Flying with a baby

Traveling with a toddler: 5 things I'd change next time (if there is one!)

So we just returned from our family Spring Break vacay. And it was fun. Lots of fun. But me? I'm not sure I was so much fun. (And it actually has nothing to do with the fact that I am now one year closer to becoming actual Cougar-aged.) Let's just say I learned that Travel Me, (yeah, that's what we'll call her- even though I'm sure my husband has about fifty other terms he'd choose) she's no fun at all. Looking back, I'd do some--okay, probably fifty, but for the sake of this post and your attention span- at least five--things differently to make the trip more enjoyable for, ahem, everyone else. Airline personnel included. Sorry again to everyone at Southwest Airlines!

1. Trust that I've brought enough milk. Seriously, if I'd packed an actual cow it would have provided less. I have this disorder "issue" where I feel like we're never going to have enough milk on the flight. What if we get stuck on the tarmac for hours on end? (I've read about those people- getting stuck for five, six, ten hours and then nearly each other over the last half a bag of peanuts!). So, even though we didn't have a lot of time, we stopped at the grocery store- Whole Foods- to grab some more milk. While my husband searched for her lactose free organic whole milk (not easy to find!),  I let my baby walk around. I was right behind her, but she still walked into a crate and went sailing to the floor. Save a small cut on her forehead which looked huge to me, my baby was fine. Me, not so much! And if I hadn't been so obsessed with the amount of milk we had, of course it wouldn't have happened...Cue beat myself up moment #1 of a billion.

2. Bring my baby's photo ID. Okay, so maybe not her photo ID because, well, she doesn't effing have one, but her birth certificate.  Because apparently there is no way she could "ever be under two." Let me back up for a moment. We never fly Southwest Airlines (and maybe there's a reason for that?). On the airline we usually travel, I've never been questioned about my daughter's age. Looking back, I think I might have had an easier time convincing the women at Southwest I was only 21! (For the record, my daughter is fourteen months. And does look about two.) We (meaning me- the rest of the broad was fine) arrived at the gate a little frazzled because of the whole baby slamming her head into the side of a crate incident. As we were getting our boarding passes, the agent looked over at the stroller and gave her colleague a look that I took to mean: There's no way in hell that baby is under two. Look at her mom. All frazzled. Look at that cut on her baby's head- bet it was the mom's fault. That mom is a liar! Let's just say I'm not proud of everything that came out of my mouth next. But we did get on-despite my bad attitude and with the help of my pediatrican's office faxing over proof of my daughter's age.

3. Don't pack the kitchen sink. I have told myself this every single time I've traveled. And every single time, I still have too much sh*t. If someone can please give me some tips on how to pack lighter, I'll happily accept them! Because I clearly have a problem (you should have seen the cooler alone I brought with seven sippy cups full of milk). So let's just say my carry-on bag was just a wee bit hard to stuff under the seat and was sticking out slightly. Which of course did not get by the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who told me my big, fat bag was too big and fat to fit under the seat and she'd need to haul it into the overhead bin if she could even lift it. Okay, so maybe that's not what she said, but that's what I heard. But it's my own fault, I can't pack for sh*t.

4. Don't try to have a cocktail. Toward the end of a long day of traveling when the flight attendant takes your drink order, don't order a glass of red wine. I repeat, don't order a glass of red wine- or any wine for that matter- or any cocktail for that matter. Not even if your baby has cut her head, you got in trouble for not having her ID and your big fat bag was in people's way. Not even if your attitude is really bad. Not even if you know it will take the edge off. Because: It. will. spill.

5. Leave my bad attitude at home. It takes up a lot of room and would leave me more space to bring more sh*t. :)



Mommy Monday: Does My Baby Count As a Carry-On?

I was a hot, sweaty mess. My heart was racing. My mind was racing. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been so scared...

No, I wasn't about to give birth.

Nope, I wasn't about to walk down the aisle and commit myself to one man for the rest of my life.

And no, I wasn't about to get my first Brazilian bikini wax since the baby was born, er, three months before.

I was about to...

fly half-way across the country with my baby for the first time.

Cue dramatic music from something scary. Like Poltergeist. Or the Exorcist. Or The Nate Burkus Show.

You'd have thought I was preparing for a three-week cruise to the Caribbean the way I packed for my first four-day trip to California with the baby. The poor hubs looked like a Sherpa as he hauled our, count 'em, twelve bags and various baby gear out to the cab. (In hindsight, we should have ordered two taxis as it probably wasn't fair to make the hubs ride on the roof!)

You name it, I'd packed it- and then some...and some...and some.

Diapers? Forget the flight to Cali. I had enough to fly around the world.

Wipes? I could've wiped the ass of every baby within a two thousand square mile radius.

Spare Outfits? My daughter's suitcase could've put Suri Cruise's closet to shame.

But beyond being prepared for anything my baby could need, I was trying to be prepared for what type of traveler she would be.

What if she decided that thirty thousand miles up was the place she should have her inaugural public melt down?

Well it turns out my baby was a perfect angel. The kind that our flight mates remarked on at the end of the flight. Wow, you're lucky. Is she always so good?

But her mommy? Not so much.

Turns out, mommy was the problem. Mommy who was so frazzled going through security that she practically offered her baby up to be body searched. Mommy who got upgraded to first class and after consuming her second glass o' bubbly became obsessed with babbling baby talk at her baby.  Mommy who probably broke some unwritten rule of the friendly skies and changed her daughter's diaper in, wait for it, the seat.

But if one of us had to be annoying, better me than her, right? *wink* *wink*



PS: Leave a comment (and make me feel better about being such a "freak") and be entered to win a copy of The Baby Planner by the fabulous Josie Brown. We'll randomly select the winner after 6pm EST on Wed., June 1.