When we booked our return flight from Paris, we saved an exorbitant amount of money by not going direct. We chose a flight from Charles DeGaulle to Philly. And then a short jaunt from Philly to NYC. When we made our reservation I said, “If this all goes smoothly we’ll be happy we did this. But if it goes bad, it could be a freaking nightmare.”
Cut to the impossibly elegant yet impossibly slow Air France agent saying (insert accent here) “You do know your flight is three hours delayed…?” When I told her that we would miss our connecting flight, she shrugged her shoulders.
Once we made it to the gate we discovered our flight had been bumped back five hours. I got in a really long line hoping to receive not just the free airport meal ticket but maybe seats on a direct flight to JFK. While I waited our flight was moved back another two hours. I reached the desk at the gate the moment our flight was cancelled.
I stood there at the desk while the agents started making phone calls and people began scrambling and thought “In a minute, lines are going to be very important. Right now I am at the front of one. I’m just going to stay right here.” I smiled a lot. I sympathized with the now harried employees. I stayed at the front of the line and asked if there was any way we could get on a direct flight to New York. I smiled some more. I enlisted my cute kid and told her if she behaved well it would help us get home sooner. We were switched to a flight direct to JFK that had itself been delayed six hours. Putting us at JFK only two hours later than originally scheduled. Begin many more lines and much more smiling resulting in three seats together in row 10 of a huge aircraft.
And then there was the six hour delay.
Can I say, when you are faced with a six hour delay and a preschooler, your iPad is a really good friend. And apps that cost you a couple of dollars at home before you left, increase in value astronomically.
Before leaving for France, we installed a couple new Disney Classics apps we had been given to review. How delighted was I to discover that not only did these apps pass the time, they were actually wonderful! There are several Disney Classics storybook apps available, designed for children ages 3- 6, and I love the two we played. We explored the Peter Pan and Bambi apps for iPad (they are also available for your iPhone and iPod Touch) and let me say, they are gorgeous. The art is whimsical and lovely. The apps are interactive, but they don’t make my head hurt. The storytelling is slow and gentle. To me they seem like pop-up books come to life. The interactivity is limited. The emphasis is on the storytelling. And Cate loves them.
On the opening page, your child can insert her picture and type her name to create a Golden Book-like nameplate. The books are read by a single narrator, and tapping around on a page reveals little hidden sound and visual effects–horses hooves clop outside the Darling house, lights go on and off in the children’s nursery. Your child can choose to exit the book to do little coloring pages or puzzles or other simple activities in both apps. They are just very very sweet.
And they will keep your child entertained while you wait six hours at an airport. Or at least fill in the time between the free lunch and playing pretend restaurant with other kids in the little airport kids play area (hear that LaGuardia? An airport kids play area!).
And that’s something that Mama’s definitely gotta have.