[It's Sunday, Aug. 16 in New Zealand, as I type this ...]
Getting here actually went smoothly. It just took 23 1/2 hours, including a 12-hour, overnight flight across the Pacific Ocean. But we made it, and I'm functioning better right now than I expected when I realized the stewardess was serving me breakfast at 3:30ish New Zealand time.
Anyway, looking back, Cate was excellent. She had a couple breakdowns when she was ready to sleep but couldn't quite get comfortable or give in to whatever was holding her back. Like yesterday on our flight from Cincinnati to Los Angeles ...
Yes, that was my daughter screaming a little past the half way point of our four-hour flight. And, yes, I felt bad for the passengers around me. But I had absolutely no idea what to do, except hold her and let her get over it. She cried for Daddy. Then when she eventually had Daddy, she cried for Grandmom. I'm fairly certain that had Grandmom had her, she woudld have cried for someone.
A plane neighbor offered a small notebook and pencil. "Could I offer this? Maybe she'd like to color?" I politely told her that I brought plenty of toys and that my daughter was just tired. My worn-but-still-useful L.L. Bean back pack was stuffed with toddler entertainment. That's not what she wanted. I tried to tell Cate she wanted sleep, but she didn't believe me at first.
I just held her and rocked her and pleaded with her to calm down. The tears eventually slowed, and then stopped. She gradually quieted, and I felt her arm go limb. Finally, to sleep, to finish the nap she started hours earlier on our way from Louisville to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
In less detail, the 12-hour flight from Los Angeles to Auckland started out rough. I started freaking out because while having low blood sugar I thought about scenarios that involved an awake toddler. She needed to sleep. I needed to sleep. And once we both did, all was better with our little world.