Once upon a time I thought traveling with twin infants was hard. Then I woke up, those twins had became toddlers and I somehow developed travel amnesia and decided to fly with my now 18-month-olds.

If I wasn’t crazy before, I sure am now.

Although I no longer need to pack formula and bottles and I have pared down our mobile Babies-R-Us into a more manageable Walmart Neighborhood Market, having mobile kids opens a whole new world of issues.

For one, the stroller is no longer their favorite place to be strapped into. Going through security is a pain — there’s no way to escape it. It’s especially painful when you have twin toddlers. One perk is they can now walk through the metal detector, but they also learned how to run recently and decided this was the best opportunity to test out their new kicks.

I totally deserved all the stink eyes I received when I released my krakens into the concourse, allowing them to roam freely at an ungodly hour. I thought an early morning flight would be the best way to go. I figured I would wake them up, strap them into their car seats and they would sleep until we got to the airport.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

They were wide awake and ready to party at 3 a.m. That’s when I got the bright idea to let them run around the airport, because surely that would make them tired and they would then sleep for our first flight.

What I had envisioned in my mind was far from my reality. Makayla thought she worked for TSA and touched every person she came across and Rory proceeded to make carpet angels. I was far too tired and under-cafienated to fight them, so I just let it all happen. Thankfully people didn’t seem to mind them. I think them being cute and me looking like I was driving the struggle bus helped.

Rory spent the duration of the flight shrieking on the ground while touching all of the dirt and germs beneath the airplane seats and seat front pocket. Makayla cried in my arms for most of the flight, and once she fell asleep, then Rory started crying. Twin mom problems, right? Despite the histrionics, we managed the short flights and lived to tell the tale — and to travel again. Maybe the next time will be different?

To make our travel experience even more pleasurable, we were packed like sardines on a sadistically full morning flight and one of the flight attendants forgot to take her customer service pills. Makayla, being the inquisitive soul she is, explored the magazines and pamphlets and threw them on the floor when she was done reading.

Well instead of just helping me pick up the mess, which I was struggling to do with one kid on my lap and one kid trying to give the person in front of us whiplash, the flight attendant decided to give us a lesson on airplane safety. She tried to explain to my toddler that the evacuation guide is a safety measure and it needs to stay in the pocket. Then, when Rory was losing his mind because he was over-tired and just also happens to be cutting four molars at the same time, she kept coming up to me asking me if there was something wrong with him.

Um, he’s a toddler and it’s 5 a.m.

My saving grace on the flights surprisingly, were the passengers. Thankfully, they were in good spirits and didn’t give me any guff. Instead they helped me wrangle my crew, helped me collect my belongings and were more than patient when I tried to load them into the stroller.

Maybe all the recent headlines and tragedies have sunken in and people are working on their compassion and patience. Either way I was grateful to have the support, because rudeness only makes me move slower.

Vanessa Lynch is a former metro editor at the Killeen Daily Herald. An Army spouse, she and her husband live in Harker Heights with their two children.

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