This last week my husband and I did the dreaded…the unthinkable…the “Holy shit! What made us think this was a good idea?” thing…..we took our 9 month old on an airplane. Off to Florida for a reprieve from the cruel New England winter. Let me first say, the whole experience could have been MUCH worse. We could have been the parents who sat three rows behind us, whose child vomited everywhere. Several times. God bless them! Wet Ones don’t put a dent in that stink. Yikes! And considering we were enjoying the beach on the first day of spring while the North East experienced yet another snow day…I’d say it was worth it.
But this endeavor is in no way a challenge for the weak or wimpy. There is no more leisurely magazine reading or a cheeky Bloody Mary in my friendly skies. It’s a freakin P90X workout, even under the best of circumstances. Now that my little O has discovered standing and walking, he only wants to be up. Not easy on an airplane. I have a 25lb 9 month old who is long and solid. That’s some serious weight training on a three hour flight. Luckily my husband and I took turns holding him.
And talk about prepping your gear! I mean you have to have everything you could possibly need for every scenario. (Example: vomit boy three rows back). You’ve got your anti bac wipes to sanitize everything within the perimeter of your little one’s reach. Then you have your regular baby wipes, diapers, bum cream, etc. Now, if you think to, you might want an emergency ziplock with wipes, a diaper, and some sort of disposable pad….cause ever try to carry a diaper bag into an airplane lavatory? Then add you and your baby to that tiny space….yeah, it’s laughable. And then you realize there is no changing table in said tiny lavatory. Most airlines haven’t upgraded their johns to accommodate diaper changes. Really? Get with the times folks! Yet the attendants look at you with horror if you attempt to change your child in your seat. Sorry, my madness makes me lose focus.
Add to your list a change of clothes for baby (Example: vomit boy three rows back) and a change of shirt for Mom and/or Dad (again.. Example: vomit boys parents), toys to keep your little one occupied, pacifiers (with an S, because they will drop them or throw them continually) pacifier wipes, bottles for feeding on take off and landing so your little ones ears don’t get affected by the pressure, room temperature bottled water ( if you’re formula feeding) which you have to search for once you go through security, because everyone sells it cold, burp cloths, baby blanket in case it’s freezing onboard, which it usually is and last but not least your friendly boppy pillow, so your little one can lay on your lap in comfort when they feel like it, which was never in little O’s case. I’m exhausted and I’m only reliving it.
Little O was as good as a 9 month old could be in a confined space for three hours. Heck, he was better behaved than a gaggle of middle aged women who were acting like they were getting a jump start on spring break in Daytona Beach. But it’s tough. You gotta really want to go somewhere to take this on once your child discovers mobility. Now the kicker is that my return trip will be sans the hubbie. Yup, I will be flying back home with O all on my own. Returning a rental car, to boot. I am sure I am certifiable for choosing to put myself in this situation. But when I flew with O at less than 3 months old, it was easy. I didn’t know that it would be, but it was. He ate, he slept, he ate again, we landed. When we booked these flights I didn’t take into account he would be so much bigger and more mobile. Silly Mommy! So I will yet again, roll the dice. Cause that’s what it is…a crap shoot. Will I be the Mom handling her baby’s explosive diaper? Or cleaning up vomit with Wet Ones? Or will I win the kitty and deplane the aircraft unscathed, though undeniably exhausted. Your guess is as good as mine. I’ll let you know. Until next time, pray for me friends, as I will for you if you ever need to travel or just really want to get away with the little one in tow.