I am quick to point out when my little bundle of too-much-energy gives me a run for my money. I share all kinds of stories of her tantrums and outbursts. But I can also give credit where it’s due, and Brynna Grace deserves some. My child – my child who isn’t even 2 years old – did AMAZING on the way to Kuala Lumpur!
Friday night around 7:30pm, Yaya, Papa, David, Brynna and I loaded into the car and headed to the airport. Brynna smiled, waved and blew kisses to the Qatar Airways employees while I got the 4 of us ticketed and all of our bags checked. We then said goodbye to Daddy and went toward security. We were most certainly “those people” – the ones you see in front of you in line and make a mental note to avoid at any cost when it comes time to put your belongings through the scanner. People were flocking away from us like we had the plague. And I don’t blame them one bit. Between us, we had 4 carry-on bags, inside of which I had to pack enough food, activities, milk, juice and blankets to entertain and care for a child for 24 hours. Think of all the things a kid uses in a 24 time frame and then try packing that in a bag that can only weight 15 pounds! I’m pretty sure I went over that weight limit on every bag and I’m not afraid to admit I broke that rule. I also broke another rule unintentionally. FYI…Play Doh is not allowed on airplanes. Oops.
As other travelers went as quickly as possible in every direction but ours, we started unloading sippy cups, juice bottles and a 34 oz container of Lactaid into plastic bins and onto the conveyer belt. While I tried to remember where I had stowed all the liquids, I turned to BG and said, “Take off your shoes, please, so we can go through the scanner.” And what did she do? She sat her little bottom right down, took off her shoes, placed them in the bin next to mine and walked her big girl self right through security! On the other side, while I helped the nice TSA man check all the sippy cups for…you know…I’m not even really sure what they are checking for. You have to open each one and they wave a piece of paper over the top of the cup. Not sure what that’s telling them other than my kid drinks a lot. Either way, while Yaya and I did that, Brynna quietly grabbed her shoes and walked over to the chair where you wait if you need to be wanded. She climbed up, sat down, put her shoes back on and then waved to other people as they came through the security line. TSA workers were coming from everywhere to see the cute little girl in pigtails and to tell me she’s the best behaved kid they’ve ever seen. That is not a compliment we get often and if I’d had more time, I may have asked them to write something down so we could hang it on the fridge. My little big girl was a champ! Not once did she fuss or squabble. Not once did I have to repeat an instruction.
After security, we got to do what Brynna came to do. No, not board a plane. Ride the escalators! She had the greatest time and the icing on the cake…? The escalators took us to a train! Talk about overjoyed! Two great things in one day!? Forget that we are about to board a plane for 12 hours…what’s important is that the train says Choo Choo!!!
We boarded our first flight without hassle, found our bulkhead seats (yay for leg room!) and started unloading. I had a system and I worked it! I was pulling out blankets, books and pajamas…I even had a sound machine. I did my best to recreate our nightly routine to help Brynna sleep well. Given a few more minutes, I may have painted our seats green like the walls of her bedroom and hung a pink curtain or two. Just after take-off, her eyes were getting heavy and I thought we were home free. But then…they turned on all the cabin lights and served dinner. Who eats dinner at 11pm?! Needless to say, that was a distraction so BG didn’t go to sleep. But she read books and played quietly for an hour until they finally turned the lights out and then layed on Yaya’s lap until she fell asleep somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. She was woken up by turbulence, flight attendants and bright lights but not once did she cry loudly. And by the time we landed in Doha, Qatar, she had rested enough to change out of her pj’s and run around during our 3 hour layover.
Flight Two was a bit more tricky because for our internal clocks, it was daytime. But Brynna did great. She played games, worked puzzles, read books and watched the Backyardigans for 4 hours. She then snuggled once more on Yaya’s lap and went to sleep for the last leg of that flight. Just in time for landing, she woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And dry! Brynna Grace Johnston, age 23 months, had not one accident during 24 hours of plane flights! She went potty on the plane and in the airports, but not once in her panties.
The only minor meltdown occurred while going through Immigration. But honestly, who hasn’t wanted to throw themselves on the ground, kicking and screaming while standing in line at Immigration? I can’t completely blame her. She was only expressing what I felt but couldn’t say – “I’m tired, I’ve waited long enough, now let me get to Zoe, AJ and Aunt Vikki!!” And that’s what we did!
As we rounded the corner after Customs, Zoe and AJ broke through the rope you aren’t supposed to cross, and like a scene from a movie, the three of them ran to each other squealing with delight. It was the best thing in the world to see. From that moment on, Brynna and her cousins have been inseparable. I have never heard this child giggle so much in my life. She doesn’t care what sights we see or what we do as long as she’s got Zoe’s hand on one side and AJ’s on the other. And again…I can’t blame her. She’s only expressing what I feel inside, too!
|Cheese! Just hangin’ in the airplane basinette!|
|BG giggled the whole 45 min drive from the airport to Aunt Vikki’s|
|This is how we walk everywhere…hand in hand|
|Couldn’t be happier…just being together|