So you’re going to fly across the country with toddlers. You may be worried about the challenges that this presents, but DON’T WORRY. I’ve done this before, and I’ve gathered some useful tips that you might find helpful.

  1. Ensure that the outbound flight is scheduled to coincide with the children’s ordinary bedtime. This way the youngsters, already disoriented and distressed by the confusion of the airport, will fall into fits of screaming as their bedtime approaches. The flight will then pass in a typhoon of crying and howling, which will be sure to amuse both the parents and the people sitting near them.
  2. Try to stay with relatives, especially relatives who have never had children of their own. They’ll find the experience of being suddenly plunged into a household with two toddlers to be a delightful and enlightening experience.
  3. It’s best if the relatives with whom you are staying have a small apartment in a quiet, upscale building with no other children around. The cramped space in the apartment will invigorate your children, and the neighbors will appreciate the extra color that your toddlers bring to their otherwise luxurious, well-ordered lives.
  4. Tell your hosts not to bother child-proofing! Children are fascinated by $60 bottles of liquor stored in a tasteful antique wine rack on the floor, and their active play will help your hosts find out whether their vintage furniture was really worth the money.
  5. Don’t forget the salutory effects of a change in time zones on your children’s sleeping habits. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that the kids wake up before 5 am, giving you the luxury of a long, noisy morning in which you can fully wake up before you face your day.
  6. If you have friends with kids, don’t visit them. Having kids of their own, they’ll be far too used to the joys of toddlerhood and so won’t have the unique appreciation of the experience.
  7. Whatever else you do, don’t decide to go stay with your Senegalese friends for the last few days of the trip, even if they invite you. Their gracious hospitality will make things far too pleasant, and their children will be distracting, fun-loving playmates for your children. The consequences of this will be obviously horrific.

Anyway, how was my recent trip to Seattle with my family? Fine, thanks. Why do you ask?