Flying with a toddler.
If any phrase can strike fear in the heart of a mother, this is one of the top contenders. (Along with, “explosive diarrhea,” “grocery shopping at naptime,” and “did you just flush Daddy’s keys?” of course.)
It’s interesting to me that every time the possibility of an airplane trip has come up, Gruff has been busy. Working. Sure sounds suspicious to me. I flew with Smooch when he was 13 months old, and I was terr.if.ied. of being “that woman.” The one who ruined everyone’s trip by bringing a screaming baby into a small enclosed space. I read up, I researched, I got opinions from mommy friends. I had sippies (and was afraid the TSA would turn me away, but they were cool with 20 oz. of whole milk going through the checkpoint, thank God) and snacks and books and toys and pacis and my boobs. Smooch was still an avid nurser at that point, and I felt smug about my Secret Weapon of Calm. I printed out airline statements about allowing breastfeeding on planes (this was after the big Delta incident) and I was ready.
I know what you’re thinking. You think this is about to be a tale of a first-time mom with the wind promptly removed from her sails when all her plans come to naught in the face of an unpredictable travel industry and an overstimulated, overtired toddler.
Sorry, dear readers, but that’s not how this one spins out.
Smooch was a brilliant, calm, composed kid the entire time. There was a bounty of bad weather in the direction we were trying to go, so we had flight delay after delay after delay. He played with his toys, he “chatted” with new friends, he managed to find an age-appropriate girlfriend in two of the four airports we were in on that round-trip week. He slept a bit, ate a bit, and nursed a bit on the flights themselves. I was amazed.
Now, tomorrow, we are flying again. And I’m scared to death.
I can’t possibly cheat the Toddler Gods twice, can I? So this time, I’m really in for it. I can feel it in the air.