The following post is intended to poke fun at the process of traveling with your tots by sharing my disastrous personal accounts. I figured if any of you had actually seen how disheveled I looked mid-flight you too would’ve considered posting some advice on the do's and the don’ts of traveling with tots.
When I received the call that my grandfather was checking into hospice I knew that selfishness aside the trip was a must. The first journey Gavin was just shy of 6 months old and afterward I told anyone who would listen that I would never make the trip solo again. Gavin was 17 months old for our second and most recent expedition and sadly, we were at yet another familiar impasse. Exactly one week prior to our scheduled trip my husband’s grandmothers’ struggle with cancer ended. Even under the best of circumstances traveling a far distance with kids is tough.
I’ve been back for almost two weeks now and let me just say, “Mama is still recovering”. I can now look back at our first trip and laugh but as for our second, I haven’t reached laughing status as of yet.
I fully support the TSA’s job of preventing any would-be terrorists from boarding my plane but I do think that requiring a 17 month old to remove his shoes and jacket is a bit much. The only possibility of him carrying a bomb is in his diaper. With that being said plan on extra time to navigate your way through security and a possible TSA fondling. Opening your wallet to expose the bundle of much needed ones may leave other travelers speculating that your day job consists of more than just turning dirty diapers but struggling to disassemble your stroller and car seat, removing your shoes and coat while simultaneously holding your baby is a delicate process that you will definitely need some assistance to complete. Make sure to pack lots of ones for your tip I mean trip after all you may be fortunate enough to get the TSA security screen with the “happy ending.”
For those of you taking a trip by land, air, or sea with your husband at your side, I envy and hate you. Your dear husband WILL make your voyage a bit more peaceful, however peaceful a voyage with a screaming, non-sedated kid can be. Traveling solo tests the patience of even the strongest of parents so if you’re a SAHM that has to make a few solitary trips you are going to need to do a fair amount of planning and by planning I mean plan on having a pocket full of xanax. Let’s be real, no matter what type of planning you put into your trip there will always be some unforeseen circumstances. Practice some ballerina skills prior to your trip because being flexible and having the ability to think on your toes will be your techniques during your very own traveling circus.
There is one important thing that you will need to make sure to pack for your tot and that is Tylenol. Or, you may be into heavier types of sedation like Benadryl. The idea of knocking my son into a Benadryl delirium didn’t appeal to me but traveling with a rowdy lap child soon caused me to hit a dangerous threshold. My sanity and the sanity of the other 150 passengers took precedence. This fact became evident when the passengers seated in the rows surrounding me were ordering scotch and water, jack and coke and double fisting vodka tonics. It was time to mix up a cocktail for my little man. Let it be known (because I found this out the hard way) that not all babies respond to Benadryl. In some instances Benadryl can actually cause your little one to become more wired. There I was 30,000 feet from having my feet firmly planted on the ground and my 17 month old was high on Benadryl and using my lap as a trampoline. The 6 hour and 50 minute flight from
to Portland left me plenty of time to contemplate the purchase of a new home in Ft. Lauderdale because I sure as hell wasn’t flying back. Although I was initially against drugging my child, upon landing I frantically called my pediatrician to determine what other drugs or methods of sedation were available. After a small chuckle from the other end of the line I found out that unfortunately doctors do not sanction the use of chloroform for traveling and other than Tylenol and Benadryl there really are not any other potions. Florida
When I made this trip when Gavin was six months old I followed the precise directions of his doctor. I settled myself and Gavin in our one seat and thirty minutes prior to take off I administered a dose of Tylenol. As the wheels left the tarmac I offered him a bottle to help his ears adapt to the pressurization. Fearful that he may hear the elevated beating of my heart I momentarily considered chewing up a xanax but instead I remained shockingly calm and proceeded with my motherly duties. He woke an hour into the flight and looked up at me and smiled. Piece of advice, don’t get cocky. Keep alert as your little one’s moods can change faster than the moods of a bi-polar girlfriend on her monthly. If you are not careful your little one will catch you off guard and throw your flight into a tailspin.
My first mistake came when I had an arrogant surge of energy. His diaper was wet so I foolishly decided to proceed to the back of the plane to the lavatory. The special in-flight lavatory with the germ free walls, extra leg room and the plush fold down changing table. This lavatory does not exist. What you should know is that some airplanes do indeed have a changing table. The location depends on the type of aircraft and the airline you are flying. On most flights it is actually located in the front of the plane but don’t venture into the dirty cubicle without recalling that it is nearly impossible to go to the bathroom in there on your own let alone when you are dangling a wriggling six month old from your lap, preventing him from falling to the germ infested floor by merely a grasp to the ankle. And let me just tell you, the acoustics in there are unbelievable! If you’re a risk taker and plan on taking this walk of shame only bring the necessary diaper doody supplies. Once inside the confined space your little one will begin pawing at the dirty walls and the anxiety of the situation is enough to ensure panic causing you to run back to your seat with his pecker still exposed. Take my advice, unless your child has severely poo-ed his pants venturing to the planes lavatory changing table is a ludicrous waste of energy.
To Be Continued…