We're going on a family vacation...but without the toddler
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who cannot possibly even see it as a family trip if 25% of the family is getting the shaft. The way I see it though, is that 2 months ago when I booked the trip I thought that 75% of the family would get the shaft if he came so basically it was just a numbers game.
Having a spirited high needs toddler means that the attention that everyone else in the house is looking for ends up taking a back seat...the squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say and kid No.2 is nothing if not squeaky. He's so squeaky that our dog's rubber chicken eventually remarked 'God that kid is obnoxious'.
Not only is it emotionally draining to cope with a high needs toddler but the guilt that accompanies it for all of the times my daughter’s needs take the back burner inevitable becomes compounded. So I'm justifying this trip without kid No.2 as a way to spend some quality one on one time with daughter and make sure she feels heard, listened to and prioritized.
My decision to leave him behind was mostly based on ptsd from the last time we travelled with him and ended with him having a complete and total mental collapse that was topped off when the sweetest little granny ever gave us the stink eye. We boarded the plane, and it was about 10 minutes before the flight attendant launched into her very important instructional demo of how the seat belt operates that he unbuckled the seat belt and crumpled onto the floor like a deflated balloon. He was a new walker at the time so this walking thing was all the rage. Staying seated was simply not an option so I determined that if I had to walk the aisle with him for the entirety of the flight, ah well, I could do worse. It was after about an hour of walking that a twenty something attendant decided to put the kibosh on it. I was told that we really need to take our seat and only get up if necessary because the other attendant would be coming through consistently with the trolley.... ‘Well, you asked for it lady’. That’s when the unholy gates of hell opened up and unleashed a demon upon the airplane and all it’s patrons. The only thing that could be done to keep him in place was by my husband straight jacketing him with his arms while son no.2 demonstrated a very convincing rendition of someone possessed by the devil and I cried into my bloody mary.
So, it’s happening....we’re still too gun shy to risk putting him on a flight again until I’m the least bit confident that I can reason and negotiate with him to stay in his seat. For now, I’ll be kicking back and watching one of those in-flight movies I’ve heard so much about! Bon Voyage!