Today my daughter and I embark on a new chapter in both our lives. For her, this chapter may hold her earliest memories. For me, I hope this chapter will be that portion of my life I dream of when I am much older and no longer able to jet set around the world with my daughter in tow.
Most of the fears and questions that consumed my mind a month ago have been replaced with pure excitement. I cannot wait to be there . While I love exploring new cities, quite possibly more than any other activity we do, I despise flying. I would much rather drive, take a train, or in this scenario, cargo ship. It doesn’t matter how many times my engineer husband assures me that planes are the safest way to travel and I don’t care that I am more likely to die on the 405 while texting. Something about being at 30,000 feet makes me constantly wonder if it’s going to be this minute or in ten minutes that we go plummeting toward the earth. Will it start with bad turbulence? Or will the bottom just fall out and we free-fall? What if the top comes off right now. Will I still be buckled in? Could we land with the top off? Also- to make matters worse, I cannot sleep sitting up. Believe me, I have tried. I think my inability to sleep sitting up is a genetically inherited trait because no matter how many sleep aids, essential oils, mediations or neck pillows I try. I can’t actually sleep. Just like you may or may not be able to roll your tongue. Wait! I think Lindsay gave me an Ambien when we were flying back from China and that may have worked. But for an hour at best. The rest of the time I was hallucinating and trying to figure out how to unlock the bathroom door. Tricky stuff when you are supposed to be asleep. So tomorrow will mark my longest flight yet and the longest an airplane can actually fly (I think). 16 hours and 5 min. Yep. My personal record. BUT because I strive for eternal optimism, I have come up with a plan to get us (me) through it.
Hour 1: Yay we are on the plane. Big life changes ahead! Whoohoo! Let’s hold hands, be happy, and pensively look out the window dreaming of our new life. When that gets old we can…
-Play airmall scavenger hunt
-Make barf bag puppets.
-Challenge- don’t take one thing out of any carry-on bags.
-Melissa and Doug Memory Game board
-Challege: Do each memory game sheet. (Develop Grit here. The memory sheets might be lame but we will do them anyway!)
-Le Petit Constructeur mini wooden blocks
-Build our new apartment building in Abu Dhabi
-Build Rapunzel’s tower
Build your dream home and explain all the features
Hour 3: Eating hour.
-Put everything away before food arrives.
-Do nothing but enjoy the meal.
-Challenge: see how slowly you can eat a meal.
-Chew all your food before you swallow.
-Count to 5 before taking the next bite.
-Come up with adjectives to describe your bite.
-Make up food stories to make it take longer.
-Drink water. Do not order alcohol or caffeine! (you will be sorry- hello dehydration and grogginess)
Hour 4: Bedtime Prep.
-Wash Sage’s feet. Barefoot kids need feet washing.
Once we are back in our seats-
-Read every children’s book we brought on the plane. Find some other kids’ books and read those too.
-Almond Milk for Sage.
-When flight attendants aren’t looking- make Sage’s bed on the floor. Use safety pins to pin up dark fleece blanket so they can’t see that she’s on the floor and not sleeping on the chair. Block her feet with a carry-on so they don’t stick out into the isle.
Hour 5- Hour 10 Sage sleeps. Liz mediates, drinks tea. inhales essential oils, dreams of plummeting planes, watches 3 movies, reads, contemplates life after death, wonders if we are over land or water (works on different crash survival scenarios), repeat.
Hour 11- Sage wakes up.
-Get dressed for the day
-Snack Time- repeat food challenges from above
-Funny Faces Sticker Book
-White Board Math Games and Free Draw
Hour 12- Breakfast? Repeat everything from Hour 3.
Hour 13- I will break down and Sage will watch an entire hour of Daniel Tiger. While she watches Daniel Tiger I will cry because I have a headache and will not have slept in 24 hours.
Hour 14- Recovery Hour. Get hot water from flight attendant and drink Green Tea. (This caffeine doesn’t count)
-Scratch Paper Art
-Addition/Subtraction stories with Playdoh
-Make pretend food
-Make a huge mess
-Clean up huge mess
-Look at the clock and realize we only have two more hours. Freak out because what are we possibly going to do for TWO MORE HOURS.
Look at the plan
-Go on an airplane walk
-Find someone who has a child
-Make a friend
-Find someone you will friend request on Facebook
-Share the blog with a new friend. Beg them to subscribe.
-Airmall scavenger hunt- Part two
-Memory Board game- Part two
-Read all the books again. Omg will this flight ever end. I’m bored writing this.
-Start packing up because HOORAY! THEY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT WE ARE APPROACHING!
-Keep reading books
-White board art
Sage will love to play independently with her little critters and finger puppets. I am hoping that her imaginative play will cushion the downtime when she isn’t interested in any activities.
CELEBRATE THE ACCOMPLISHMENT! Look out the window and check out the desert. Get excited that we are about to see Daddy. Liz- remember that you are now in the middle east. Put on your hoodie and remember not to hug and kiss your husband when you see him (culturally not appropriate).
Friends, wish us luck. When you go to sleep tonight. Say a little prayer for us and send me some sleep dust. I will need it!