Flying the friendly skies
I know you've all been anxiously awaiting the results of our cross country plane flight with Graham. Well, folks, I would call it a success! If you'll recall, this is what I told you I packed:
What I also packed:
- Disposable, multi-use pads
- Plastic grocery bags
GRR to MSP: Upon take-off at 10am, Graham immediately fell asleep until we landed. Miracle of miracles!
MSP to PDX: Graham's mid-morning, off schedule nap meant he was awake the WHOLE 3+ hour flight. Which wasn't terrible. He mostly wanted snacks and books. The pipe cleaners were only very, very briefly entertaining. The painters tape was a success - not only due to the sticking, but because Graham enjoyed wearing the roll like a bracelet. Upon our descent, however, Graham became very unhappy. Screaming. Kicking. Flailing. Thank goodness we had a super nice guy who was stuck in the window seat next to us. Then, about 5 minutes before landing, he fell totally and utterly asleep. And he stayed that way off the plane, into his stroller, to the rental car, into the car seat and all the way to the hotel.
We never really adjusted to Pacific time. That first night he was up at 2:30am and would NOT go back to sleep. Needless to say, it was a little rough on Friday for all of us. Every morning thereafter he was up around 4:30am. So that meant we were going to be around 9:30pm. Kind of lame, but you can't really go out when you have a baby in a hotel room. This also meant he was tired for our trek back to Michigan, and made for ease in getting back on a normal schedule. Here's the recap of the trip back:
PDX to MSP: He was great for 2 hours. Lots of reading books and playing on the floor around our feet. And then he fell asleep the last hour and stayed asleep through the landing, through the screaming, flailing fit performed by the toddler in the row next to us (I was so sympathetic towards her mom, while also hoping that she didn't wake Graham up), and after we got off the plane.
MSP to GRR: Again - an excellent little boy. He decided during his trip that drawing with crayons is pretty cool, so we drew a lot on this flight. He started getting a little fussy on the descent while sitting on Jeff's lap. He transitioned to my lap as we were approaching the airport (I don't know what it is about flying into GRR, but every flight involves circling the airport before landing), and then, suddenly, out of nowhere it happened. Projectile vomit all over me. For those of you who don't know me, I am morbidly afraid of vomit. Terrified. Don't ask - it's just one of my irrational fears (like falling down the stairs and food-born illness). And yet, I felt so awful for him, that I just hugged my sad, sick little boy as vomit was squished between us, and Jeff scrambled to get the multi-use pads to clean us (and the seat) up. Thankfully we were only in a 2-seater row, so no innocent bystanders were hit. Thankfully it didn't smell terrible. And thankfully we were almost at the airport. Nevertheless. We stripped off our shirts and got clean ones on. We put the barf clothes in the plastic bags. What I had not packed because space was at a premium, was a clean pair of pants for me, so as soon as we got our suitcase from baggage claim, I pulled clean (well, non-pukey) jeans, and changed in the bathroom.
So here's what I learned:
- My kid is awesome. I had multiple people comment on how good he was. Of course people said how cute he was (as if that was ever in question). We even got compliments on our parenting (and yes, that validation from total strangers was much needed).
- Also, almost everything that I packed was totally necessary.
- I would cut down on the number of pipe cleaners.
- I would bring fewer kids books.
- I would not bring a book for myself. Ok - maybe a magazine. But really - there was no "me" time on this vacation, so it was totally unnecessary. As it was, our suitcase was 5 lbs too heavy, so we had to cram stuff in our back pack and in my purse, so the stuff we didn't need felt like a burden.
- I would not put blankets in the carry on - or maybe just one. Not 2 blankets and burp rags as I did.
- I wish I had packed back up pants in my carry-on.