Things you will pack to amuse your five-year-old for a three-hour flight to Florida:

Coloring books.
Puzzle workbooks.
Two Junie B. Jones books.
One “Color Fairy” book.
One Cam Jansen book.
Healthful snack of whole-grain crackers, cheese stick and raisins.

Thing your five-year-old will be interested in during flight:

Fruit Roll-Up type item (now with two percent fruit!) that she traded Junie B. books for in waiting area

iPod’ed episode of “National Geographic” depicting lion pack devouring baby elephant. (“See, mommy, first they cut the babies off from the herd, then they pounce on its back, and then the baby cubs drink the blood!”)

What your five-year-old will say when you tell her you really don’t want to watch it because it’s violent and disturbing:

“But, Mommy, it’s the food chain! If the lions didn’t eat, then they would starve!”

What your husband will say when you inquire as to how violent and disturbing “National Geographic” episode ended up on the iPod in the first place:

“It’s got the guys from Zooboomafoo. I thought it was okay.”

Activities available for five-year-old at hotel:

Balloon-animal making!
Water games!
Sandcastle-building contest!

What your five-year-old will want to do at hotel:

Play Wii bowling in hotel game room
Watch iPod’ed episode of National Geographic lions-eat-baby-elephant (“No, honey, the iPod accidentally erased that.”)

Proposed sleeping arrangements:

Mom and Dad in bed, five-year-old on pullout couch, toddler in crib

Actual sleeping arrangements:

Toddler and five-year-old sprawled across bed after toddler refused to lie down in crib and five-year-old declares that she is “so lonely” in living room; Mom clinging to edge of bed, Dad on pullout couch.

Number of books you will pack to read poolside:


Number of books you will actually get to open, as you attempt to keep toddler from bear-walking into the shallow end and chase Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost-hued five-year-old around with a can of SPF-50 sunscreen while hollering “Hold still!” while husband makes "important work phone calls":

One (briefly)

What husband is actually doing:

Watching video of lions eating elephants on the iPod ("after you've seen it six times, it gets funny!")

Number of diapers you would, ideally, have stashed in diaper bag for flight home:


Numbers of diapers you realize you actually have, once you’re through security and it’s too late to get more out of the suitcase:


Time into flight when you discover that your one remaining diaper is a swim diaper and, as such, useless:

Ninety minutes

Minutes your husband will spend laughing when you announce your intention, via suggestion from helpful Facebook friend, to use a sanitary napkin if situation becomes dire:


Seconds it takes husband to stop laughing when you tell him that it’s either a sanitary napkin or his shirt:

Three (approximate)

Thing you are glad about:

Spending a few days in the sun with the people you love (especially now that it’s snowing)