Traveling with a 2-year-old


July 7, 2017 by jiejie768

“Daddy, when I demanded you search high and low for my Lightning McQueen car (no not that one, the other one), what I meant was ‘I’ll be perfectly content to read about the safety features on our Boeing 737. Duh.”

When pondering what to bring along with you on a 16-hour (12 in the air) trip from Seattle to Lima, let me be the first to tell you that a 2-year-old is the perfect travel accessory to alleviate the inevitable boredom that comes with such a journey. 

The activities you can engage include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Airport chase: This is a fun game in which the youngster refuses to hold your hand and/or be carried, and instead chooses to dash through crowded airports full of strangers with little to no regard for his (or your) physical or emotional well-being. One key highlight is rapidly gathering your 47 (or so) pieces of toddler-centric carry-ons in order to both chase the kiddo and also avoid being the subject of some would-be hero’s chance to FINALLY “see something AND say something”. Another heart-warming moment comes when said child knows you are chasing them so they stop just long enough to turn and give you an over-the-shoulder grin before launching themselves headfirst down an escalator. 
  • Seat-back soccer: When traveling to any non-US country, it’s always good to take some time and practice those latent soccer skills. The beauty of this particular incarnation is that it allows you to involve not only your family, but the unsuspecting person fortunate enough to be seated directly in front of your child (I know you THOUGHT getting a window seat and a wall meant an easier time sleeping the flight away … adorable). If you haven’t already gathered, the rules of this game are as follows — child: he’s the star, practicing his kicking skills using the tray table directly in front of him. You: referee. Essentially you lobby empty threats at your child (“do that again and I will … well, nothing. I have absolutely no leverage here.”) and occasionally weigh the relative value of holding his feet to stop the kicking against the ear-splitting claims of abuse he will shriek the entire time your hands are in contact with any part of his lower extremities. Passenger in front: occasionally glare menacingly at the terrible parents behind you who are clearly encouraging their devil-spawn in this activity. 
  • Bag search: This is a fun race against time in which you attempt to locate the single toy/book/game that will appease your sweet little baby boy (inevitably at the bottom of the last bag you check) before he decides he would rather have the airplane safety pamphlet instead and berates you for being so stupid as to offer him that toy he just asked for. (“I. DON’T. WANT. IT!”). Spoiler alert: you lose. 
  • Food stacking: This classic sees you attempt to balance three trays of 5-star airline cuisine on a single tray because one tray is unable to drop due to the car seat and another is off limits because one parent or the other is cradling the writhing, 30-pound bag of pure muscle that is your son. Some top moments from this game include tiny hands grabbing a handful of beef(?) gravy soaked food mass, dropping dressing containers into and/or onto various valuable electronics, and later encountering book pages stuck together with the sticky remnants of, well, some kind of food-sauce-like-product. 
  • Micro reading: This game challenges you to try to maintain both your place in, and comprehension of, various book plots read during 4.3 second bursts in between 10-45-minute interludes to play one of the above games. This is a personal favorite of mine (nothing like reading the same sentence 4,386 times). 

Of course, at the end of it all, there’s the moment when, somewhere near the equator, during Hour 14/16, he climbs into your lap, puts his Froggy Friend in (#wubbanub4life) and lays his head against your chest while snoring gently and allowing all of the stress of the previous day to melt away as you remember just how much you love this kid and how excited you are to bring him along as you revisit one your life’s defining adventures four years later. Totally worth it.

He looks so sweet …


3 thoughts on “Traveling with a 2-year-old

  1. Jeremy says:

    Haha! I hope the adventure only gets better from there! Person in front of Cole was probably a terrible person anyway. Karma!

  2. Justine says:

    Hahaha, this made me laugh so hard!! I could picture it as if I was there! 😀 Enjoy your time back and stay safe! Much love Xxx

  3. Chip says:

    I have never been a recipient of seat back soccer, believe it or not. Sounds like a fun game though! Ha.

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