Traveling with twins is loads of fun, said no parent ever.
Airlines really need to start a frequent flyer program for babies because my kiddos have really racked up some serious mileage and covered some serious turf in their first nine months: five states and nine flights.
No matter how much of a game plan we have, traveling, even without kids, is a pain.
It doesn’t matter how prepared and on point we are because no one around us is on our level. Even after we manage to schlep our mobile Babies R Us into the airport, check everything, the best is yet to come as we head for security, where people break into a sprint to get ahead of us in line because, let’s face it, no one wants to be stuck behind this traveling three-ring circus.
Trying to push a double stroller through narrow security lines takes some serious MacGyvering. Now try holding two wriggling kids, who now weigh a combined 45 pounds, while undressing and while your spouse wrestles with said stroller. Usually, the stroller folds up perfectly, but the one day you have dozens of people clambering behind you to put their shoes in a bin, the stroller won’t fold.
Sometimes I feel I deserve a medal, but I’d settle for a nap.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, once we get to our gate, we can see the look of dread on everyone’s face. Not only will they have one baby on their flight, they get two!
I get it, I have been there myself, pre-twins of course. Once you have found your seat and have gotten mostly settled, you peer down the aisle wondering who you will be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with for the next few hours, praying they are not smelly, chatty or a child.
Lucky for us, to make our flight even more fun, we cannot sit together due to each row only having one set of extra oxygen. As soon as people realize we are together that’s their first attempt at trying to escape. Close but no cigars.
Despite some early morning flights, no-time layovers and last-minute flying, our crew has fared better than many adults. We’ve also gotten lucky with understanding flight attendants and fellow travelers. Thank God people are antisocial these days and put their headphones on as soon as they sit down.
Before I became a mom, I had an “I will never” list of things I vowed not to do as a parent.
I will never prop bottles.
I will never give my child my cellphone to keep them from melting down.
I will never let my kids watch TV.
Fast-forward several years and I’m racing from one terminal to the next with twins, propping bottles on toys to keep them from reaching DEFCON 5, while downloading as many “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” episodes as my data package will allow. It’s all about survival of the quietest.
As a military family, we have to travel, a lot, and our non-military friends have asked me how we do it. My answer is always one flight at a time with a wish and a prayer.
The good news though is travel is a finite amount of time and you will never see the people who gave you the stink eye about your whining child again, fingers crossed.
In my experience thus far, there is nothing more exhausting, more maddening, more expensive and more humbling than traveling with twins.