This weekend, the Kamienski family reached a new milestone -- Benjamin took his first airplane ride and not since the Wright Brothers has there been such a historic flight. Like the Wright Brothers, it was only fitting that Benjamin take his first airplane journey to the "first in flight" state, North Carolina.
The journey started out with a few turbulent moments like when we realized we were in the wrong terminal and we had to haul ourselves (and bags) from Terminal C to A. Due to the mishap, Benjamin also got an opportunity to take his first monorail ride. We went through security which isn't fun these days when you are traveling by yourself let alone a one and a half year old but once again we survived and passed the inspection with little hassle. Once we got to the gate (an hour before the flight would take off), we let Benjamin get some of his energy out. If getting the energy out means tiring Mom and Dad out then that is what was accomplished. Benjamin thought the gate area was his very large personal playground. During his laps around the gates, he discovered swedish fish candies at the newsstand which he insisted on running to each chance he wiggled away from us yelling "ish" "ish" the whole way. There were others like Benjamin trying to be tired out but once again the only tired ones seemed to be the parents. We finally had to put a stop to the running and tried to read to him which he wanted no part of which made me quite anxious. Not that I wasn't on pins and needles already but I just began thinking that he would never sit still and he would scream his torturous scream and then we would be asked to leave the plane because we couldn't control our child. While I played the bad fantasy in my head, I remembered the "secret weapon"-- Grandpa graciously allowed us to borrow a portable DVD player and the movie "Cars". While Benjamin squirmed and I tried to forward the previews, the movie finally came on and a mesmerizing calmness came over Benjamin and I prayed that this would last. Wally got on the plane first to settle the family in. I was left with the DVD player, a diaper bag, umbrella stroller (no way Bugaboo was making the trip) and Benjamin. I decided we would be last on the plane. As the last passengers boarded, I proceeded to close the DVD player when we were heading for the plane and received one loud, "NO!" Ok, no you are right - what was Mommy thinking! Benjamin held the DVD player while I strolled him to the plane. I then tried to hold Ben, the DVD player (so he could see it and wouldn't scream as we boarded) and a diaper bag while I collapsed the umbrella stroller. Did anyone help me? No. Do I have a third arm I don't know about? I think so. We made it on the plane and was then asked by the flight attendant (actually, told) to shut down the DVD player. That made Benjamin mad so I told him to complain to the air waitress not me. I started to read a book which didn't help but Wally took him and showed him what was outside the window which amazed him. Shortly after we put on "Cars", the skies were much friendlier. Not a peep was made - he maybe got cranky once but no meltdowns, no stares of disapproval, in fact, I thought we might get a few, "what a good boy you have."
As I counted down the minutes, I realized we made it. Our Benjamin was an angel in the air. I turned and looked down at my boy who had fallen fast asleep and breathed a sigh of relief knowing that we had accomplished yet another parenting hurdle.