There are tons of things to complain about when it comes to flying. There’s no leg room. The food (if you get any at all) sucks. You have to show up two hours before the flight (what else do you have to show up that early for?). They don’t even give you the whole soda can anymore. The recirculated air inevitably makes you sick. I’m sure that you can add to this list. Having flown with a toddler now, well, I’ll just tell the story.
Things were wonderful to start off. Clara was snuggled into the Ergo on my back as we walked into the airport. I rolled our car seat (I LOVE Go Go Babyz!)and suitcase behind me while our carry on diaper bag was slung across my shoulders. We got through security just fine. Rolled the car seat into the bathroom, and let Clara onto the floor in the stall since my tea was catching up with me. She immediately started work on crawling under the door. I wrestled her back and then she unrolled as much toilet paper as possible. After I finished, she of course wanted to run. I ran after her rolling the car seat and lugging everything else.
We finally made it to Starbucks where I bought a muffin and chocolate milk. Clara proceeded to get bran muffin crumbs all over the airport. Until she saw the pony coloring book (with three toy ponies included) at Powells. Four dollars later, the ponies were in our possession. We still hadn’t made it to our gate. Clara does not want to be steered in any direction besides her own. I tried to bribe her with riding the people movers. No luck. I finally just had to scoop her up and while she was screaming and writhing book it for the gate.
Luckily, it wasn’t far. We spent some enjoyable time viewing our airplane and climbing around on the chairs. Then everyone started boarding. I made the executive decicion not to board when they called the children under five. It is not a privledge to be called first to get on the plane when you have to be confined to a seat with a one year old for five and a half hours. So, we continued to play around on the chairs. Ten minutes later, a flight attendant came over. He was apparently worried that I hadn’t heard the announcement that I could get on the plane now. I explained it to him, but he still looked at me like I was crazy.
We finally boarded the aiplane and found our aisle seat just where I had picked it. I sat down and got out the ponies for Clara to play with. Then I waited, just knowing that someone was going to sit in the seat next to mine. I waited, and waited, and waited (all the while trying to convince Clara not to push the attendant call button), and thank my lucky stars, nobody showed up. This was the best thing that happened all day!! Its a good thing, too since we were already spread out as much as we could be in such a little space.
The next five and a half hours consisted on me trying to entertain Clara without letting her move. Toddlers are the busiest people on the planet. Not being able to move is worse for them than not being allowed to play with the computer keyborad. Its all they want to do. So, after finger puppets, coloring. playdough, book reading, Elmo watching, more Elmo watching, snacking, playing with the seat belts, and all other possible forms of entertainment, I had to let her walk a little.
We got up and she started running down the aisle. Back and forth. Up and down. Until it got turbulent. And then it was turbulent for the rest of the flight. We weren’t allowed to get up at all. There was screaming, crying, hitting, biting, nashing of teeth and all other sorts of things, and when the smoke cleared (because there’s always smoke after a battle), lunch was served. Which could have been a great thing, except that Clara wanted to use the fork all by herself. Pasta sauce was going everywhere. I had to take the fork away. So I did. And Clara screamed like I had just broken her arm. All of our neighbors on the plane looked at me like I was the antichrist. Luckily, cookies came with lunch. So I deployed one and things settled back down pretty quick.
After lunch had been cleared, I decided it was time for a nap. And since I couldn’t take one with Clara climbing all over me, I tried to get her to go to sleep, too. I laid her down on the seat, I cuddled her into my boosom, I sang beautiful lullaby songs. Nothing worked. She was too busy. Finally, amidst much more screaming, I strapped her to my chest in the Ergo. She flung her head back, she head butted my forehead, and just as I was beginning to lose hope, she passed out. But, her head was in my face, and there was no going to sleep for me. The quiet time was wonderful, though. Until the pilot had to announce that there was going to be more turbulence.
But, Clara was calm and pretty happy for the rest of the flight. Luckily that was only half an hour. She looked out the window at the ocean and the island when we could see it. She talked for the entire landing about seeing Moo and Pa. She wanted to know where Da was. And then we were there. I’m thinking about staying so that I don’t have to go through this again in a week.