Luckily, the airline was nice enough to give us a food voucher (I'm betting my eye rolling helped us not only score the food voucher, but also the hotel room because prior to that, we were going to have to get a rental car in Chicago and drive to Wisconsin over night). We loaded up on milk, juice and salads at McDonald's to hold us over for the rest of the night. We found a nice corner at the gate, and had a fabulous carpet picnic, while we waited two and a half more hours for our flight to Chicago.
Billy kept reminding me we weren't working, and that I needed to lighten up because I wasn't being much fun. I'm sure he felt like he wasn't working at all, but I was still on the "mom clock", so I didn't feel like I was in vacation mode just yet. I decided that I needed to lighten up and create a better experience for everyone. After all, we were on an adventure, right?! Yeah, right....chasing after a very active one year old and trying in vein to entertain a very inquisitive, active and curious six year old, in a very boring airport, was not my idea of an adventure.
We finally boarded the flight and Pumpkie fell asleep, which she did throughout the trip every time we flew. Thank you sweet baby Jesus! After landing in Chicago, we boarded the shuttle bus to the hotel. That's when I started to get grumpy again. We were down to two diapers and I had to get through an entire night and day with a baby on two diapers. Our luggage was in Minneapolis and we were in Chicago. No tooth brushes, tooth paste, hair brushes for the next morning, clothes to change into, nothing. I sat across from Billy and just stared at him.
Billy: "What's wrong?"
Cindy: "We have nothing to brush our teeth with. Belle looks rough and I need to brush her hair in the morning. And you left your glasses on the dresser at home."
The look of sheer panic spread across his face when he realized he was wearing the only pair of contacts we had on us! We wear dailies, the kind you throw away after using them for one day. Now he was feeling my pain, and suddenly, I was feeling a whole lot better! Finally, the magnitude of everything hit him.
We decided to look for contact lens solution once we reached the hotel, along with diapers, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.
We checked into the hotel and headed over to the gift shop. They sold "changing kits" rather than a package of diapers. A changing kit consists of one diaper and six wipes for $3.99. In our desperation, we grabbed four ($16 for four diapers is a complete rip off by the way. You can get about one hundred diapers for that price in a store.) along with the other items and went up to our room.
As Billy and I settled in for the night, he pulled me close, exhaled and said, "Well, we made it through the day." I closed my eyes and thought, "After all this crap today, there is absolutely nobody else in the world I could have gone through this with. He made it better for me. I almost lost my mind a few times and he held it together. He held us all together today. Whether he knows it or not, he was the rock."
We got to Minneapolis a day later than expected. As we pulled up to the house, we were greeted by Billy's parents, cousin, aunt and uncle. They were all wonderful. Billy's dad gave me a hug and handed me a glass of wine. God, I love that man! Without words, he knew exactly what I needed.
The rest of the trip was amazing, by the way. We enjoyed driving through the country and seeing how beautiful Wisconsin is. We laughed, we sang, we ate, we visited family, we went to his cousin's wedding, we danced and through it all, we were together. All four of us. Enjoying each other, creating a memorable vacation for the kids, for each other and for our family members.
This time around, there was no regret. No sitting in a bathroom with candles and an enema. No sitting in awkward silence on a long drive home. No looking for the nearest exit sign. This time, I was in the trenches with a solid partner. I never once wanted to leave him at the airport, or ditch him at the hotel. It might have crossed my mind to ditch the kids.... kidding, only kidding. Seriously though, this time around, I got it right. I'm with the right person, the right travel partner. My best friend....