Monday, June 21, 2010

A fear of flying

...which, really, I do not have.
What I do have is a fear of flying with a 14 month old.

Levi and I are trekking to the Pacific Northwest in August sans daddy. Usually I consider myself quite confident when it comes to caring for my infant alone. I do it on a daily basis. What I cannot fathom is caring for him, alone, on an airplane. Let me explain

Last Christmas we all flew to the PNW together. All three of us. To say that wrangling a 7-month old Levi was difficult would be marginalizing our efforts. At a mere 7 months he wanted to be Unlike his 3-month-old flight, he was not content to sit and nurse. No sir. I know this because I was bitten - several times. He would not be bothered by *new* toys, snacks, or cell phones. This boy wanted to be down, on the ground, motoring around.

So, you may begin to see my dilema. Now faced with taking the trip alone, not being able to pass a wiggly child back and forth sounds like an all too new level of restraint.

But I do have a couple of things going for me.
First, on the way there anyhow, I chose an evening flight. If I'm lucky Levi will pass out nursing in my arms for at least our first leg to Denver. If I'm SUPER lucky, he'll pass out again for the second leg.
Second, I plan to make use of my dear friend Ben. You know, that pink bottle of snooze juice? After running it by Levi's Ped. I've got the go ahead to give it a try. We've tried it once to make sure he doesn't "ramp up" and while it didn't send him off to la la land, it also didn't send him doing laps around the basement. At the very least he may have become a little more relaxed. Relaxed is all I'm going for.

So what advice do you have?
Aside from new, engaging toys, snacks, and our dear friend Ben, what can you suggest?


miL. said...

Oh Melissa...I do share your same fear and I don't envy you in the least. I can't imagine flying with Macy right now. The only encouragement I can hope to give is this: just as Levi was not the same baby at 7 months as he was at 3 months, neither will he be the same at 14 months as he was at 7. Who knows? Maybe he will just soak up all the quality mommy's-lap-time he'll be getting! Love you!

Rae said...

We took a ball with us when flying with Teague and would let him chase the ball around at the gate. The other passengers would often join in and help keep the ball rolling and he burned off a lot of energy.

Also, I made sure to be the LAST person on the plane. I sent Justin ahead with our carry-ons and kept Teague at the gate until the last boarding call. In your situation, I would go on board and put up your bags when they offer early boarding for small children and inform the agent that you intend to come back off and reboard at last call. Then you wouldn't have to worry about not having room for your bags and then you can get back off to let him scoot around a bit more, grab a last diaper change and other last minute things. Even with all of the horrible extenuating circumstances (ear infections, grounding of all flights for 6 hours, diverting routes and even turning around in the middle of a flight) I think Teague did very well.

When we were stuck on the runway for an hour, Teague was completely DONE and I finally brought out our DVD player and played Baby Einstein for him. It worked like a charm so I was very glad I saved it for last resort because then we were able to take off.

I think you're on the right track with scheduling evening flights. Teague fell asleep at takeoff on both of our evening flights.

Ok, I hope that helps...

awana4mom said...

Melissa ~ While I don't have any sage advice that miL and Rae didn't already give you, I would also suggest this. This is part of your story. Flying along at this stage will be just that - a stage. To enjoy this stage, you have to enjoy it now, while he's 14 months. Because pretty soon, he'll be 14, and flying on his own, to meet up with you.