Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Friendly Skies

Remember this post? Well, your advise came in very handy as I traveled last week, alone, with a three month old and a toddler. Gummy bears, the plane comes down, DVD player, sitting in the back of the plane....all very helpful. In my post I had to say that we were traveling over the holidays - (which we are) but in all reality I was traveling the next week to Colorado to surprise my sister for her 30th.

All in all, the trip went really well. I put Little One in a stroller, and Baby Brother in this baby carrier. (BTW - I HIGHLY recommend this baby carrier. It's a little pricey, but so worth it.) And made my way through security. It went something like this: Take our shoes off, take the formula out of the backpack, take the computer out of the backpack, send all of our five buckets through the security scanner, take Little One out of the stroller, help a security officer fold up the stroller, walk through the security deal, put Little One back in the stroller, praise God for the stroller!, put our shoes on, put everything back in the backpack, and let them test the formula for explosives. Thank goodness that I never had to take the baby carrier off in this process!!!


I found that all along the way there were people who were more than willing to help. I found another mom in the restroom who watched my toddler and then I watched hers. The thought did cross my mind while I was in the stall that I just left my toddler with a complete stranger in the Denver International Airport - something I thought I would NEVER do. Then there was the mom of two boys who was traveling alone and became my traveling shadow. She carried my backpack, held the baby, and communicated to other travelers my needs. I am so thankful for her and will never forget her! And there were lots of grandma and grandpa types - that immediately identified me, my situation, and our needs. When I couldn't figure out how to get the stroller unlatched I had a flight attendant drag it to the concourse and announce: "Does anyone know how to work this kind of stroller?" and within thirty seconds I had five men standing around the stroller trying to figure it out - while I chased a very excited toddler around. I don't know how or who fixed my stroller, but it was done and I was so thankful!

As for the actual time in the plane, I brought my computer to serve as a DVD player - and it worked great. After the newness of the plane wore off, this new DVD was a big hit. Little One loved it when we hit any kind of turbulence - and would giggle deep belly laughs. I have never been a fan of flying - but I will admit that sitting by a toddler who is having a ball and thinks the whole experience is "SO MUCH FUN MAMA!!" made my stress and fear of flying disappear.

I feel that the story would not be complete without a true tale of how it all ended - the last 30 minutes of the last flight - we had a complete meltdown. Yes, I was the mom with the screaming child on the plane. Each of the flight attendants came by to offer help, to no avail. Little One was very upset that he couldn't draw with the marker that he had dropped and had rolled underneath the next seat. There was no way I could get it. Holding a baby. Tight quarters. Plane landing. Tables needed to be up. Clenched uncapped markers in his hands. Marks from the markers on his face, tears making them smear. "I WANT TO DRAW!! THAT MARKER!" You get the picture.

Let me also add that from now on, I will always have an extra measure of grace and compassion when I am in a plane with an upset child.

Thankfully our meltdown happened at the time when the pressure in your ears start to change, and all of the flight attendants (and probably everyone else in the plane) thought that was our problem. Ha. Our problem was that we were high in the sky when the clock said it was nap time. Our problem was that we hadn't had lunch. Our problem was that my little man had done above and beyond what his Mama asked him to - and he was done.

But, all was well when we found Dada at the airport holding a cardboard sign that read "Family Needed" and a bouquet of flowers. Little One fell asleep the minute his bottom hit his car seat.

I so wish I had pictures to accompany this post. I do have a picture of Little One in the cockpit - which was pretty cool. But, that was the only time I had a moment to think about finding my camera and using it. I wanted to document Little One's first flight with some pictures, but these words will have to do. Maybe when we're flying with Dada next month some pictures can be snapped.

Now we are back home and getting into the routine of things. Little One is very happy to be back. Tomorrow I'll post more about the trip and all the people we got to see.


*carrie* said...

I absolutely love that W had a sign at the airport for your arrival!

Glad you survived! We did not have a very positive first flying experience with Nathan (he was 6 mos.) and Eric's convinced it's the last--at least until he's much older!

Michal said...

What a great story... you had me laughing out loud! Glad to hear it was a good trip and you had a great time. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Rally said...

Thanks for venturing out and flying with a toddler and newborn to bless me for my birthday! It was a wonderful time seeing you and meeting little Sam.

Love you.