Ten Things That Really Happened Today While Traveling

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Traveling with a toddler isn’t always easy, but it is never dull.  Here are some glimpses of how the day went with Little C and myself traveling to the beach to visit family.  Should give fellow parents some good laughs and/or some good “warnings” for how things might turn out on your next adventure. 😉

1.  Woke my toddler up at 4:30AM for the first time ever.  Normally the other way around.

2.  My two-year-old and I were brought to a private TSA screening room with three TSA agents both myself and our stuff was searched, swabbed, and prodded.  Apparently something on me was setting off the explosive warnings.  Shockingly, we didn’t explode.  Though C almost did when they wouldn’t let her hold her beloved blanket.

3.  The distance from IAH to RDU is exactly five episodes of My Little Ponies from 10,000 feet to 10,000 feet.  Not one second more or less.  Just take my word for it and don’t subject yourself to the torture of testing that scientific fact.

4.  The hands-down absolute hardest part of traveling alone with a young child is the process of getting your stuff and child from the airport, on the rental car bus, off the rental car bus, to the rental car, and finally installing the evil car seat.  It truly is consistently horrible.

5.  As a result of #4, my child fell face first off a luggage cart and onto the pavement in the car rental parking lot as she quickly stood up when I turned around to open the trunk of the rental car.

6.  She was in the luggage cart since she had already darted away from me without warning in the parking lot.  I needed containment.

7.  Tired kids do strange things and don’t listen very well.  See numbers 1, 3, and 6.

8.  There aren’t regular gas stations on Highway 64 in North Carolina.  Toddlers have to pee quickly and urgently regardless of the presence or absence of gas stations.  I pulled off the road.  You can figure out the rest.  It had something to do with squatting and pretending you were on a potty.  That’s one for the baby book.

9.  My kiddo, who had been up since 4:30AM, refused to go sleep in her bed at the beach house (see #7).  After I finally got her down (I thought), I heard a noise and went back downstairs to check on her.  She was not in the bedroom, the bathroom, the hallway, and wasn’t responding to her name.  It took six adults to find her.  She decided to hide behind the shower curtain in another bedroom.  While I remained calm, I’ll call that one three minutes of terror.

10.  Toddlers love their family and the beach.  Numbers 1 – 9 are all worth it.

I think.


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  1. “3. The distance from IAH to RDU is exactly five episodes of My Little Ponies from 10,000 feet to 10,000 feet. Not one second more or less. Just take my word for it and don’t subject yourself to the torture of testing that scientific fact.”

    that gave me a good chuckle. good thing moms are super human. 🙂

  2. My daughter refuses to call Rainbow Dash anything other than Rainbow Crash. She love to yellow at the top of her lungs when we try to correct her. I cannot believei try to correct my daughters naming of ponies!

  3. As a mother of 3, I’m not sure which is worse: My LIttle Ponies or the installing the carseat in the rental car parking lot. Those describe two totally different types of horror.

  4. Here’s a #11 for your list: Don’t assume your rental car has the child locks engaged. Deal Kid, at age 2, managed to open the back door at 65MPH along the Mediterranean highway in Spain! Talk about horror. You’re right, the travel is worth it, but at moments you wonder!

  5. Ha! I’m glad I’ve got a boy.. we carry a little plastic cup when we travel by car. Just don’t make the mistake my wife did and try to dispose of the contents via the window at highway speeds. 😛

  6. Tell me about trying to install 2 car seats on a rental car in the parking lot at 104F in Boston. Also, was saved by an empty soda bottle that we kept in the seat pocket of the airplane. My 3 year old woke up when we were about to land and just screamed he needed to pee. I was lucky the bottle was big enough!!! 🙂

    • @Santastico, car seats are the evil of travel. I would pay a decent amount if a car rental company wanted to get some car seat certified folks to help with that. Obviously parents could double-check that they were installed to their liking, but it sure would help!

  7. Agreed, this year I have lived through this 2x, one domestic and one trip to Europe. My daughters are 4 and 2. There is another horror awaiting you on the plane if your kid is still wearing diapers. Many of the older planes do not have changing tables! I was on a Delta transcontinental flight – 757, I think – and the FA confirmed that none of the lavatories had changing tables (on some planes, only specific lavatories have them). I was not allowed to change her on the floor in the galley at the back of the plane because it is a food area (which made no sense to me because the food is in sealed containers in carts. The floor is dirty anyway due to all the foot traffic). Instead, the FA’s solution was to give me a couple of blankets to spread over the toilet. Not fun! You can try to mitigate this potential risk with extra-absorbent sleep diapers but obviously that doesn’t work for the smelly stuff.

  8. Your story makes me immensely glad that I have never had to fly solo with a toddler. It can be hectic enough with two of us trying to wrangle her and luggage. Fortunately, she has not discovered My Little Pony yet, but she is definitely a Caillou fanatic.

  9. This makes me laugh – my daughter is a big My Little Pony fan – she knows all of their names and talks about them like she personally knows them. At least by the time our trip to WDW over Spring Break comes around – I should be able to bring booster seats for everyone for the rental car (twin 8 year olds and 5 year old). We had a good 3 years with everyone in full out car seats :). Needless to say we did not fly anywhere where we needed to bring the car seats.

  10. Listening to Caillou for hours to me is horror that cannot be topped. His whiny voice is nails on the chalkboard!

  11. We went to LA (from SFO) to visit Disneyland. AA didn’t have milk on their planes (but they do have alcoholic drinks). As soon as we got to the rental car desk and the women on the counter asked “may i help you?”, my 2 1/2 daughter replied, “I want milk and cookies please”. She was tired and hungry. =)Unfortunately, rental cars don’t have milk and cookies neither.

  12. As the parent of a 3 year old, I really enjoyed this post. It also reminded me of the many hot rental car garages that I have been in, struggling to get the car seat to fit while my wife tries to entertain my son without getting run over.

  13. I thought others could relate to this one! I can recite all the pony names forward and backwards. Thankfully our daughter is potty trained now (99%), but the dirty diaper on a plane thing is never fun. We had one really really bad episode with that when I was flying alone with her.

    • @IPBrain, I still have all my Rainbow Bright toys, so she has seem a couple of those as well. There just happened to be 5 pony episodes on the DVD and she was happy so we just kept them going. 😉

  14. My wife now has me trained. When travelling with our little one:

    1: Flights must be non-stop
    2: flights must leave after 8 am
    3: Flights must arrive before 7 pm from the time zone we originate.
    4: If #1 is impossible, flight must have a connection time of between 60 and 90 minutes.
    5; Flights cannot and will not be delayed for any reason.

    Needless to say, we drive to most locations.

  15. Let’s compare our family experiences:

    1. Check!
    2. Check. They never did find what set off the explosive detector, although my check got done in the security area off to one side.
    3. We’re partial to Smurfs, and I’ve never flow IAH-RDU. My Little Pony? You have my sympathy.
    4. Hertz Platinum. Learn to embrace it.
    5. See above, though our daughter does love the top of the luggage cart.
    6. See above, above.
    7. Again, sympathies.
    8. Pottette Plus (available on Amazon). Might be more valuable than Hertz Platinum. Fits great in the stroller bag.
    9. Amazing how much energy they get when over-tired. Ours was out in front of the house checking the mail once when she was 3.
    10. Yeah, I guess I have to agree. 🙂

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