Travelling without babies is easy. And boring. I should know, I've travelled quite often in my life. But only now, after having flown from St. Louis to Jacksonville earlier this week do I realize how easy most travellers have it. One day earlier than my most boring of travels, Rachel and I had the pleasure of taking the kids on a plane from Florida to St. Louis by route of Baltimore. And when I say pleasure, I mean adventure.
On the first leg of the flight, Micah and Mal were due for their naps. Malorie passed out and laid as still as a bag of rocks for the vast majority of the flight. Micah, on the other hand, fought like a heavyweight champion defending his title from the challenger - Mr. Dream. He struggled to play with the man seated next to me, even though that man clearly had no interest in interacting with a baby. Micah grabbed at the pages of his book, tried to climb into his lap, and kicked him upwards of 18 thousand times. The man remained annoyed despite Micah's most endearing of pleas. Then, when Micah's tiny frame could no longer muster the energy to fight, he relented to sleep. Unfortunately for me, the break lasted only twenty blissful minutes, followed by twenty excruciating minutes of Micah screaming his lungs out. Finally, Rachel and I figured out that we could hush him by giving him food, and so we allowed Micah to feed himself as the plane landed.
Our first flight complete, Rachel and I boarded the second leg from Baltimore to Saint Louis. This was the more challenging leg of the sojourn, as we had to feed the kids dinner and their night time bottle during the flight. Also, this flight was not during a nap time, so we pretty much knew they'd be awake for the entire flight. Fortunately for us, the flight was not full, and Rachel and I got to sit next to each other with an empty seat between us. This empty seat entertained the kids for the duration of the flight, as they chewed, climbed, rolled and played all over it. Also, the people seated in the row behind us were gracious enough to play with the kids when they peeked through the seats. They were parents, and so they knew peek-a-boo and to make silly faces at all the right times. At the end of the flight, an elderly man actually approached Rachel and me and told us that we had made the flight very enjoyable for him, as he got to watch us play and love our babies for several hours.
The next morning I had to head back to Jacksonville all by myself. Oddly enough, the entire time I sat peacefully and silently on the aircraft, I kept thinking about the kids. My mind diverted to what objects they would be playing with. For entertainment I spotted debris on the floor that the twins would likely try to eat if they were there with me. For the next week Rachel and the babies will enjoy family back in the Midwest. Meanwhile, I will be home making preparations to put the house on the market, taking care of my responsibilities for school and working. It is the longest I will have been away from the kids since their birth, and although I try to think of all the productive things I will get done, and all the attention I can heap on Tyson, and all the peace and quiet I will have this week, my mind keeps reminding me of how bored I will be.