One early morning I rolled out of bed, packed up the car and drove off to Heathrow bound for NYC. The day had finally come that we would all be reunited again! Rather than making an epic (and potentially disastrous) flight from Texas to London with a 2 year old, we planned to meet up in NYC, visit with C’s family then take the “short” flight from there. We flew into different airports so I grabbed the rental car and drove to pick up the rest of my family. It was not fun because of construction at the airport but we finally were all together again. We loaded up in the car and headed to see C’s aunt & uncle.
We received a warm welcome and settled in for catching up conversations. That night we had a great dinner at one of their favorite haunts but Hannah was pretty antsy the entire time. We traded off child duties throughout to allow each other to eat. The next day we enjoyed a lazy morning, late breakfast/brunch then decided it was time to head off to the Airbnb we’d rented near the airport. It had started snowing so driving was less than fun…in fact, at times it was downright scary. But we finally made it and tucked in for the night.
The following morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. Thankfully the neighbor to our Airbnb cleaned off the stoop and walkway so we were able to make it to the car. We left for the airport with excitement and apprehension. We had purposely planned for a daytime flight vs a redeye knowing that there was little chance of Hannah sleeping on the plane. If she missed a nap it’d be difficult but not as bad as missing an entire night of sleep. Well, it worked…kind of. We chose three seats of 4 seats in the middle section leaving one open amongst us, hoping no one would chose a middle middle seat. No such luck. Several hours and lots of snacks, videos, games, books, walks later we were nearing a meltdown of epic proportions. We tried our best to head it off, but nevertheless, the toddler took over. Hannah started fussing, then whining, then crying. She finally fell asleep between the two of us as we frantically tried to make her comfortable/ensure that she stayed asleep. Despite our best efforts she slept about 30 minutes then woke up cranky as can be. We were able to distract her with more snacks and the iPad (thank goodness for handheld technology!). She was calm for a bit then it was time to land…aka buckle the seat belt, put everything away….cue another meltdown. This time she was so upset the flight attendant took notice and suggested we offer her something to eat or drink to “help her ears.” Thanks bud, but that’s not the issue here…we are doing everything we can to calm down an overtired, overstimulated, cranky 2 year old…not our first rodeo (insert eye roll). To his defense he did bring her some “premium” snacks to munch on to help calm her. It worked, kinda sorta, and we were finally on the ground.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if our plan to fly during the day was the best option. It was not pretty, but we made it and only got a few side eye glances from surrounding passengers. After a couple long days of travel we were all together in England to truly start our new adventure.