Thursday, December 07, 2006

Way Overblowing the Difficulty of this Travel Thing

Warning: Nonsensical worrying ahead, so if you're impatient today, skip down to the second photo for a shorter tidbit.

A couple of days ago, I asked you, dear readers, for help in determining the best way for managing a carseat for airplane travel. I appreciate all the thoughtful responses and ideas, and I've also been gently reminded that uh, it's pretty manageable.

When I was one, my mother sat me on her lap for a 12 hour flight, followed by another connecting flight. Mir has performed the parent-travel equivalent of Mt. Everest with a baby, toddler, carseat, and baggage, managing quite well, even though the Sherpas were on break that day. So for us, two adults and one child – get a grip, it's not that hard.

An industrial engineer by training and nature, I try to streamline our lives. The best way to a smooth path is by design – you figure out where the complications are ahead of time, and you pick a route that avoids getting mired in trouble in the first place. Co-locate your wedding and reception so that guests don't get lost or late in between. Hire vendors that are based close to the operational venue, so that they can call reinforcements when needed. Bring less baggage so that you're not overburdened. Don't travel during the peak rushes.

However, living with children and traveling with children (or child, as the case may be) is by definition complicated and not streamlined.

We've chosen to go to a snowy town during the height of cold and flu season. We could be labeled irresponsible parents, but what can ya say? The holidays are during winter, and holidays are for family. So we're choosing the risks, and I'll carry them mentally as we roll along with the GoGo Kidz carrier kindly loaned to us by Andrew's Mommy.

Besides, my nightmares have shifted. I used to worry about Q being unhappy and noisy during travel. He was so well behaved on our drive back from Thanksgiving, that I gained some hope that the flight may actually be fine. So next, I griped that he'd get horribly sick from the recycled airplane germs. After thinking this through and remembering that he caught his last cold from apparently nowhere, I was ready to move on to the current worry. (Thankfully, Kati Kim and her two little daughters were rescued, but sad, sad day for their family when they found that James did not survive.)

Now I'm certain that even though we will only be traveling on major interstate highways taking us from the airport to the suburban developments, we will be stranded in snowbanks and should be covered from head to toe in polar fleece, hauling a tub of those military grade nutrition capsules that SwingDaddy declared were overkill for our home emergency supply.

Hey, some people watch soap operas. I create that much drama just in my own head.


We went across the street tonight to admire the additions to our neighbor's Christmas light display. I'll let you imagine the glory.

We've finally gotten back to watching our Netflix movies (I checked my queue today, and I've had mine since October 19, so it's time to get a move on), and we thoroughly enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle last night. Miyazaki is really a genius, and I loved how the story twisted so imaginatively. We've always loved My Neighbor Totoro, and now I want to see all his other movies. There was a special feature (specials, whee!) of his introduction to the film at an early private showing of the English language edition to Pixar employees.

He said something like this: "My movies often deal with magic. For this story, the rules of the magic came from my heart. So I apologize if this confuses you."

I love that. A lot of what I do all day is supposed to be logical and planned. Sometimes, you have to pay attention to your heart instead. It doesn't always make sense. But that's ok.


Anonymous said...

Here's hoping you won't need those nutritional capsules during your trip!

Jenny said...

"The rule of the magic comes from my heart"

Hell, yes.

Mir said...

I did NOT tell you to get a grip. You have a grip. I merely suggested that with two people to share the sherpa duties, you'd probably be okay. :) That's great that you were able to get a loan on the stroller thingie!

Kristen said...

I worry about these things, too. Travel with kids is hard, no matter what. That is the bottom line. But you are very prepared, it sounds like, so while it might be difficult, you'll obviously have an easier time than you might otherwise have.

YF said...

The Kim story is sooo sad... I had the same worry! Just seems too crazy that it happened. You are smart and a little crazy for getting those capsules... but who do you think will be knocking on your door when disaster hits?...

Lady M said...

Mir - you are right. But *I* think I need to get a grip!

yf - I haven't actually purchased the tablets. I got the water purifiers, but this episode has got me thinking about the nutrition ones again. I suppose it can't hurt to have them!

Andrew's mommy said...

Wait - those tablets are real?? Where do I get a bottle?! ;)

I have had the exact same worry about the Kim story every since I saw a similar story on the Discovery channel. My mom just told me that when they were living in Alaska before I was born, they stopped in the middle of nowhere to play in the snow with my older brothers and LOST THEIR CAR KEYS IN THE SNOW!!! Miracles do happen because they managed to find them after digging around the snow, but if left there locked out of their car overnight and for Lord knows how much longer, who knows what could have happened.

All these stories really help to add fuel to my already long list of paranoias...

Hope the Gogo Kidz works out ok for you. I think it will be fine because I actually purchased it for flying alone with Andrew so with a second set of hands it should be a piece of cake! (Insert a subtle sarcastic tone here...)

Mamacita Tina said...

I think it's the nature of mothers to worry. At least for me, that is definitely true. I say, be prepared for anything!

Magic, something I don't get enough of. I need to bring that more into my life.

Mom101 said...

Irresponsible parents? Puh-lease. Kids are people, not orchids. They're able to survive snow just fine. You're making memories with them which is more than the "eek, a germ" parents will be able to say looking back. Have a gret trip!

Lady M said...

Andrew's Mommy - wow, what a story! I'm so glad they found those keys. I'll let you know if order those tablets.

Kimberly said...

I have this novel by Dianna Wynn Jones (Canadian!) You want I should send it to you?