LAX --> TLV with Baby and Toddler – Kveller
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LAX –> TLV with Baby and Toddler

Back in the day, when I would fly to and from Israel, I would belly up to the airline ticket counter with my (one) suitcase, my (one) carry-on and a single solitary prayer:

“Please G’d. Please G’d. Please G’d. Don’t let the family with the two whiny little brats be sitting anywhere in my vicinity.”

Inevitably, they’d be sitting just a few rows up. Or a few rows back. But always within earshot.

And for the next 14 hours, I’d be treated to screaming, crying, hard-to-please little monsters with their snotty noses and grubby hands running up and down the aisles. Not even Ambien, earplugs, and two glasses of red wine could save me.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I’ve always loved kids. In fact, before getting knocked up with The Girl, I was a preschool teacher. But believe you me, suffering through a 14-hour flight from LAX to TLV or vice versa with young children just a few aisles away is the best birth control in the world.

I remember the haggard-looking parents with identical looks of desperate grin-and-bear-it terror, and I would wonder why they didn’t just do themselves-–and all of us–a favor and slip their kids some Benadryl. Yeah well. Karma is a rhymes-with-witch. I’m traveling with a lot more baggage than I once was, and on the flight from LAX to TLV, my kids were the whiny little you-know-whats and B. and I were those parents.

I bounced and rocked Little Homie halfway across the world while B. chased The Girl up and down the aisles over the United States, Canada, Greenland, the Atlantic Ocean, the United Kingdom, and Central Europe. The people on our flight were a lot kinder than I once was, and many of us congregated in the back galley where we helped ourselves to snacks, poured drinks, and talked as only a bunch of Israelis and Jews on a plane can: It was like flying in my grandmother’s kitchen, match-making and cheek pinching and all.

Finally–-finally-–10 hours later, as we hovered somewhere over Turkey, our little monsters fell asleep. And while B. and I were too wired to close our eyes, we each drank a glass of wine and enjoyed the quiet before the jet-lag storm.

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