Jude and I are spending the week with my parents, brothers Adam and Paul, and their families in the little village of Aurora in upstate New York before leaving for our around-the-world trip with Bliss in about 10 days.  On Friday afternoon, Bliss flew out from New York City to join us for the weekend, with her flight scheduled to land at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport at 5:25 p.m.   Unfortunately, after Jude and I got to the airport (about an 80-minute drive from Aurora), her flight was delayed over 4.5 hours, meaning Jude and I had some serious time to kill.

The first problem was that I did not bring a stroller or any real dinner food, thinking (wrongly!) that we would just be picking up Mommy and quickly jetting back to Aurora.  No problem, I thought, we’ll just hang out in a restaurant and I’ll ply Jude with milk and bread (his favorites) to keep him happy.  This brings up the second problem: Syracuse Airport does not have any restaurants open after 6 p.m. and accessible without a boarding pass (Terminal A, actually; we could not get into the other terminal, “B”).

So there I was, at the airport with a two-year-old, forced to keep him up two hours past his 8 p.m. bedtime and woefully underequipped.

The first thing I did was go get my haircut.  Not much was open in the airport so it seemed like the right move.  The Sicilian barber was a charmer.  Jude sat on my lap peacefully checking out the postcards from various Sicilian towns (Catania, Palermo, but strangely not Sircausa) and pictures of the Syracuse Orangemen in action.

We left content (it was only 6:15 or so) with me shorn and Jude licking a red Tootsie-Roll lollipop.  Three-point-five hours to kill and the lollipop was proving to be a disaster.  Every couple of seconds Jude would remove it from his mouth, and a lugey-sized ball of red spittle would follow and land on his heretofore clean yellow polo shirt.  Gross.  Did I have a change of clothes?  Of course I did not have a change of clothes.

I took Jude into the men’s room for cleaning.  By now, red goop was all over his hands and face.  Jude handed it to me, saying “daddy hold” (it turned out, he was just looking for a temporary hold so he could get his hands washed).  I instinctively threw the source of all of my current childcare problems into the nearest garbage.  That was stupid.  Bawling ensued.  This was a tantrum of epic proportions.  Jude had never had a lollipop before, and the recklessness with which I discarded this novel sense of joy caused him to yell out at the top of his lungs and throw himself to the floor.

Carrying the screaming lollipop-less Jude in my arms, I looked for salvation.  Two Godsends caught my eyes.  A newsstand that looked like it might carry milk in its fridge (it did, two percent!) and an indoor playground with two slides.  The milk and playground bought me close to an hour.

The remainder of the night is somewhat of a blur.  My take-aways are that, first, two-year-olds REALLY like escalators.  We went up and down a set of them for close to 45 minutes.  Second, the second floor of Terminal A, just before Security, has a cool balcony with big plants where you can look down on the cars coming and going and see planes coming and going in the distance (this is Syracuse, not JFK, so there weren’t too many).  Third, sitting in your parked car in the garage is a good way to kill time after bedtime.  You can press buttons that open windows, lock doors, and turn on the radio, all delightful automatic car features for a two-year-old.  Finally, and most important of all, don’t go pick someone up at a small airport in upstate New York with a two-year-old and without supplies.  If I had had a stroller and dinner, my night would have been cake.  This was rookie stuff, glad to get it out of the way before the real adventure starts on August 10th.

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Patrick

  One Response to “Killing time at Syracuse Airport”

  1. Haha, love this post! You’re a great writer!

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