Motormommy, Princess, and Buster Go To Florida Without Bunny or Daddy: Part 1, Getting There

Long time no write, huh? Motor Mommy has been busy with Florida trips, blizzards, and getting a new gig. More about that stuff later, but first I still haven’t told you about our trip to Florida! Here’s the story in three parts.

Part 1:

It’s freaking cold here this winter. So, when my husband’s parents offered to host us at their snowbird getaway in Delray Beach, Florida, I accepted the offer.

I was really just an escort for the real guests – Buster and the Big Sister, Princess. Palm trees and flip thoughts were in my head as I booked the trip.

Shortly thereafter, the thought occurred to me that I’d be traveling alone with two very young children. But I did it, and I survived. So did the kids. Even my in-laws are still okay.

I learned one important thing. When traveling alone with very young children, pack only the items you absolutely need in what you’ll be hauling through the airport. Then take out half of them and leave them home. Another option would be to rent a third arm.

Here’s the highlights of the trip:
On Monday, our departure day:

4:45 am: Princess couldn’t wait to see Mimi, Poppy, palm trees, octopuses and mangoes. I’m not sure what Florida brochure she looks at.

5:25 am: During the drive to the airport Princess kept asking if we’d made it to Florida yet. So I explained the airplane process including how we’d sit down, buckle in and then we would go up in the air. She asked me which button on her seat would make it go up in the air. (It was almost a deal breaker when she found out the whole plane would be in the air.)

6:00 am: Bags are checked, I am loaded like a camel, Princess has her tiger backpack on and we all kiss Daddy goodbye just outside the get for security. Princess tells him she can’t wait to get to Florida and will call him soon and see him Friday. Due to the small nature of my children, we go right through the special lane bypassing the line for security.

6:02: THE DADDY CRISIS: Passports are checked and we are waiting to load our belongings and everything onto the conveyor belt for the X-ray. Princess begins bawling inconsolably. “I want Daddy. Daddeeeeeeeeee come baaaaaaack!!!!” This continues through the conveyor belt, metal detector, and retrieval of all items. Tears are streaming down her face and she keeps saying, “but I want Daaaaaddddeeeeeee!!!! I am sure some folks were using their phones to make sure there wasn’t an Amber Alert for Princess.

6:07: After I put my shoes back on and pick Buster off the floor after I’d used both hands to reassamble the stroller where I then deposited him, I am able to pick Princess up and discuss the situation. “We’ve discussed for weeks how Daddy isn’t coming but we’ll see Mimi and Poppy soon and there will be palm trees and pools.” Her response? “Daddy, come back! Sob sob sob!” A less than rational conversation ensued over the next few minutes at a rather high volume for the other travelers to enjoy.

6:10: Motormommy Lightbulb! I ask Princess, “Do you want a cookie? She pauses then whispers, “I think I do.” I hand her a breakfast cookie and she tentatively takes a few bites. Then she shouts, “lets go to Florida!!!” CRISIS RESOLVED.

Princess, World Traveller, Post-Cookie

Princess, World Traveller, Post-Cookie

6:15 am: I take a sick joy in observing the other passengers faces as we approached the gate before boarding. They glance nervously at my brood and me, trying to read the seat number on my boarding pass from hundreds of yards away. “No! Not a baby!” I delighted in this so much that I sat in between four gates while waiting for the flight home, terrifying four times as many travelers.

6:35 am: We board the plane and after some serious squirming, Buster settles in and falls asleep.

8:15 am: Princess enjoys her flight and two trips to the potty.

8:20 am: After the second potty trip, someone comes up and asks us if we’re Mike Greenberg’s wife and kids. I admit I am and ask who she is. She says she’s his “friend” from college, Tanya. I realize she is “the” Tanya, one of hubby’s prior serious relationships. I’m delighted to realize she is pretty and nice, further proof that I was selected from an impressive field.

9:07 am: THE BUNNY CRISIS I notice that Bunny, Princess’s best stuffed friend, is not on the plane. She’s never spent a night without him since he arrived at Easter, 2010. Swallowing a scream, the morning’s events flash in front of me and I wonder if he’s gone forever in an airport bathroom. A deep breath and I am only slightly calmed by the realization that he never made it out of the car. In my mind, I come up with several plans to handle the crisis. Hijack the plane and return to Hartford? $30 on overnight shipping? Try to buy a replacement? After careful consideration and a cost/benefit analysis, I resolve to carefully ignore this crisis and enlist hubby’s help in crafting a backstory should this prove impossible.

9:55 am: The flight lands. The seatbelt light goes off. I immediately send the following text to my husband: “You have bunny. Please take pics of him sledding, tea party, etc. ASAP. call your parents and tell them not to mention him or your uncle.” Hubby’s mother’s brother is Bernard. His nickname is Bernie, which was shortened to Bunny some time ago. For the duration of our Florida trip, he is Bernard.

10:05 am:Princess runs into Mimi’s arms, screaming “Happy Birthday!!!!” (It is actually her birthday. Still, all I hear is, “Bunny Who?!!!!!” BUNNY CRISIS DELAYED). We wait for our one suitcase in the baggage claim, and joke about how silly it is that I brought such a huge suitcase for so few items. Mimi tells Princess that we’re heading to Mimi and Poppy’s house. Princesslooks confused, so Mimi explains that it isn’t their regular house, it’s their “Florida House.”

From that moment forward, possibly to eternity, Mimi and Poppy’s two bedroom snowbird apartment rental becomes “The Florida House.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s gorgeous. There is a screened porch overlooking a pond sans alligators (as far as anyone will admit), beautiful furnishings, spacious dining and bedrooms; but the “Florida House” Princess describes to people is slightly exaggerated. The four-bedroom home on a bunch of acres that they actually own in Connecticut will never compare to the “Florida House,” in Princess’s eyes.

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