September 11, 2015

Lap Child

planewatching

Our trip to our family reunion wasn’t just Alexis’ first flight east, but also our first time traveling with a lap child.

I wasn’t two keen on the idea of splitting up over two rows. I wasn’t sure how understanding our seat neighbors would be of sitting next to small children and wanted a Domingo buffer. (Dirty glances bother him far less than they bother me.) But I was also a little nervous about how we’d do over the six hours in the air. When we flew with Nicki as a baby we opted for the extra seat. At the time I remarked to Domingo that I couldn’t imagine flying with a five month old on our lap for the full six hours. Now here we were with a nine month old lap baby! And with an active child to boot!

Since there are no direct flights between us and my parents, we had no choice but to opt for a layover. We went through Chicago on the way out, and returned through Denver. Thus the long flight was always the first flight. Our hope was that the second flight would be less trying on our over tired children’s patience. We also opted for long layovers so we’d have a chance to get everyone food and potty breaks, even if there were delays.

Having a lap child ended up going smoother than expected. Alexis fell asleep during the takeoff and decent of the first flight. She remained awake for takeoff on the second flight out of Chicago, but fell asleep midway through the flight. She didn’t awake until the stewardess made her announcement about beginning our final decent. She awoke, an hour past her bedtime, to a very full diaper and popping ears. My usual very mellow baby was very, very not happy. She cried non stop for the next twenty minutes until she was off the plane and we were walking to baggage claim.

The rest of the time went pretty smoothly. She loved playing with plane safety information, and kept trying to grab the tray table lock. At one point she grabbed an extra bag of pretzels in each hand and began shaking them like a rattle. For the last flight between Denver and home I wore her in the Ergo and she slept the entire time.

Nicki also did extremely well. She has been enamored with the ‘Big Plane’ ever since we picked up Grandma and Grandpa at the airport last thanksgiving. She loved everything from how fast take off felt, to the bump when the wheels touched down again. The snack service was a big hit as well. She loved her apple juice with a straw. We brought the leap pad tablet to help keep Nicki entertained, but didn’t end up breaking it out. She was so excited to be on the big plane that she didn’t need much to keep her entertained.

We did have one hiccup where, during our layover in Chicago, Nicole managed to spill an entire chocolate milk all down the front of her shirt. I had been worried about the possibility of accidents on the plane and had an extra pair of pants and underwear for her. The inability to congregate at the front of the plane, long lines at the back, turbulence that requires us to stay seated, and tiny bladders do not mix! But it hadn’t occurred to me to pack a spare shirt, so we now have a souvenir “Chicago Fire” shirt.

My hiccup came when it was time to pass through security for our return trip. I admit the significance of flying on September 11th was lost on me (I blame the sleep deprivation!). I noticed the flights were significantly cheaper, and it didn’t occur to me why until after I had booked our trip. As to be expected, TSA was being extra thorough. It seemed like every other person was being selected for additional screening, which sadly included me. Poor Domingo had to hold on to both girls and collect all our luggage because I wasn’t allowed to touch anything until I was cleared. At least it was a short inconvenience.

We had a great trip despite a couple of hiccups. I’m so glad we were able to go.

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