Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tykes on a Plane

When we took our first (cross-country!) flight with two toddlers last month, I expected the worst.  Good thing.

Things I've learned about flying with two little ones:

1. It's not possible to have too many snack options
2. There are seemingly endless uses for a gauzy scarf (blanket, scarf, lovey, burp cloth, nursing cover (I'm no longer nursing, but I can imagine how useful it would be if I were))
3. It's easier than you think to change a baby in an airport bathroom, especially if you have a diaper changing wallet (holds diapers, wipes and has a built in changing pad)
4. The Ergo baby carrier (even though Southwest wouldn't let me fasten it) is a lifesaver on the plane and just in general
5. Three-year-olds think drinkable applesauce is awesome
6. How to pack milk for a (weaned) baby without breaking liquid restrictions: Pre-measure formula in disposable bottle liners, roll the liners up and secure them with tape, then buy bottled water after going through security.  Upside: you can carry on many servings without carrying on liquid and while saving space (don't have to pack multiple bottles).  Downside: the rolled up bottle liners look like contraband, prompting The Boy to say "You know we have to make it through airport security, right?"  Thankfully, though the rolls aroused the suspicion of my parents, my sister-in-law and my husband, the TSA was not curious.
7. Portable DVD players that can hold a charge are well worth the trouble/expense it takes to procure them (we were lucky enough to borrow one) and kid-sized ear buds are worth the expense
8. With the exception of one American Airlines flight attendant, people are more understanding than you might think.  An  apologetic smile and visible attempts at courtesy seemed to go a long way.
9. Though others are, I am not capable of doing it alone. I could not have done it without The Boy (on the way out), and my parents on the way back.

Other lessons from our trip to California:
1. Disneyland may be one of the happiest places on earth, but we wouldn't know.  We spent that day at the UC Irvine ER, as Mirabella had a 104-degree fever I couldn't get down.
2. If you're going to take a jet-lagged baby for walk around the lobby at 6AM in a convention hotel, don't wear your jammies.  No one else is.
3. If your hotel room doesn't have a refrigerator, just ask.   I wish we would have known this sooner. An overachieving desk clerk mentioned it to us and provided it at no extra charge.
4. To get a baby to sleep in a hotel room when you're not yet ready to go to sleep, hide on the floor.  You heard it here first.

While I am grateful we got to spend those few days with The Boy, joining him on a work trip is not all it's cracked up to be. The most important lesson I learned on our trip: I don't want to do it again any time soon.
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