Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Come fly the friendly skies

My husband and I took our four-and-a-half month old son on his first plane trip recently. Here are some things I learned during that adventure.
  1. Everything you thought you knew about air travel just became obsolete now that you're traveling with a baby. Even if you're a seasoned veteran of the post-9/11 airport thing, this is a whole new world.
  2. You will always feel like you forgot something huge when you leave the house.
  3. The baby has tiny clothes, but still needs significant room in a suitcase, once you consider diapers, wipes, blankets, toys, bath accessories and other various sundries.
  4. The security personnel who man the X-ray machines don't care that this is your first time flying with a baby.
  5. It takes longer than you think to disassemble the car seat/carrier from the stroller base and collapse it all to place on the X-ray machine conveyor belt.
  6. If you don't place the car seat/carrier face down on the belt, it will get stuck.
  7. It takes approximately seven minutes, two security personnel and one exasperated dad to "un-stick" a car seat from an X-ray machine conveyor belt.
  8. A security line at the airport can back up impressively in seven minutes.
  9. The guy behind you at the security line doesn't care it's your first time traveling with a baby, either.
  10. It's very hard to tie your sneakers when you're wearing a baby in a Baby Bjorn carrier on your chest.
  11. Your husband probably has his hands full with the carrier, stroller, backpack and diaper bag, plus boarding passes, and can't help you with your shoes.
  12. People at airports don't even think twice about hacking into their grimy hands and then reaching out to touch your baby.
  13. It's very convenient to wear your baby in a carrier, since you can lean back out of the reach of hacking people who want to touch your baby.
  14. Airports are way dirtier than you remember them being, once you take your baby through one.
  15. It will not kill your baby to be in a germ-y environment for a few hours, as long as you take reasonable precautions. Also, buy stock in Purell once you learn you're going to have a baby, as you will spend a fortune on this stuff.
  16. The mild gravitational force you feel during takeoff apparently causes four-and-a-half month old baby boys to void their bowels in forceful, violent and pungent ways, often requiring a change of clothes.
  17. There is not enough room in an airport lavoratory for two parents and a four-and-a-half month old with a soiled diaper.
  18. When one parent stands outside the lavoratory with the diaper bag and supplies while the other wrestles with the child (who's laying on a changing table the size of a dinner plate), the antics are on display to any passengers seated beyond the lavoratories. If you can manage a wry comment directed at the rest of the plane, you will get some chuckles that may earn you some forgiveness when your kid starts wailing later.
  19. A four-and-a-half month old baby boy is strong enough to pull up your discreet nursing cover.
  20. The guy across the aisle from you is probably looking, too.
  21. Somehow, flashing the guy across the aisle doesn't bother you as much as you thought it would. You're probably too damn tired to care.
  22. People can surprise you with their compassion and decency. When you apologize for your crying baby and offer earplugs to the folks around you, almost all of them will decline, saying, "Ah, I've got kids/grandkids of my own -- I know how it is."
  23. After all the headaches and juggling of gear, you can look back on the trip and marvel at how well your little one handled a major disruption in his or her short life, and feel proud of the kid. And of yourselves.

1 comment:

Munchiki's Mom said...

As I will be travelling next month with my by then 3 month old, I will keep every word of this in mind!!! Thanks Ben's Mom! :D