Sorry I’ve been MIA. I don’t have the luxury of spending all day connected to some internet device. (I am having serious iPhone withdrawal. Can I get methadone for that?) Anyway, we have arrived safely in New Zealand. The 31 hour trip over here was actually not as bad as I expected. This is in large part because my expectations were rock-bottom low. But I do need to give credit where credit is due. It’s also because I took Xanax. Kidding. I mean, I did take Xanax and that definitely helped, but the kids were actually pretty good.
On our way!
My fear of L getting arrested for plastic explosives (really silly putty) did not materialize. Neither did my fear of L getting arrested for pretending to have various weapons on board. I guess I can say that all my fears of my preschooler getting arrested were unfounded and we got through many security checks and flights without international incident or any sort of restraints.
Sleeping on the planes was problematic. S did not nap at all during the nearly 7 hour flight across the US. This lead to her being particularly grumpy during our 5 hour layover. Thank God for airport moving sidewalks! Those provided some much-needed entertainment and exercise. On a related note, I’d like to take this time to officially apologize to all travelers in the international terminal of SFO between the hours of 2PM-7PM. I may have given them balloon swords, hats, and dogs to do as they pleased with. And I may have let them run wild. Just a bit.
Confession: the kids were not the only difficult people to deal with during this time. I may have snapped at T saying, “The only words I want to hear from you are ‘How can I help?’ or ‘I’m sorry!'” At this point I decided to take another Xanax.
By the time we boarded the second, (14 hour!) flight it was about 10PM EST. My kids were freaking wrecks. Movies and dinner provided some distraction for a while but then it was time to sleep. We changed them into PJs and I can promise you that my little L walking down the aisle in his Superman pajamas was cute enough to wipe just about any slate clean.
Sleep was hard to come by though. It was hot, uncomfortable and they were just beyond tired. Eventually we got S stretched out on the floor at our feet and L stretched out across the seats with his head in T’s lap and his feet in mine. T and I were super comfortable sitting upright in our seats. (Not.) It was now about 2AM EST. The kids slept in 5-10 minute bursts and needed constant back rubbing and soothing. This went on for 4-5 hours and then we just gave up on sleep altogether. This means that they were awake for waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. My children normally get 10-12 hours of sleep plus a nap. This was not good.
Amazingly, we didn’t get arrested for grumpiness going through customs. However, we took so long walking from the international terminal to the domestic one in Auckland that we very nearly missed our flight despite our 2 hour cushion. This turned out to be a blessing because waiting would have been a disaster. After a mad sprint to the gate, we were given 3 seats together and 1 seat several rows back in an exit row. Needless to say, I grabbed that 1 ticket and ran for it. Was I sweating and smelly and squeezed between two large men? Yes. Was it better than sitting with my kids? Oh yeah!
When we finally arrived I expected the kids to crash. I wanted to crash anyway. But the kids were full of energy and it was only 8AM local time. Even with the 18 hour time difference, long trip, and no sleep, my kids were ready for a full day. So we took them to the beach.
The fresh air was good for all of us. The kids were ready for bed by noon and we forced them to stay up until about 5:30. We’re now on day 6 and we’re all adjusted to the time difference and have a sort of routine going.
How am I coping with it all? Let’s just say that I won’t have any left over Xanax.