Have You Met the TravelTrolls?

We are preparing for our 8:30 AM flight back east on the Monday before Thanksgiving because we are cheap bastards and those were the least expensive flights. Bags are packed. Devices charged. Uber called. On the surface I appear calm and ready. But inside I’m a wreck. I am nervous because I know soon to be unleashed are the most dreaded of my children’s multiple personalities. They are the horrible creatures I call..…The TravelTrolls.

Have you met the TravelTrolls? You’d probably recognize them by the following situations:


5:40 AM “Kids time to get up.” Lights switches come on.


6:00 AM I’ve returned from the shower all the while thinking the husband has risen all from the dead and people are starting their morning pee/oral hygiene routine.

Nope. No one has moved, everyone is in the exact same position they were 20 minutes ago. That means my :60 minute up-and-out routine now has to be condensed to 40 minutes, relegating all nonessential physical movements to moot and void; specifically –  I no longer get to flat iron my hair and will look like a troll the rest of the day.


6:02 Prodding, pulling, begging, tickling. Finally they arise and move towards the bathroom.


6:03 Already fighting.


6:07 Hasty make up application then troll-hair pullback and off to my checklist of things:

  1. Write email to neighbor with directions for mail, garbage, and my phone number in case of emergency.
  2. Empty any canister, can or drawer that may contain something that ants may find and throw a frat party in my kitchen.
  3. In that vein, vacuum the rug under the dining room table because 8 year old still cannot get food to his mouth.
  4. Empty dishwasher.
  5. Look longingly at flat iron


6:10 Take a dukey.


6:15 Again, in my brief absence I was thinking the trolls would have gotten dressed and started doing ANYthing productive. Fuck to the no. They are in their jammies on the couch and are playing with their iPads.


6:16 Mommy loses her shit.


6:18 Kids returning to rooms ‘mad at Mommy’ for being so grouchy. Husband emerges from bathroom all perky, unaware that troll-haired mommy is on a war path. One look at my face and he zig zags around me to the kitchen for his coffee. He yells over his shoulder “kids you better be getting dressed.”


6:25 Kids return to living room barely dressed. The boy has two non-matching shoes. One is even a flip flop. “Mean Mommy” explains that not only do you need to wear matching shoes, if you fly in flip flops your feet will freeze and I’m too lazy to get you a flu shot.


The “I DON’T CAREs” start – which is the tribal chant of the TravelTrolls. Mean Mommy’s face is getting pinchier and meaner and no Botox can hold it in. And I HAVE to start yelling at them. I don’t want to. I don’t. But this seems to be the language that the TTs understand. “GET DRESSED AND MAKE YOUR BEDS,” I bellow. And finally they start moving in semi-productive ways.


6:30 I take all the trash out, I wipe down counters. I ended having to pay the older one to dust bust under the table, because “she pulled a hammy and the vacuum was too heavy.” Whatever – it cost me a buck and it’s clean.


6:40 I realize I have only put mascara on one eye.


6:45 Uber car pulls up. Kids run outside carrying NOTHING. Husband goes into pre-trip pocket pat down. Keys, wallets, keys, tickets, wallet, phone, phone, earbuds, laptop, Ipad, charger, charger, phone. He smiles at me and says ‘that was pretty easy’ and heads out the door. I am left to carry all carry-ons while sticking the mascara into my back pocket.


6:50 Kids now decide to like me again and both want to sit on my lap. I push them off and go diving around the back of the cab for seat belts and clasps. They love me so much they are now aggressively petting my troll hair. Everyone is buckled in. I have broken a sweat. Husband is whistling in front seat.


6:52 Dumb Ways to Die 2 has captured their attention and I have 5 minutes of no one touching me, patting me or asking me for anything. It’s a fucking vacation.


7:20 Airport arrival. The TravelTards ‘DON’T CARE’ that they have left their jackets in the cab as they run to play in the revolving door.  Hubby takes on the heavy stuff and I have all 4 carry ons. I am pretty sure Mother actually translates to Sherpa in Aramaic. Somewhere there are cave paintings of women with pregnant swollen bellies hauling carry-on bags and lifting them onto camels.


7:40 Thank you United who lets us go through security without having to take off our shoes, my son is sad because he has used the security/shoe thing to justify why his shoes have been untied for the last hour and dejectedly ties them after he goes through scanner.


As we line up to board husband looks over and me and says “We’re sitting three on one aisle and one in the Don’t Fuck With Me Seat. You get The Don’t Fuck with Me Seat on this leg.” I want to hug him so hard. I love him so much. Remind me to have more sex with him.


The TTs find their seats and immediately assemble, set up, and plug in all iPads. They secure their headsets like they are manning a Nasa mission. Once the headsets are on the yelling commences “MOM I CAN’T FIND THE MOVIE….WHERE’S THE VOLUME….CAN I HAVE A GINGER ALE…” I pretend I can’t hear them, because I’m in the Don’t Fuck Me With Me Seat and those requests go to the ‘How long is this flight /Can I have Bloody Mary seat’. The husband appears to be doing well, he is remaining calm, he is not yelling back at them. It’s probably because his hair looks fine. This reminds me that I only have a half a face of make up and go to put on my mascara. Apparently it was eaten by Uber cab.  Get we get an airplane bottle of vodka for the troll-haired phantom of the opera person in 29B?


Thankfully Hubby has done excellent job charging ALL devices so children seamlessly move from one iPad to the other when the bar gets low. Because God help us if the batteries go out. It’s a terrifying experience. Their little faces get all angry and blamey. They immediately start hitting each other – for literally no reason at all. The battery goes off and their limbs just start flailing involuntarily.


Once it got so bad I was ready to shove the charger up my ass, plug my nose and blow just to see if I could muster enough internal natural gas wattage to get me 4 more minutes of Guardians of the Galaxy. 


The TravelTards like to leave things on planes. They like to YELL ACROSS THE AISLE that they NEED A SNACK. They like to pee about once an hour. They DON’T CARE that their group is boarding. They can disarm any passcode and get to level 500 on Minion Rush but they cannot untangle their headsets. They get mad if they can’t get a $9.00 canister of Pringles. The TravelTards have proven once again that if given the opportunity, hell yeah I’m putting on my oxygen mask first.


P.S. Here’s a little tip you can borrow: I told them that due to 9/11 all airplanes now have cameras in each bathroom so you better lift up the seat and wash your hands when you are done or the captain will see and not give you peanuts. It totally works.








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