The 16 Exhausting Stages of Taking Kids Through Airport Security
So you've arrived at the airport and are about to embark on a relaxing, well-deserved vacation with your kids. Ha. Between packing up all of your family's things, getting it into the car, and unloading everything on the sidewalk at the airport, you're likely already exhausted and asking yourself why you even left the house in the first place. But if you've traveled with kids before, you know you haven't really gotten a glimpse into hell until you've attempted airport security with your little ones.
Scroll through for the 16 grueling stages of going through airport security with children.
Because traveling with children means you’ve packed everything you own, even your tiny carry-ons are weighing everyone down.
How is it that the things made for the tiniest humans weigh the most?
You've barely made it to the end of the security line and your kids immediately beg to get out of the stroller and walk.
You think it can’t be too bad since you’re all crammed into the roped-off line together. (You thought wrong.)
You inch your way from the back of the line and treat the people around you to a chorus of directives aimed at your children.
“Please don’t touch that!” “Don’t pull on the bags!” “Put your coat back on!” “Don’t swing on the ropes!” “Be careful!”
Before you’ve even made one loop around the never-ending line, your kids are already driving you — and everyone else — nuts.
One of your children inevitably pulls on the ropes that you just asked them to stop touching while another one asks, “Is it our turn yet?” relentlessly.
You suggest playing a game to make the time go faster and keep their attention.
But this somehow ends up with your kids screaming and yelling at each other, because that’s how games work when you have kids.
One of your children begins having a meltdown about something kid-related.
It's either that a very particular toy car wheel wasn't packed, you said there was no time to stop at any of the stores before going to the gate, a snack they love didn't make it into the right carry-on bag (you brought it, it's just not in the "right" place), or any other number of tiny issues that only kids can manage to turn into a full-blown state of emergency.
Every time you loop back around in the line you pass the same people as before, who are now consistently giving you dirty looks.
You apologized on behalf of your children running loops around everyone, screaming, fighting, and knocking over bags so many times — what does everyone want from you?!
Your kids have started the "How much longer" chant and you’re fairly certain you might lose it if the line doesn’t move faster.
Let’s go, people without children! Shoes off, laptops out, walk through the thing, repeat.
You have the moment of panic that every traveler inevitably has — you think you’ve left an ID at home or lost a boarding pass.
You fearfully and aggressively check all of your pockets while trying to rein in your children — one of whom has the boarding pass you were looking for waving around in his hand because you let him hold it “like a big boy.” (Rookie error.)
You reach the front of the line with everyone’s IDs in your hand and start thinking about getting everyone through in one piece.
One hand on the boarding passes and kids’ birth certificates, another on your things, and no hands to hold the children who refuse to sit in the stroller — let's do this.
Your kids start undressing even though you’ve told them they can leave their shoes on.
In all of the chaos, you’ve already been yelled at for not taking your own shoes and jacket off, because clearly TSA doesn’t know they’re dealing with a
ticking time bomb busy mom right now.
While you’re putting your bags on the belt, you know your kids are fooling around behind you.
You’re willing a second pair of eyes to grow into the back of your head — your mom used to always joke that she had them, so when are yours going to develop?
You pretend you’re calm as your kids repeatedly wander away, but you’re actually screaming “Hold my hand” through gritted teeth.
TSA asks to inspect the stroller, so you’re stuck trying to hold a bunch of slippery little hands as the bags come through.
“Stand still” has never seemed like a funnier, more far-fetched request.
Your kids ask a million questions as you attempt to gather all of your things.
The list of what they want to know includes — but is not limited to — why you can’t go to the plane yet, why your shoes are still off, when they are going to eat, and why the toy that is packed all the way at the bottom of their carry-on isn’t in their hands.
You’re finally given the all-clear, have your belongings, and are about to be on your merry way to the gate . . .
When it hits you that while you are victorious in this brief moment, you still have an hours-long flight ahead of you — this was just 30 minutes of a weeklong vacation with your little monsters.