So this is my first Mommy Musing Monday for 2014. Keep your expectations low so that they’ll only get better.
I have some draft posts in my head covering other topics, but those will come another day.
This year for Christmas, we took Missy Moo to visit Matt’s family in Ontario. It was her first Christmas and boy were we busy! In addition to 12 fun days, we then returned home to have a second Christmas with my family. Between all of the excitement, I managed to let my guard down and my sinuses took advantage of the moment and held a coup… but I’m almost feeling 100%.
Lots of people fly with offspring, including babies. I now have a better appreciation for anyone who does.
I’ll warn you now that this post gets a little wordy. So scroll down to the bottom to get the key points if you’d rather the short version.
Not all babies are the same. Nor are they the same all the time; especially as they get older.
In September, we flew for the first time with little miss, again to Ontario. It was pretty much smooth sailing (soaring?). Although poor Matt did have to deal with a baby wardrobe change when he went to change her on the plane because you never know when a wee bladder decides to fire off unexpectedly (but it could have been worse!). We also found using a baby carrier was super convenient because she was up in someone’s arms and was happy as a clam.
On our way to Ontario, we flew with Westjet and have a fabulous experience. On the way back, we experienced Air Canada and I will likely try to avoid flying AC with a child ever again. You aren’t shelling out lots of money to zip across the sky in a glorified tin can only to have rude people to deal with (in fairness, it was mainly the gate attendant that was an ass). Either way, it didn’t leave us with the same warm fuzzies Westjet did.
NEWS FLASH: Ten-month olds can be more challenging than they were seven months old
Now that our daughter is a speed crawler (and just on the edge of walking), she’s pretty much always on the move. She doesn’t like to be kept up in anyone’s arms for long because she needs to keep moving and picking and poking at whatever she can find. This was problematic when waiting at the gate before boarding the plane. Although we were using the carrier again, if you weren’t moving around while carrying her, she much preferred to be free so that she could try to lunge at strangers or try to eat anything she could get her hands on.
I will brag that our flight to Ontario was pretty darn good. We sat towards the back like we normally do (the bathrooms are in the back and you never know when a diaper change will need to happen ASAP). Little miss slept for two ours of our three hours and 40 minute flight. Not too shabby! She wasn’t impressed when she woke up though and clearly wanted to be on the move, but it was far from stressful.
The flight back to Newfoundland was more challenging. I’ll confess that it wasn’t completely terrible. Our flight wasn’t full so we managed to have three seats between us and we again sat towards the back.
But my child, my adorable daughter was beyond over tired once we finally took off. It was well past her bedtime and after 12 days of epic visiting, she was done. I can only imagine what she would have said to us if we could translate her baby talk. I suspect Stewie Griffin would have gained some inspiration from her. She was pissed off with a capital P.
At one point I wanted to hang her by her toes. I started saying in a manic voice under my breath “Baby for sale? Baby for sale! Who wants a baby?” (don’t get your pee hot, I would never actually sell her… rent perhaps, but never sell). She was almost jumping out of my arms and when I did hang her upside down she went into a fit of giggles. This is a new trick we’ve been using when she’s not happy. Brings new meaning to the phrase turn that frown upside down.
At this point I handed things over to her daddy. She wailed and kicked and fought. Knocked her bottle out of his hand; sent a toy flying into the aisle (luckily a sympathetic passenger handed it to us quickly). Eventually, she did give up. I can’t remember how long she slept, but it was glorious.
My dream was to then sleep as well, but a toddler who was watching Dora the Explorer on a laptop turned up to 11 did an excellent job of thwarting me. But I didn’t say anything because that might be me someday (although I’ll make sure to have headphones for my child!).
Now before you roll your eyes at me, I know how very, very lucky I am! But when you’re spoiled with a really great kid, it’s easy to forget how easy you have it. Luckily, Missy Moo does manage to throw some curve balls at us now and then so that we don’t forget who really is the boss.
What I’ve learned since travelling with a baby
- Bring Advil, Tylenol, alcohol (just kidding) to murder a headache that could happen during your travels. (Angry baby + headache = not so much of a time)
- Don’t bother bringing a laptop or iPad (unless you plan on using that item to entertain the baby and are hoping they won’t destroy it. Good luck with that)
- Sometimes you have to accept the fact that your cell phone is considered food in your baby’s eyes and if it stops them from freaking out for five minutes, then make sure you have a good case
- ALWAYS bring an extra change of clothes for baby and you (just trust me)
- NEVER change your baby from your seat on an air plane (I witnessed this once a few years ago and almost hurled in my seat. It’s not sanitary and it’s just wrong)
- Bring snacks, but don’t get too ambitious (Bits of fruit, cheese or other non-messy things are good. Mushed up food that needs a spoon doesn’t work well with turbulence)
- While some people are very nice and can sympathize when it’s not a good travel day, some fellow travellers will resent you for bringing a loud mammal that might possibly make them sick because said mammal has a runny nose (it’s called teething dumbass)
- ALWAYS take advantage of the pre-boarding option. (It’s there for a reason; just use it)
- Don’t worry if you have a diaper explosion, have to ride out a bout of baby swearing, or have your baby awkwardly grab a stranger… it’s probably not the weirdest thing they’ve experienced or witness and if it is, congrats you’re now a story they’ll tell when talking about travelling misadventures.
What are your thoughts on travelling with wee ones? Tips? Bad experiences? What have you seen or survived?