I see you over there, gazing into each others eyes. I see how you ordered yourself some iced tea and then told the waiter that you still had to look over the menu. You know that was the third time you said that? It seems you are too caught up in the moment with each other to notice that you have been here for thirty minutes already and still haven’t ordered your entree.
I remember those days, so fondly. Those days when we could go out to eat as a couple and spend hours just talking, flirting and getting to know each other better.
Why yes, that is my child eating off the table.
Now, our meals out seem a little like that airport scene from Home Alone. There is rushing, there is fussing, there is little eating. As soon as you sit down at the table, the invisible timer starts. Kids can only last so long in one spot, you know. You check the menu for what you want, then you check it for what they want and will eat. Then you pick up the crayons from the floor and make sure the infant has a snack so he doesn’t share his boredom with the whole restaurant. You glance to your spouse to make sure they know what they are ordering, only to find that they haven’t even opened the menu because the toddler needed help with her napkin, which turned out to be a longer affair than he planned. When the waiter finally does come, you just order whatever you can remember from the menu, who knows if it was actually what you wanted.
Fast forward to the food arriving. Eating it while it is hot is a joke, that’s not going to happen. You are too busy cutting up small bites for the toddler and even smaller ones for the baby. Turns out they don’t like anything on their plate, they want yours. After much wrestling, disciplining and training, you pay the check and leave. (Did I mention the three potty breaks you took for the toddler?)
Doesn’t this make you hungry?
So, forgive me for staring. It’s just that every so often, I miss those moments. I miss those times of holding hands with my man and talking about anything and everything on our mind. I miss enjoying food. Heck, I miss hot food.
Yet, as I have said time and time again, as much as I loved those special times with my man, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.
The family of four in the table by the window (yeah, the one you never even noticed!)
Traveling with little ones can be so hard. The air pressure makes their ears hurt. They can’t really understand why they can’t get out of their seat and run around the aisles. They want to stare at the other passengers. Four hours seems like eternity.
I know that it is just inevitable to have kids on a plane. I also know that a lot of people who don’t have kids don’t think children should be allowed to air travel.
Well, it’s possible to make it an enjoyable, or at least a survivable experience for everyone.
I wanted to communicate to the people on the plane about our children. I knew that there would probably be some fussing during the flight, and I wanted them to know that we were really trying our best. Therefore, I included this letter for fellow passengers around our seat.
Dear Fellow Passenger,
We are Gracie (age 2) and Benjamin (9 months) and we are so excited (and a little scared) to be sharing the flight with you today!
We wanted you to know that there are some things we most definitely won’t be doing on today’s flight.
We will not:
Talk incessantly about our crazy aunt, even though you have made it clear that you would rather be left alone.
Fall asleep on your shoulder
Snore so loudly that you can’t hear the stewardess
Watch raunchy movies on the screen right next to you
Take up our seat AND half of yours with our excess baby weight
Give you some horrible sickness or cold (we are perfectly healthy)
Push our way to get in front of you when leaving the plane
What we might do:
Peek at you through the seats. Mom and Dad will most likely try to make sure we don’t, but they will probably miss a peek or two. We are naturally curious. Just take it as a compliment that we think you are cute.
Play with the arm rest in order to understand how it works.
Squeal if the pressure gets too painful. Mom and Dad brought snacks, pacifiers, bottles, etc. in order to prevent this from happening, but we still may squeal. We’re kids, we like being unpredictable.
Get tired and bonk the seat, but Mom and Dad will be watching out for that. We won’t be able to bonk the seat as much as we would like.
We will do our very best to be on our best behavior. Four hours is a REALLY long time for us to sit still, but we will do our best.
Oh and here are some earplugs…just in case.
Gracie and Benjamin
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We included that verse at the end, so people would know that there IS hope! Even if our babies cry the entire flight, God will be a source of strength!
The earplugs didn’t hurt either.
Now you have the letter, check back tomorrow for a list of ways to survive the flight with little ones!
Last night I took a bubble bath. With candles. And music. And the best part? I was all by myself! I wasn’t wiping dirty faces or cleaning bottoms while in the tub. I was just soaking.
These opportunities don’t come around that often, so I stayed long enough to get my fingers and toes as wrinkly as an elephant’s ankles.
It wasn’t the bubbles that was the best part.
It wasn’t the music. Although, I do love me some Sinatra.
It wasn’t even the warm, soothing water.
It was the silence.
Silence is something I took for granted when I was single, and even newly married. Now, it is something that happens so infrequently, that I cherish the moments I get.
*Well, I did have some music playing softly, but to me that counts as silence…compared to normal*
Sitting in the tub, in the silence, I had a chance to think about things. I wasn’t focused on any one thing in particular. I just let my mind wander. I thought about things I should do. I thought about things I wanted to do. I thought about my relationships.
It was refreshing.
It was wonderful.
I want to do it again tonight.
When was the last time you had a date with silence?
Gracie climbs on my lap with a book and asks me to read it to her. She snuggles in so close I can hear the breath leaving her and coming back. She moves her head from side to side in order to find the best angle. With her little body snuggled up to mine, warming me from the outside in, I find it hard to believe this little snuggler is the same child who left poop all over her room this morning. (Lesson learned: wear clothes that can contain any accidents…like a onesie).
I start reading and she interrupts constantly to show me different things that catch her eye.
“See the dog?”
“See the dog’s teeth?”
“See the boy’s curly hair?”
It’s slow going, but we never claimed to be reading for speed.
To be frank, I’m only in it for the snuggles.
In the back of my head, I have to fight the nagging thoughts.
Is this really the best use of my time? The kitchen needs to be cleaned, I really should be doing that. I’m getting flabby, maybe I should be taking the kids for a walk instead. The house is a mess, sitting here reading is not what I need to do.
However, in the end, her snuggles win out. I have a hard time saying no to her desire to read. Maybe the investment now will pay off in the future and she will become an avid read.
Right now, though, I will just enjoy the snuggles.
Life with you is going to be an adventure. Through watching you grow these last few months, I have become even more convinced that boys and girls are different from the very start. From your guttural grunts to the way you want to climb on and destroy everything, you are definitely different from your sis. Speaking of your sis, you guys have begun playing even more together. Last month, you were chasing her around, but this month, it seems, she can’t get enough of you. She loves to run up and choke hug you. Sometimes, she gets a little too excited while hugging and you both end up on the ground, but it’s okay…your durable.
You are so close to walking. You have begun using toys to stand up and walk with across the room. I have been amazed watching you steer your toys around obstacles in order to go as far as you can. Once you start walking, Gracie won’t know what hit her! (I don’t mean that literally, young man)
Your daddy and I love you so much and am so proud to be your parents. We love watching you grow and learn. Keep on growing, baby boy. We pray that you will grow in The Lord and learn to love Him with all your heart.
It wouldn’t be fall without all kinds of fun fall accessorizes. Check out Mom Explores Virgina Beach for her tips on how to dress for fall! Also, enter the giveaway below to work on more fall accessorizing, she is giving one lucky reader a pair of shoes.
Keri from Living in this Season has tips on how to plan a pumpkin Pinterest party! I might need to gather some of my mommy friends for this one! She is giving a lucky reader a Starbucks gift card, so they can go plan their party without any distractions (babysitting not included!).