My 2-½-year-old son is a seasoned traveler. By the time he was 14 months old, he had flown cross-country three times.
My husband and I had the routine down to a science; we even traveled with our beagle as a carry-on. We called it Airport Olympics: By the time we made it through security and hobbled our way to the gate with baby, dog, stroller, car seat and an assortment of carry-on bags, we felt we deserved a gold medal.
So getting on an airplane yet again should be a piece of cake, right? Well, a lot has changed in 18 months -– like my son’s mobility.
He’s a great kid. He has not given me any reason to believe our latest airplane excursion will be a difficult one. But I worry. Most of his mornings involve dancing in the family room, racing his shopping cart down the hallway (I get the lawn mower), and playing a Fisher Price piano while singing a very loud version of the “ABC” song. Not quite the stuff of cramped airplanes.
1) I picked early-morning flights to create the least disruption to my son’s schedule as we change time zones.
2) I’ve made a list of all the key essentials I’ll need to pack to make sure my son is as comfortable as possible when we arrive in California. (I made another list of groceries I will need to buy immediately when we arrive. Think chicken nuggets and oatmeal.)
3) I’ve stashed away a few new toys that I will magically introduce when the novelty of being on an airplane has worn off.
4) When I arrive at the airport, I’m going to ask to pre-board and request bulkhead seats. The hope being it would prevent my son from possibly spending 6 hours kicking the back of a chair of some innocent passenger.
5) I’ll pray.