hopefully take place. I haven’t been to Disney since I was nine years old so I’m looking forward to it. Animal Kingdom didn’t even exist then.

Let me know if you have any tips for an easier, more enjoyable flight in addition to any recommendations at Disney. Thanks. I’m sure I’ll let you know how it goes.

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