Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Plane rides and tantrums

We just got home yesterday from a vacation that wasn't long enough and yet was probably about the right length of time.

As the day for the trip arrived and my alarm clock went off way too early, I thought, 'We could just stay home. I could just stay in bed for the next several days. Heck, Joe and Joy could go on vacation and then I could get a little vacation myself.' I smiled at the thought as my body fought for more sleep, but I finally got up reluctantly. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I didn't want to go. I was just so tired.

And I didn't sleep well during the whole trip, either. Oh, how I've been spoiled by my fancy, newfangled bed! Let's just say I slept incredibly last night, despite the fact that Joy woke me up at 1 am and then Joe woke me up as he prepared to leave for work (at which time, I was unable to fall back asleep).

I remembered my first flight with Joy. It was just the two of us. And it was rough, despite the fact that she behaved okay during the flight. Remembering that made me anxious for the flights to and from San Diego, even though we'd outnumber her two-to-one this time.

The first flight was fairly empty, and Joy, who didn't have a ticket for her own seat, got her own seat as a result. She looked out the window with Daddy, enjoying the sights of the airplanes and everything else. We had a stop, where we moved up to a row of seats closer to the front of the plane after Joy got a chance to walk around the fairly empty plane to get some energy out. The second portion of the flight went well too.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. The first part of the flight wasn't completely full, so she did get her own seat. But she was not in a good mood and whined more than we would have liked. We were informed the second part of the flight would be completely full. We moved forward in the plane so we could get out of it more quickly. I felt terrible for the woman sitting next to me when Joy started throwing tantrums that weren't easily remedied. I can't say I was surprised when she ordered alcohol to get her through the flight. And I can't say I was surprised when it appeared that she was comped the drinks. It was like the flight attendant felt terribly for her too!

But what did surprise me was that, despite Joy's tantrums and our futile tag-team attempts to appease her, the woman next to me started chatting with me and even paid me compliments about how I was teaching Joy. She said it was obvious I was doing something right. And to hear that while Joy was behaving the way she was really touched me. A compliment when a child isn't acting the best really means a lot! She informed me she was an educator as her way of identifying her credentials to let me know she knew what she was talking about, making the compliment even more kind, somehow.

It's nice to know I don't have to be perfect and my child doesn't have to be perfect, and I can still get credit for my hard work.