Mother-daughter bonding at the airport is simple. All it takes is a night of less than four hours of sleep, the decision not to bring a stroller, and spilling a smoothie all over the main concourse food court around 8M, when all the business travelers are in a hurry.
Thankfully, compassionate and helpful people do indeed exist in the world. It also helps that my daughter thinks the airport is literally as amazing as Disneyland. I fear I have given my child a bit of a travelers soul, for every time we step foot on an airplane she puts her tiny fists into the air and shouts, “I am so excited!”. Think Agnes from Despicable Me 2 when she sees Gru squeezed into a fairy suit. That excited.
So she is a great traveler. She does the airplane like a pro. Snack cup- check. iPad loaded and ready. Check. Good manners on the plane? Check. She giggles and enjoys the ride.
It’s the pre-game part of traveling that threw me off this time.
Take the moment we arrived and I checked her luggage. Little did I know she could have actually rode around on her luggage the whole time. It is called a Trunki- a gift from grandparents, and it is basically a ride on toy. Well, like the unaware silly I am, I checked the darn thing. Strollerless, I spent the next hour hearing my daughter whine, “I want youuuuuuu!!!!”, and hurling herself on the floor than lying limp like a dead fish.
Next interesting moment came when we were on line for security. She gripped her Rapunzel doll with all her might, then was forced by the mean security man to put Rapunzel through the machine. She face-planted right there, in front of the detector, in the middle of a busy security line, and screamed because she thought they were “hurting Punz”.
We recovered once Rapunzel made it safe through screening. We made our way to get a smoothie to ward off the bad energy from our 6am decision of donuts. Yea, I know, more sugar- but there aren’t tons of options at the airport. Five minutes after waiting in line for fifteen minutes I set Lillian down for a moment to gather my mounds of bags. That’s all it took for her to trip and spill the smoothie all over the floor. Of course there was no security around, so we then made a trek to the other side of the concourse to notify someone of the spill.
Then I decided I needed coffee or I might keel over. So I went to find a shop. I walked all the way to the opposite side of the airport of our gate to get my mocha. Satisfied, we walked back to the gate to sit for a few minutes before boarding. I reasoned I would have ten minutes to corral Lillian before family boarding began. As I walked up to our gate, and just passed a coffee shop right next to it (I was so mad at myself for not knowing it was there and wasting 20 minutes), I panicked as I saw our flight was boarding and I heard last call for family boarding. I picked up Lillian and ran like a crazy woman with my daughter hanging off my hip, a Disney Princess backpack exploding with lights as I took each step ( her backpack lights up when tapped), and a new coffee spilling on my hand. I just made it on, gasping for air, wondering why the heck I make everything so complicated.
The rest of the ride? Magical. We laughed and watched videos and colored. It was awesome.
But what is motherhood without the chaos of spilling things and looking like a crazed woman here and there?
We made it with minimal damage and a lot of fun.