Flying Chickens

The world's longest flight of a chicken that has been recorded is 13 seconds. The world's longest distance a chicken has flown (that has been recorded) is 301 1/2 feet....and now I know why...

Chickens, like kids, are not meant for flying. Flying is a last resort for them. And quite honestly, after we (my mother, myself and my four, lucky-to-still-be-living children) flew from CA to FL yesterday, flying now ranks up there with watermelons being pulled slowly out of ones nostrils, the labor pains of unmedicated childbirth or PAPER-CUTS, UNDER YOUR FINGERNAILS...DUNKED IN LEMON JUICE!

You see, we started the day in a hurry to get everything packed for our three week stay in FL. The kids excitedly packed things that would not be coming with us and I ran around unpacking and repacking and yelling orders and cleaning and well, that old saying, 'like a chicken with its head cut off' comes to mind...we managed though and drove Kurt to work so that we could stop by the Sprinkles Cupcake store before picking Kurt back up and heading to the airport...perhaps that was the first mistake...oh wait, no, that would be BUYING THE PLANE TICKETS.... 

Anyway, apparently, a little extra sugar goes an awful long way on a 4 hour flight to an Atlanta layover where we would have an hour in a busy airport to burn off the contagious energy of three wild kids before the last leg that would take us to our destination, at midnight, so that we could hop in a car and drive a little over an hour to get to the house...but, I am getting ahead of myself here. 

Lessons I learned about flying with children:
1) Don't.

Seriously, if you can rent an RV, complete with separate holding cells for each offending child (which would be all of them) you would be much better off paying the million-dollars-a-gallon for gas than buying plane tickets. But if you must fly with four small children in tow, I would give this advice: kennel them up and check them with your baggage...then you can enjoy the other passengers' screaming kids with compassion and bemusement all the while knowing your kids are safe and snug and unable to kick the seat in front of them while simultaneously doing bodily harm to each of their siblings to produce all sorts of frantic screaming and whining. 

There'd be no arguments with a stubborn-know-it-all 5 year old ("Hey Madeline, you know what those flashing lights are on the wings of the plane?" (No) "They make the plane go faster and faster." And then, as if on cue, the plane starts speeding up for take off. "See? I told you.")

There'd be no running for the 3rd time in five minutes to the airport bathroom with a streaking three year old who gives loud, live commentary from the stall ("Mommy, did you know that poop can be green? That's when you're healthy but when your body gets interesting, the poop is black and sometimes it's lots of colors.") but fails to actually finish the job so as to avoid having to trek back again, and again...and again...did I mention the pants half down?

There'd be no inconsolable two year old who wants mommy, but then, really doesn't; who wants to use the big toilet, but then falls in; who wants cookies but "No, not that cookie!" (or sippy cup, or treat or...).

And there would be no facial injury to an unsuspecting mom who, upon trying to get the fancy, outside-sound reduction earphones plugged in, managed to pop them in her own face, leaving a bruise along the entire left side of her nose and cheek so that when the plane started the decent, her face felt like it was imploding. (Hey, at least I didn't use Liam as a shield...)

Speaking of the baby, he was perfect. 

WAIT! Did you read that? The baby was perfect! So perfect that if they were all that way, the trip would have been extremely boring...Maybe it wasn't so bad after all and we can still return to CA by air without first sticking the kids on a train. And maybe on the way back, I will also avoid the ultra distracting in-flight trivia game...even though I won 2 out of 3 on that last leg and, being a tad over-competitive, really want to keep my lofty status of Traveling Trivia Champ...(granted, it wasn't like it was hard given they asked things such as "Who was the first NFL coach to win 4 Super Bowls?" and that was for sure part of the Steelers quiz I had to take in order to marry Kurt...oh, and also because after the first few hours, the questions started to show up again here and there...but who's counting?)

All things said, there are reasons chickens don't need to fly. And where kids are concerned, I would say 301 1/2 feet is surely far enough for all of us. 


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