Last weekend we took the show on the road, so to speak. My family was holding a little reunion and we decided it was high time these babies traveled farther than the doctor’s office so we loaded up the truck and we
moved to Beverly headed to the airport.
Actually, we loaded up our neighbor’s truck. You see, we were kinda caught off guard with the whole “having two babies at once” thing, so we don’t own a vehicle large enough to hold more cargo than the space shuttle. In fact, during our regularly scheduled strategic planning sessions for this particular trip (yes, my wife grew up in a military family) we thought it would be wise to rent an SUV upon arrival in this far away land. How else would we be able to schlep around our Double Stroller, Pack-n-Play, suitcase for us, suitcase for babies, diaper bag, breast pump, and whatever else we could find around the house that we “might need”?
In fact, I went around for a couple of days thinking I was pretty damn smart for having the foresight to rent the SUV. It was only about a week before we left that it dawned on me that while, yes we were getting an SUV once we arrived in this Far Away Land, we did not own an SUV here. Damn. So now we had to figure out how we would be getting all this
crap much needed baby stuff to the airport. At first we were going to take two cars (and pay for both to be parked in the long term parking) until I mentioned to our neighbor just how idiotic I was and he so kindly offered the services of his truck. Problem solved.
So, the cargo was taken care of. Now we had to prepare for the actual getting on the plane and flying part. Did you know that if you have two babies and you plan to sit them on your laps for the plane ride and the plane has three seats on each side, you cannot sit together because whoever designs airplanes obviously doesn’t have twins? This person who designs airplanes and does not have twins only thought to add one extra oxygen maskto each row. So, if we sat in two seats and some poor unsuspecting fool sat next to us, there would only be four oxygen masks for five people. Now, some could make the argument that if you’re stupid enough to sit in the same aisle as two neurotic parents and their almost-four-month-old babies, you don’t deserve an oxygen mask in the first place. However, the good people at Southwest did not buy that argument so we did the next best thing – we bought three seats.
Once we made it to the airport we checked everything in but the stroller, infant seats the babies were strapped into, the diaper bag, one carry-on bag, and Andrea’s breastpump. We arrived at the security checkpoint and they informed us that we would have to put everything through the x-ray machine. So we spent the next few minutes extracting babies from seats, collapsing the double stroller, removing shoes, and putting everything we had into those depressing little gray plastic bins. Luckily for us half of the TSA agents on duty converged on us to assist. They looked like a mini Nascar pit crew with the way they moved. Once through the checkpoint and everything was reloaded and we checked to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind, we proceeded to our gate. After arriving at our gate and hearing an announcement over the loudspeaker, Andrea rushed back to the screening area to retrieve her sweater that had been left behind. This was not a good sign for things to come.
While Andrea was rushing to retrieve her sweater, I began getting everything ready. People looked on in amusement as I pulled one baby out of the infant seat and placed him/her (who can remember?) into a Snugli strapped to my chest. After a few minutes of struggling a nice woman came to my rescue and began helping me break things down. Soon enough Andrea returned and with the help of the Southwest flight attendant we boarded the plane. We had planned on checking both infant carriers at the gate but we were a bit rushed and I let the flight attendant talk me into taking one of the carriers on the plane since we had three seats. This turned out to be a mistake since this effectively took away our extra space. Somehow we made it through and Swee’Pea only cried briefly as the plane took off. The Binkies once again came to our rescue as the sucking helped relieve the pressure in their ears. Once in flight they both fell asleep in our arms.
After landing we waited until everyone deboarded the plane before attempting to get all of our stuff. The stroller was waiting for us outside the plane door and we proceeded to load babies into this along with all of our carry-on stuff. A flight attendant helped us off the plane and once we were loaded up, I asked “Did we get everything?” The flight attendant replied, “Yes, I got it all.” So, we proceeded to the baggage claim. A few hours and a few phone calls later I had to make a trip back to the airport to pick up the breast pump we had left on the plane. Apparently we did not get everything.
It was also great to expose the little ones to more excitement than what shirt Daddy is wearing today. TheMonk, in particular, loved all the sights and sounds of the airport and you could just see the guy soaking up everything around him. The fact that he didn’t take any real naps the entire weekend and slept for hours when we returned showed just how interested he was in everything.
The return home was pretty tame except to say that we missed the TSA agents from our home airport. The TSA agents from the Far Away Land airport just watched us as we struggled to get all the gear broken down while simultaneously holding two babies. May all these people spend an eternity in airport security hell.
So, we survived. But if family wants to see these babies over the holidays, they’re gonna have to come to us!