Once we got settled at the gate, I took the girls, and Atticus, with me to get some Starbucks. The line was a good 20 minutes long, but we made it through with coffee for me, and juice, yogurt, donuts, and muffins, as requested by the girls... so I thought. Apparently, Aurora wanted a chocolate muffin, but i got her a banana nut muffin, and I couldn't hear her because it was so loud, but she didn't make it really known until we were done with our transaction and walking out of Starbucks. Aurora is our middle child, and while she is a bright, wonderful, sweet, loving, happy child most of the time, she has a dark side that reared its ugly head once the twins were born and she had to compete for the attention that she once had in abundance... for which i have a lot of guilt mixed with frustration. So, sometimes, when she doesn't get her way, she has a complete "possessed-by-Satan" meltdown that nothing can stop once it's started. Nothing. So, there I was, halfway out of Starbucks, baby strapped to me, Ariel by my side, hands full of coffee and baked goods, and Aurora begins to scream "I HATE BANANA MUFFINS!!! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN!!!!!" Shit. I was essentially trapped because my hands were full, Tiffany was at our seats in the terminal with Bea and couldn't hear us, everybody's staring at the lady with all the kids and Starbucks coffee and bags, Aurora is crying, and screaming "NO! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN NOW!!" across the terminal. I asked Ariel to hold the bags of food while I tried grabbing Aurora's arm and coaxing her out of Starbucks but she wasn't having it, it looked really bad, I could feel everybody's eyes burning into me. I finally had no choice but to leave Aurora, run over to our seats and toss all the crap down next to Tiffany, leave Ariel with her with no time to remove Atticus from the Ergo because Aurora was now alone, screaming her tushie off in front of Starbucks, and I'm sure people were concerned and security wasn't far from intervening. All I could think about was the family who was kicked off of a Jet Blue flight just the week before because their 2 year old was having a tantrum. I had been mostly worried about the twins, but they were being perfect, even Atticus, as I raced across the terminal, he happily bounced along with me, a little confused, but just enjoying the ride. I finally got back to Aurora and picked her screaming little body up, and carried her into a bathroom stall. She was still screaming about the chocolate muffin, and at this point, I definitely couldn't give in because I would be rewarding her naughty behavior. So... I lied and told her that She could no longer go to New York, and that I was calling grandma to come pick her up. I felt kind of bad about it even as I was saying it, but I was desperate... and at first it didn't even work, and then I got worried because I really believe in following through with threats so they know I mean business, but then again, it never even really works with Aurora, no matter how good my track record is with following through. It took about 10 minutes of fake calls to grandma to get her to stop crying, and once she was calmed down, we entered the terminal, and joined the rest of our group.
Once it was time to board, we were of course struggling to carry all of our bags, babies, and car seat onto the plane, so some flight attendants and a passenger were nice enough to help us out. A nice passenger carried my rolling carry-on bag for us, a flight attendant carried Beatrix to our seat because I was holding both the twins, plus a car seat and a backpack, and another flight attendant offered to take the car seat from me, and she kindly carried it to our seats, and the passenger lifted my bag into the overhead compartment and everything. How unexpected and wonderful that was! Once at our seats, the babies were in need of their naps, although, Atticus was enjoying the view out the window, so I nursed Bea to sleep before takeoff, and she quietly slumbered in my lap. Atticus, strapped into his car seat, was so fascinated by the airplanes and trucks outside his window, the most noise he made was the sounds that trucks make, "Vrooom vroom!", "Wow!" and "Ooooh!". The girls were sitting quietly in their seats, and we were all settled and ready to go. A 30-something British couple found their seats behind us, and they immediately launched into a very loud hissy fit about being "surrounded by children", and spend the last 10 minutes before takeoff trying desperately to change seats so they didn't have to be near kids, and they eventually got their wish, and were moved 3 rows up- thank goodness, because I don't think I could have handled their glares and complaints for a whole flight. Atticus was jumping for joy at takeoff, and before we knew it, he was passed out in his seat. The babies took a 2 hour nap, and woke up refreshed and happy. The girls played with their iPods, colored and read books. Overall, it was an easy flight, considering, although a few of the flight attendants called me "crazy" for traveling with all these kids, despite having Tiffany for help. Once the plane landed and we were waiting for the plane to empty out, we got several compliments from passengers and flight attendants about how well behaved the kids were- score!
Fortunately we had a VAN service to pick us up because they got our bags to the car so we didn't have to deal with all that fun stuff. Also, thank goodness we brought our own car seats because, due to a miscommunication, there were 2 of them in the van and I think they had been manufactured in 1982, overhead shield and all. No bueno. We got in late, so there was no traffic into the city, and the kids were in daddy's arms in no time.