The trip from Seattle to Honolulu started off pretty good. We left my sister's house at 4:30 in the morning. The kids (including my 1.5 year old nephew) handled the rude awakening surprisingly well!
Cousins - way too early in the morning!
When we got to the airport Hawaiian Airlines did not have curbside check-in. Here we go again. One large suitcase, three smaller ones, one stroller, three backpacks, one diaper bag, two kids, no curbside and no help?!? Somehow I managed! (See photo at the bottom of this post!)
We checked in and went to our gate. All was well for awhile then it all went spiraling out of control.
Now I gotta tell you. I feel as if I am a seasoned traveler. I have flown from Hawaii to the east coast and back several times by myself with a baby/toddler. On this trip I felt as if I did everything I possibly could to prepare for this trip and the unexpected. Boy was I EVER put to the test!
We were scheduled to board our plane at 7:20 a.m. It was about 7:00 and there was no sign of boarding. Come to find out our plane was delayed by an hour. The problem is my kids were ready to board at the scheduled time and NOT an hour from it!
You know that one kid (as there is always at least one) out in public that is doing the back-arching, ear-shattering, throat-curdling scream? Tomato red face, snot pouring out of their nose, eyeballs just about to pop out of their head? You've seen that kid, right? As a mother whenver I see THAT kid I think, "Thank goodness it's not my turn. That poor mother." Well guess what. It was my turn. Momo was THAT kid and I was THAT mother.
All eyes were on me and screaming Momo. There was NOTHING I could do to calm her down. Thoughts went through my head of the mother that was kicked off of airplane two years ago because her toddler would not stop talking. That kid was TALKING, Momo was hollering! On top of the screaming she began hitting and kicking me - WHAT?!? My kid is not a hitter or a kicker! Even the Hawaiian Airlines attendant asked if I wanted her to watch my bags while I took Momo to the restroom to change her diaper (a random guess - nice try lady). I tried to stay calm and responded with a "thank you but what we really need to do is get on the plane" (Hint-Hint? Yes, please completely make an exception, break all the rules and allow me and my screaming child onto the unattended plane. Please. I'm begging you.)
FINALLY it was time to board and Momo did calm down a bit. At least getting on the plane took the edge off of her tantrum. But I could still see the apprehensive stares as people boarded the plane, glanced at me and my kids and then glanced down at their ticket to make sure they were not sitting anywhere near us. I felt horrible.
But through all the stares and dirty looks there was an angel in the crowd. A woman that I had seen in the terminal stopped at my row, tapped my shoulder and said, "You have beautiful girls."
Not that I disagree but we all know what she was really telling me was, "It's going to be okay." That small gesture that she made meant a lot to me. And while I don't know her name I will never forget her face. I hope to run into her again sometime to tell how much it meant to me for her to stop for just a second and reach out to me in my time of need.
The rest of the flight wasn't easy but it did get better. A couple of people shot comments my way as they were getting off the plane such as, "Looks like the nap helped!" "She seems happy now!" and of course the, "How old is she? Oh. Same age as my niece. I think I'll wait before I fly her out." (I should've asked, "But why?")
We finally were off the plane and headed to baggage claim. I'm sure you can imagine how happy/relieved I was to see my husband waiting for us! It's been 8.5 months since we last saw him. He had leis for all of us (yes, we already got leid!) and was ready to take on the role of daddy and husband. Thank you honey.
A very tired Momo.
Okay, so my husband actually loaded up all the suitcases when we arrived in Hawaii but this picture gives you an idea of what I was dealing with on my own in Seattle.
So we are finally here. My heart and my soul are happy. Now if only Momo can get over the dreaded jet lag!
More to come as I have a lot of catching up to do!