I now know that my child was a robot.
Next week, the kids and I are headed to Tennessee for a visit and to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. I fluctuate between being really excited about the visit and really dreading the travel. While not a pro, I've done my fair share of travel alone with kids. That's what happens when you have the only grandkids and you live far away.
Last year about this time, the kids and I traveled from Seattle, WA to Chattanooga, TN. It was the first trip I had made by myself with two kids. It was not fun. At all.
Have you ever seen those toddler harnesses? I had seen them from time to time and had thought them akin to child abuse. I thought that if those parents just trained their kids to obey, they would have no need of them. I also thought that if a child had a tantrum, especially in public, it was because the parents had fallen down in their parenting responsibilities.
Did I mention I was slightly dillusional?
I started to reevaluate my stance on the harnesses in light of my upcoming trip. Ella is normally obedient, but airports can be very crowded and loud, and I had visions of her not being able to hear or see me and becoming frightened. So I took Ella to Target with me and she picked out a monkey harness. The "leash" was the monkey's tail. She loved it. She wanted to wear it from the time she woke up until she went to bed. She thought it was hilarious to give me the tail and then run until it was stretched taut and she couldn't go any further.
She liked it, so I thought we were golden. No problem, right?
You see where this is going yet?
The day of the flight, Handsome Hero walked us up to security and then waved good-bye. When we got to the scanners, Ella, who had never before had a problem with security, LOST IT. She suddenly started shrieking, hollering at the top of her lungs that she wanted her daddy. Now, keep in mind that I have a car seat, a stroller, a diaper bag, all of our shoes, my purse, Ella's backpack, all the important documents, the blankies, the doll, and all other paraphinalia that you have at times like these coming through the X-ray machine. Not to mention that I was holding a small infant. I was not at a place where I could just comfort her. Did I mention that due to traffic, we were late and had not had breakfast?
I got everything put in a relative semblance of order, put Jack into the stroller, hooked Ella into her harness, and started marching us down the concourse. Having had her previous protestations ignored, Ella started to scream that she did not like her harness and that it was hurting her. I started getting evil glares from all people I passed. I was between wanting to cry myself and wanting to inject my daughter with a strong tranquilizer. Don't judge. You weren't there.
As soon as we reached the gate and settled in, she was fine. She calmed right now. She was really wonderful for the rest of the trip. Why was she a crazy maniac for the first part? I don't know, but it was for reasons I can't control.
So what am I saying? Well, I am saying that I will prepare as best I can for this trip. I will try to prepare Ella so she knows better how to handle herself.
I will go to the Dollar store and buy several small toys the kids haven't seen before to entertain them.
I will bring Benadryl for a little boy who is not yet walking, but is very wiggly and can't get out of his seat for a few hours. Again, don't judge unless you want to come and hold him yourself. Which you are welcome to do. I could use the help.
Then I will
Nothing in life is really in our control, and the sooner we relinquish our tenuous hold and rely on the One who truly is in control, the happier we will be.