Month 17: Flight Risk

Last time I got on a plane with Miles, he was 11 mos. old and I was traveling by myself. We hit a rough patch, and I was forced to pass off my baby to a stranger while I scrambled to find an airsickness bag. And yet, our trip this past weekend was so much worse.

This time, the whole family was traveling together. Two parents, should be easier, right? Our flight left around Miles’ bedtime. Perfect, right? It was only an hour flight. Piece of cake, right? Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

First, I realize that airport security is intended to make air travel safer for everybody. But, come on, forcing a baby to dump out his sippy cup and remove his tiny shoes that take 20 minutes to wrestle back on? (Note to self: get the Velcro kind next time.) Then we had to double back to retrieve the stroller we’d left on the conveyer belt amidst our 7 trillion carry-on items.

We arrive at our gate to discover our flight has been delayed TWO HOURS. Perfect. It’s now Miles’ dinner time, so I go off to forage for the least-disgusting airport food I can find. Twenty minutes later, just as I reach the front of the Quiznos line, a girl comes running up, shouting to her friends that the flight is no longer delayed and is boarding NOW. So I run back to the gate, no food in hand.

We board, give Miles his blanket and pacifier and attempt to get him settled. Yeah, right. He’s pointing out the window, shouting “Pane! Pane! Tuck! Tuck!” Indeed, there are many planes and trucks to be seen. Then he wheels around and starts doing leg presses on the seat in front of him. The kid can press triple his body weight, I swear. We remove his shoes so as to soften his kicks to the back of the seat. Yeah, right.

The college girl unfortunate enough to be seated in our row does her best to ignore us. She plugs her headphones into the radio on the armrest, punches some buttons to adjust the volume, and fires up her laptop. She might as well have pulled out a slab of raw antelope meat in a lion’s cage.

Miles immediately dived for the electronic equipment and began punching buttons. “Oh, honey, no! Ha, ha, he just loves to push buttons,” I explain to the girl apologetically, as I forcibly remove my son from her keyboard. I pass him off to C., amidst loud protests.

Miles soon busies himself pulling off his socks. A minute later, I hear a shout from the college girl. I look over and see that Miles has sneaked his little foot under my arm and is now pushing the buttons on the girl’s radio WITH HIS TOES!! Apparently, he cranked up the volume quite a bit. “I’m SO sorry!” I tell her, blushing and sweating profusely. “Take him!!” I hiss to C. under my breath, tossing him the baby like a football.

We spend the next hour passing Miles back and forth between us, prying his fingers off the hair of the passengers in front of us, retrieving his pacifier from the row in back of us, attempting to flag down a flight attendant to refill his sippy cup, and praying fervently that Miles will not knock over the college girl’s ginger ale into her laptop. Not only does Miles not sleep AT ALL, but he actually breaks a sweat from the exertion of everything he’s doing to not sleep.

Our landing is delayed due to God knows what, and when we do finally touch down there are no gates available so we sit on the runway for 45 minutes. I mentally count the number of gray hairs I’ve sprouted during the trip and swear to never, ever step foot on a plane again until Miles is 14. Too damn bad for our families. They’ll just have to make do with web cams.

As if to make up for things, Miles slept and behaved beautifully the whole rest of the trip. Then came our return flight. Really, I can’t complain too much. Sure, Miles purposely kicked over my drink, forcing me to spend most of the trip sitting in a puddle of ice water. Sure, he insisted on opening his packet of pretzels himself, showering everyone in the surrounding seats with salt and pretzel crumbs. Sure, he pulled off his socks again and dug his toes into every grimy crevice he could find. But as long as he doesn’t fry anybody’s laptop, I’m a happy Mom. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shred my frequent flyer card.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: ABC News just did a story on moms who blog. There’s 15,000 of us! Who knew? Also, I found this web site, Go-Baby.com, that gives tips for traveling with kids.


Anonymous said...

Oh man, sounds exhausting! However, I think I'd rather get it over with in a couple hours vs. the insane 8+ hour car trip we're about to make in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE these kinds of stories (especially when they aren't mine-which isn't very often) ;-) My youngest and Miles were born just a few days apart, so I definitely relate. Don't you just love how they have a reach that is literally 5 times longer than their arms and legs?!?

princealexsmomma said...

Hey there. Jamie from Stoller Strides here. Been reading your blog - it is great.

This entry had me laughing out loud. Also had me a little scared - we will be taking Alex on a plane in a few months - thank goodness he will have his own seat!

Mom2Miles said...

Hey, Jamie! I tried to find your blog but couldn't remember the exact name. thanks for stopping by. :)

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