Tuesday, April 24, 2012


While at the airport, Baby Girl pointed at an airplane - one we were about to get on - and shouted, "AIRPAIN!" and I thought, "ohmylordgoodness, kid, you have no idea how right you are. AirPAIN."

This past weekend, Baby Girl and I (more like Toddler Girl now, but whatever) took our first solo trip. It went...uh, better than expected in some ways, and slightly worse in others, and was altogether completely and totally worth it (best. wedding. ever) but also made me never, ever, ever want to get on a plane by myself with a toddler again. Ever. Again.

The worst part of the whole thing was the security line. Held up both times, once by my Crazy Lawbreaking Organic Fruit Pouches (I fought the law, and the law won) - the second time by a renegade tube of diaper cream which I totally thought I had put in my checked baggage and which, certainly, snuck back into my carry-on under its own power. Damn stuff. Nothing makes you look like a great parent more than corralling a screaming toddler while waiting for the TSA guy to pull out the carefully-packed diapers, El.mo video (don't judge me, she doesn't watch TV at home but on an airplane I will give her whatever it takes to survive), coloring book and snacks in order to track down that one liquid you forgot to put in the plastic bin.

Because then what happens is that your kid sees the stuff you had carefully hidden in said carry-on, with the plan that you would pull it out when the jello hit the fan during the actual airplane ride, except now there are no secrets because all your worldly goods are sitting out on that stainless steel table and your child is yelling, "mo! mo!" which either means, 1.) El.mo; or 2.) more! or 3.) something you don't quite understand but will spend the next 20 minutes trying to figure out.

The business-guy traveler behind me was itching to get past us, and I don't blame him in the least. I used to be that person. The one who whipped off her shoes, brought a quickly-removed jacket, got that laptop out in three seconds flat and made my way through security like a professional whilst inwardly sneering at the Parent With Screaming Toddler and now...well. Yes. Now that's me.

On the other hand, on the ride home, she slept for two hours (hallelujah!) and then played happily for the last hour or so (minus a few tears on the descent, but even I don't enjoy that part, so no blame there) and, when we landed, she smiled at the passengers around us like she was Queen of the Plane and they praised her as if she was, and that was pretty great.

I still don't really want to do this again, though. And I need a nap.


  1. I have flown on a plane one time with an almost-toddler, in a stroller, with a breastpump (Ma'am, can we unpack your nebulizer? HA!) and other assorted baggage. Toddler and I were ready for our trip through the scanner *before* the well dressed business traveler in front of us. Sir, you need to practice at home!

  2. The condescending glances from fellow non-child-loving passengers is the worst! Paisley has only cried on one flight we were on for about 5 minutes and I swear the people around me were ready to lynch me for it. And security took away a light-up ball of hers because that was just too dangerous!

  3. Oh no.....I am traveling alone with my 18 month old daughter in June...Across the country (CA to NC)!!!! We rely on those darn fruit pouches...why can I not bring them? I'm doing my best to be as prepared as possible...bought her a seat, got the car seat adapter that turns it into a stroller, have the baby einstein videos ready (she has never seen them...so this should be good)and traveling at toddler friendly times with a layover right in the middle so no flight is more than 3 hours. I sure hope I can do this! But...if all else fails....she is super cute and loves people so maybe she will just charm them all into forgetting she also has a piercing scream when she doesn't get her way! Wish me luck!!!! uhg!

    1. Don't worry - most of the pouches are okay, as long as they're the smaller size. I had some larger ones that got confiscated (but were eventually given back to me, they just took forever to test). You'll be fine!

  4. Just wanted to say my little one was watching elmo on the dvd player in the other room with dad while i was reading this hours ago.... I had plans of wooden toys and no video, but then reality hit, and we are in survival mode.

    to all of you who have traveled with toddlers: I salute your bravery.

    Holy moly. I dread the very idea. the car is challenge enough.

  5. You are so much braver than me! I'm glad you're all home safe and sound!

  6. I love this post! I just found you and am so happy I did. I traveled in January with my then-10month old. She has recently gotten good at crawling and moving lots and was having absolutely nothing to do with sitting in a confined space for 6 hours. The lady beside me at one point said she really admired me, that she would have broken into tears hours ago... a lady in front of us said she was tempted to buy my daughter a cocktail. I really wish should would have bought me one, as I really, really needed it. And I'm pretty sure that the pilots looked into who was in seats 16E and F and deducted frequent flier miles from our accounts... it was nuts. The only good part was that I have lots and lots of hilarious stories from the experience! so true about the secrets in the diaper bag... love it!