Many people have asked how the flights home with Jonas went. Well, I wouldn't want to do it again, but considering the circumstances, he actually did really well. Our first (Almaty to Moscow) and last flights (LA to Denver) were shorter, and Jonas slept for most of both of those. He loved the airports, including watching the planes, riding the moving walkways, and running around.
It was the middle flight (from Moscow to LA) that was pretty brutal. Jonas did not sleep AT ALL. That means we didn't get to sleep either. And he was tired. And bored. And so were we. We basically spent twelve hours trying to entertain him, which was not easy. Luckily, we had packed several toys and snacks, but a tired two-year-old sometimes just doesn't want to do anything but have a meltdown. And though playing with a toddler for an hour or two is fun, after awhile, you just want a break. And on a plane you can't have one!
I have a new appreciation for parents who sometimes look like they are doing nothing when their child has a tantrum. When Jonas was lying on the floor of the airplane, surrounded by toys and Cheerios he had thrown down there, and he didn't want toys, food, or either one of us, there was really nothing we could do. Luckily, his version of a tantrum only lasts a couple minutes, and he only had about four of them throughout the flight (which is pretty good for a twelve hour flight I think), but we still felt pretty helpless.
But we all survived the thirty-hour travel extravaganza. It was an awesome feeling when we arrived to a beautiful warm evening in Denver, strapped Jonas in his carseat, and drove home with the windows down, music playing, and our son singing (and then sleeping) happily and peacefully from the back seat.