Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daddy and the Boys go to Minnesota

Daddy here...been a while since I've blogged but I thought it would be fun to share the experiences of our most recent trip to Minnesota.

It all started when Mommy went on bed rest. We had our airplane tickets long before then and, although Grandma Berres came down to help out, Beth's ticket was nontransferable. Long story short, Daddy had to travel alone on the airplanes with the boys from Charlottesville to Minnesota and back, connecting through Detroit both ways. Grandma traveled "with" us, but on a different airline and connecting through a different city. It was just Dad and the boys!

At 3:00 AM, after the car was packed for the airport, I got both boys from their cribs and loaded them in the car. With no crying and a few mumbled words, the boys sat at attention with big eyes in their car seats wondering what was happening. Although I had expected them to fall back asleep after driving a while, they didn't. They stayed awake all the way to Charlottesville.

Upon arriving at the airport, Grandma had to hurry through security to make it to her plane. I had to wait because Delta check-in was closed. Soon thereafter, it opened and I checked our bag and headed to security. When we made it to the metal detector, I took both boys out of their stroller and sat them on the floor. I sent their stroller through the x-ray machine, threw both boys over my shoulder, and through the metal detector we alarm...we made it. The TSA guy was nice enough to set up the stroller and we were on our way to the gate.

Our plane from Charlottesville to Detroit was a small "two and two seat" jet and the ride was about an hour and half. At 6:00 AM we took off. I fed the boys breakfast on the plane which took a while then introduced them to their new toy...a portable DVD player. In the pic below, the boys are watching Wheels on the Bus with their headphones. The headphones didn't work too well, so I just took them off and turned the volume up loud enough for them to hear it.

Soon we landed in Detroit. So far so good...then things got interesting.

When you travel with kids on airplanes you learn it's best to be the first on and the last off the plane, but that doesn't come without a have to wait for the plane to take off and you have to wait for everyone to get off before you can do anything.

So we landed in Detroit and we're waiting for everyone to get off. The boys were still in their pajamas and I had Ethan on my lap. Suddenly I felt the ever-so-familiar feeling of warm pee running down my leg. Well, that's pretty much par for the course when you raise kids, but hold the thought. Once everyone was off the plane, I gathered up my backpacks and both boys and off the plane we went. I stopped with the boys where we were supposed to pick up our stroller which we gate checked. We waited patiently, but still...nothing.

I started wondering what was up and looked out the window only to see our stroller sitting on conveyor belt next to the belly of our plane. I calmly informed a nearby Delta rep that our stroller was outside, pointed it out to her, and asked her to get it for us. She went outside, talked to one of the baggage guys for a while, then came back with no stroller. Bear in mind that I have two toddlers at my feet getting pretty impatient.

Then things got ugly. The rep told me she couldn't fetch the stroller because there was no pink gate check tag on it. But I had witnessed the baggage guy in Charlottesville attach one, so I was confused. The rep told me the tag must have fallen off and it was their policy that nothing be given to passengers without gate checked tags. I'm a levelheaded guy, but when it comes to employees not being empowered to use a tad bit of common sense to solve problems...let's just bothers me. :) The captain of the plane and several other employees were nearby so I...ah hem...encouraged them to do something about it.

In the mean time a nice couple, with maybe a 6 and 7 year-old kids, offered to help me out. I didn't turn the offer down and the husband asked if he could hold one of the boys. I obliged again and handed him Ethan.

By then 8 or 9 Delta employees were gathered around the gate desk making phone calls to supervisors and managers trying to solve our "problem." FINALLY, a rep hangs up the phone and retrieves the stroller. I hooked up Grayson and took Ethan from the nice husband who had offered to help. Now...recall that Ethan was the one with the leaky diaper. When he handed Ethan to me, the guy's shirt was SOAKED with pee! I apologized profusely, but he didn't sweat it, stating that he'd "been there" and wished us well on the rest of our journey.

By then I had to use the bathroom myself, so that was our next destination. I stepped up to a urinal with the stroller directly behind me. Thankful that I finally had a few seconds to myself and relieved that the stroller dilemma was over, I heard a soft splashing noise behind me. When I turned around (in mid-stream mind you), I saw Grayson with his hand in the urinal next to me. With Dad preoccupied and trying to finish up as fast as possible, Grayson decided it would be fun to clap his wet hands and spray himself and his brother with the "water" on his hands. I broke out the hand sanitizer and cleaned up everyones' hands.

So the boys were still in their pajamas and needed diaper changes and new outfits for the day. I found a family bathroom and started working on Ethan. One backpack was on the counter and one was down next to the stroller. Grayson started messing with the backpack on the floor so I quickly threw it up into the sink. Not realizing it, the sink had a motion sensor and I looked over and the backpack was getting doused with water...good times!

Ahhh...the boys were changed, dry, and had a new change of clothes for the day. Off to the gate to catch the plane to the Minneapolis. On our way to the gate, we got to go through a cool tunnel with awesome lights, colors, and sounds. The pic below is the the three of us in the tunnel.

As I said earlier it's always best to board first with kids and that's what we did next. When we got to our row which was row 20 of our maybe 55 rows, I moved Grayson into the row but Ethan turned, looked at me, screamed, and turned back and proceeded to run all the way to the back of the plane. People were getting on behind us, so I threw Grayson into a seat, strapped him down with a seat belt so he couldn't move and ran to the back of the plane to get Ethan. When I got to him he was all smiles. It was pretty funny that Dad had to chase him.

This plane had "three and three seats." After getting Ethan back to our row, I sat in the aisle seat which kept the boys contained between me and the window. Well, the boys thought it was play time. They were on the floor, on the seat, up and down, and laughing and smiling at people as they boarded the plane. The pics below are the boys as the plane was being boarded.

Once airborne, the boys settled down. Getting up at 3:00 AM finally caught up with them. Ethan was the first to go. He laid down on my left with his head on my thigh. Then Grayson laid down. Shortly after the boys were asleep. The picture below shows the boys getting a well deserved nap. I thought this was a pretty cool moment!

We got off the plane in Minneapolis and Daddy and the boys were glad to see Grandma waiting at the gate and Grandpa waiting in baggage claim!

Once we got there the trip was great! Lots of family to help out. The boys loved it. The trip home was actually pretty uneventful. I learned many lessons on the way up I was destined not to make again. The pic below shows the boys back in Charlottlesville - notice the pink gate check tag hanging on the stroller ;)


  1. This was hilarious! I literally laughed out loud; thanks for cracking me up. :)

    I thought Jeff and I had it rough when we lived in Israel and had to take such LONG trips with a child/children. But at least, he and I were always together. Doing it by yourself? Wow, Chris, that's amazing.

    The picture of both boys sleeping is precious. What a moment.

  2. I think Chris deserves some sort of award. I would have been so stressed by the end of the first plane trip, I don't know what I would have done...cried and laughed, I guess. Way to go, Chris!!

  3. Chris, I love that you went on your own! What a fun adventure you will ALWAYS remember! I laughed when Betty told me about your trip there. Good times. Parenting is the best. It sure keeps you humble anyway! You are a super dad!


Share a little love would ya? I'd love to hear what you have to say!


Related Posts with Thumbnails