A few months ago, we made it to Philadelphia and back to Providence, and the only one who cried might surprise you. It was me.
Missing a flight prior to lunch and wanting to get home to Dave as quick as possible (before his 10 day business trip) will lead to tears, I suppose.
Besides that… with my preparation and amazing Addie, the flights (to and from) were awesome! Here are some tips I hope help you!
◊ PRACTICE. Not like the day before, but a week before. Know how you will carry everything- from the carseat and how it needs to be hooked on, to the laptop-diaper-extra bag that you will have thrown over your shoulder WITH your baby. I promise you: if you practice, it will feel like nothing (or at least not be too overwhelming). Remember that if you’re alone, you won’t have someone to hold the baby while you put everything together, so do it alone. It seems silly, but it will make your trip all the better. (You CAN walk through security with the baby on you- just ask… firmly.)
◊ TAKE THE STROLLER! I don’t care if your child is 1 week or 1 year, or 10 of those years and a few months. You can check it at the gate, you can strap them in (willingly or against), and it carries some of your things in the bottom, plus your coffee. Strollers are a necessary evil (heavy, bulky) and if you’re baby wearing, can hold your items for you!
◊ SKYMALL magazine is a lifesaver. For starters, it makes you look REALLY useful around the house. I’m looking at something that makes even the most simple tasks effortless and I say to Addie, “We can do that!” Hey… it doesn’t take much to make me feel important. But the very best things about SkyMall is that you can rip it and not be charged! After a while, your companion might get so bored, they fall asleep looking at pages of towel warmers and “like the real thing!” sidewalk pavers.
◊ GET TO THE AIRPORT ON TIME. I guess this should be higher up on the list, but I’m not numbering it because I can’t decide what’s more important (wait til you see how much I paid for ONE banana!). Getting there on time allows for all of
your TSA’s mistakes and gives you an extra minute to grab a cup of “real” coffee before they try to serve you that poison on the plane (a glass of wine is much better a mile high, too… I call that the mile high mom’s club!). Addie LOVED watching the planes and pointing them out to anyone that would look at her… which is awesome for staving off the energy she was surely saving for 30 minutes into the flight. (Parenting, 1. Child, 0.)
◊ BRING YOUR FOOD TO THE AIRPORT!
Did I mention the banana? It must have been made of gold… and yes, I love turkey jerky…
That’s right. It says bananas, but I only had one. Or Addie only had one. Insane. BRING YOUR FOOD TO THE AIRPORT! Even infant food! I brought frozen milk through security without a problem- just let them know you have it with you and know that they will test it (they DON’T touch it) for something some terrorist mastermind has thought to hide in mother’s milk. Me? I hide all the good stuff (vitamins, minerals and my youth) in my breastmilk and save the rest of my scientific experiments for the bananas that are clearly worth millions ($1.10 for ONE banana?! I may never recover!).
◊ Lastly, if the experience is scarring, take to the water when you reach your destination. It cleanses the soul… and all that nasty sweat right into your parents’ pool
◊◊◊ But really, remember that you have paid for your ticket the same as others. Nothing guarantees other passengers a silent flight, and you are not always in control of how your child will behave- if you’ve ever been in the same room with a child, you would know they are wild animals [sometimes]. Give yourself a break and know that no matter how much or how little you prepare, you’ll never/always be doing too little/much and you need to listen/not listen to what your friends/inlaws/brother/sister/neighbor/cousin’s friend told you because you are clearly not capable of parenting your own child.
Just kidding. You know I love you.
Oh… and in the car, I cannot say this enough:
ROCK A BABY!!! For the most part, beginning travel when your child naps (not necessarily at night because then you are tired) is a great way to go… but for those long roads, I would suggest you get BOTH CDs and remember it’s just a phase. Week after week we go to Rock a Baby class, and the more we go, the more I see Addie learn- watching her enjoyment of these songs (although she doesn’t like much else in the “kid” classification) and her clapping and dancing along. When you’re still in Connecticut and you don’t see Rhode Island in sight, know that a quick stop at the Stepping Stones Museum might be just what you’re in need of (more on that later!).
When it is all over, and life has lead you back home try to remember this: