We made a rookie mistake.

All morning, we had prepped the Bug for her ::big:: airplane trip. It’s not her first flight — she’s practically earned gold wings by the age of two. But it was the longest flight she had ever taken, followed by a rather lengthy 4-hour car ride to our ultimate destination.

I had packed a backpack of ‘treats’ – books, stickers, crayola travel whiteboard with dry erase crayons, Kashi cereal bars, fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers — the works. We had even packed her doll’s backpack with everything “Baby Stella” might need for the flight: her blankie, clean diaper, pretend baby food, a bottle and a raincoat. Just in case.

Our ace in the hole? The iPad. The night before I had downloaded two new movies and a few new toddler-appropriate cartoons she hadn’t seen. Pat and I conferred about what would be going on the iPad like we were FBI forensic detectives. My first words to him the morning we woke up for our trip was “Did you download the stuff?”

“Yepp, it’s just finishing now.”

We were golden. We would NOT be those parents with the bored, out-of-sorts-and-therefore-screaming-toddler on the plane. We were prepared.

Got to the airport, whizzed through security, picked up a few sandwiches and bottles of water for the plane.

Our boarding time was precariously balancing on the point-of-no-return nap time, but it was the only direct flight to our destination and we gambled. The Bug was a trooper. Hopped right on the plane, found our seats, climbed into hers and buckled her seatbelt.

Then the antsiness started. The toddler seat shuffle. The pulling on the seatbelt. The “off off off off” chant. We hadn’t even cleared the loading dock. Some fruit snacks eased it — and Pat decided to sweeten the pot with those magical words:

“We have a surprise for you.”

Her eyes lit up.

“When the pilot says it’s ok, we can turn on the iPad and you can watch a new movie.”

The Bug’s brow furrowed a little bit — don’t know that she trusted this “new movie” idea. So Pat went further…

“Would you like to watch Cars?”

The grin. The “YES YES YES YES.” Who knows where she had even heard of Cars before, but it was obviously a hit.

“OK, well you just need to be patient. We have to wait until the pilot says it’s ok.”

And she was good. Sat quietly, playing with her doll until we’d cleared 10,000 feet. We pulled the fuzzy travel blanket and iPad out. She got comfy while Pat told her how much she was going to like Cars… He handed me the iPad to find it while he adjusted her seatbelt so she could stretch out a bit…

I opened the video tab on the iPad and…

NONE of the new “stuff” was there. It hadn’t transferred correctly.

{{Insert adult poetic license}}

An old Little Einstein’s video did not soothe. There was crying. There was frustration. Pat did the silent F-word boogie.

Crap. We were those parents with the screaming, inconsolable toddler.

And it was all our fault.

I wrote this two weeks ago while we were on vacation in Jackson Hole, WY. Ever made a rookie mistake like this? Coincidentally, we have watched Cars 2.73 billion times since this post has been written. Ok, not really. But it REALLY feels like Mater and I are old pals.