Sunday, December 23, 2012

To Indy for Christmas!

This latest blog burst was made possible by the fact that we're at Grandma and Grandpa's in Indianapolis now for Christmas.  :)  It's wonderful being taken care of, and having so many willing and eager babysitters...

We decided to try flying out to Indy this time around, after having driven out here when escaping from Hurricane Sandy.  Driving for 14.5 hours each way, stopping at iffy turnpike rest areas to feed the kids, and losing two whole days of proper napping and sleeping didn't seem worth it, especially when compared to a two-hour flight with just an hour or two of transit time on each end.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?

We booked flights based on the kids' nap schedules, in the hopes that both of them would manage to fall asleep for much if not all of the flight.  And things seemed to be going exactly as we had hoped -- we made it through airport security fairly easily (or as easily as you can with a toddler in a stroller, a baby in a Beco carrier, and three small carry-on bags), and boarded the plane.  Sophia fell asleep on me almost right away, and Joshua happily bounced in his very own seat next to me (his first time on a plane not as a lap infant!), and listened to me wide-eyed as I explained that we would be zooming up into the sky shortly.

We taxied, and taxied, and taxied.  Every time the engines started revving up a bit, I would remind Joshua that we would be zooming up into the sky soon -- he does much better with new experiences if we prepare him properly for them.  So I got super excited and told him how fun it would be to fly up in the sky.  But each time, the plane swung around for another loop and continued taxiing on the ground.

Eventually, Joshua got tired and fell asleep on me.  And that's when the captain came on over the PA and told us that there was some "maintenance issue" that needed to be checked out, and that we would have to go back to the gate for the crew to take a look.  The kids slept peacefully on while we waited for the crew to do a "quick fix," and then we set off to the runway once more.

And we taxied, and taxied, and taxied some more.  Finally, the captain came on and said that the "quick fix" wasn't holding, and we would have to go back to the gate and deplane.

Joshua woke up then, and I think he was disoriented and uncomfortable, so he started wailing.  And then Sophia woke up.  (The sad thing is that if we had taken off on schedule, the kids would have been asleep for almost the entire flight -- so our planning would have worked out...)  It was almost time for Sophia to nurse again, so I switched seats with David (he was across the aisle with no one next to him), so he could try to calm Joshua down while I tried to feed Sophia.  But Sophia wasn't having it -- she hates being under the nursing cover, and I think she was feeling a little residual stress from me.  And then Joshua, still wailing, decided he wanted to be next to me again, so he ducked across the aisle.  With both kids screaming in my ears, I asked David to take Sophia to give one of my ears a break -- and Sophia immediately quieted in his arms.  When we deplaned at the terminal several minutes later, many of our fellow passengers congratulated David for his good work as a father.  :)  And Joshua was placated with videos on my phone, and then by a gift of apple juice from one of the stewards.

Back at the terminal, I fed Sophia in a family restroom and David grabbed us a quick bite to eat, including another bottle of juice for Joshua.

And then after about an hour of waiting, we finally reboarded the plane -- after many assurances that the maintenance issue was resolved and that that system had plenty of redundancies.  The kids both did beautifully on the plane the second time around -- Sophia was tired enough to sleep the whole way, and Joshua was plied with many snacks and games on my phone.  And we finally landed safely in Indianapolis, a mere four hours behind schedule...

All told, it was still probably better than driving with the kids.  And that kind of delay is unusual in our experience.  But we're hoping and praying that our return flight will be much, much less eventful!