I am writing to you from Florida. I was going to say “sunny Florida” but it was pouring down rain when we got here. We’re talking buckets…they stopped delivering luggage to the terminals because of “extreme weather.”
I am on a Disney World vacation with my little family this week. “Why are you blogging then?” I can HEAR you roll your eyes from here.
I am blogging because it is 1:34 in the morning (FL time) and my husband and daughter are sound asleep. And while I wish I was also asleep because I am exhausted, I drank two Cokes with dinner in an attempt to rid myself of a headache from you know where, and now I can’t sleep. Such is life.
I thought I would blog about getting here. New parents worry about getting places. I was dreading the trip today. Security with a stroller and a baby and four carry on bags (two for baby) and one car seat bag (just in case there wasn’t room for her seat on the plane)…it wasn’t something any sane person would be looking forward to.
My in-laws came with us in our van this morning so that we wouldn’t have to load our car, unload our car, load their car, and then unload their car. Less steps equals happiness when you’re a parent. (Plus, they drove our van home for us and we didn’t have to pay for parking…score!)
I was a nervous wreck this morning. I was so afraid we would forget something (we forgot something) or put something in our carry on that wasn’t allowed (I will get to this later), that I was a serious basket case.
We made it to the airport on time and my father in law and husband loaded our plethora of junk on a luggage cart, and we did the whole bag drop thing. (Which still left us with a stroller, carseat in carseat bag which also contained diapers and wipes for the trip, two duffel bags, a backpack, and a diaper bag…not to mention the baby…)
My in-laws couldn’t go past security so we got in line ourselves…duffel bags piled on stroller, David with carseat bag on his back, me with diaper bag and baby, backpack underneath stroller.
I was sweating and feeling panicky. I could tell David was nervous too. We piled all our junk up there and the TSA guy was so kind and helpful. We had to take our liquids out, and declare the formula and baby food for Briana, and also put all the formula and baby food in a separate bin so it could undergo “additional screening and testing.” But he was so nice and patient and took us through it step by step. And since there is a Family Line at security, everyone behind us was being patient, too.
So I took out all the baby food that I remembered packing in the carry on luggage and followed instructions. They took the formula over and did some test on it and brought it back an said we were good to go. I started putting everything back together and putting the baby food away (which had been cleared). I had packed an entire four pack of baby yogurt in the bag, and it was cleared.
Meanwhile, another TSA agent came over and stated that he needed to do additional screening on our backpack. I thought it might be because of something called MagicBands in our bag which are basically wristwatch looking things that are in beta for Disney park tickets. Anyway, they were in a box and all contain chips of some kind so I thought that was it.
The guy eventually brought the bag back over looking perplexed and apologetic at the same time, holding a single container of baby yogurt in his hand. “Well, this is over the three ounce limit, but it’s baby food…but I can’t test it without opening it…so…”
I was not going to tell this guy that I had already been cleared for four additional containers of baby yogurt that was already put away. And I wasn’t going to cause a holdup or start an argument over a container of yogurt I hadn’t even remembered packing. So I just told him to throw it away. “Are you sure?”
Well, man, you aren’t going to let me take it through…what else was I supposed to do with it, mail it home? “Yes, I’m sure, it’s not a big deal.”
So, disaster averted, violation of personal space complete, let’s find our gate!
And we did find our gate. And we found the only available seating which happened to be in a row behind someone who was stretched across an entire row of seats napping. Briana needed a diaper, so I opened her diaper bag to get what we needed. Her diaper bag has Velcro.
The man sleeping apparently woke up (I was kneeling on the floor and didn’t notice) and after David walked away to change Briana’s diaper, this guy made a huge deal about stretching and yawning and making “Oh I just woke up” sounds. I glanced at him and just kept organizing our stuff, since we needed to gate check the stroller and I needed to find out if we could take our carseat on the plane for Bri or not.
The guy called me a bitch. Wasn’t brave enough to say it to my face, and said it just quiet enough that if I said anything to him he could pretend he hadn’t said it or hadn’t meant for me to hear.
And notice he waited until my husband walked away? REAL brave, dude. Real brave.
Of course, in the moment, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel safe saying anything. I was half afraid that if I did say something and it escalated, neither one of us would be allowed to board our flight. I considered talking to a flight attendant or something because it made me extremely uncomfortable, but that felt like tattling and I doubted they would do anything.
So I let it pass. I told David what happened once we were on the plane and he was FURIOUS, but we both agreed not to rock the boat.
Of course, halfway through the flight I started thinking about what happened and I was absolutely furious. And I knew EXACTLY what I should have said to him! Ugh. I know I am not the only one this happens to…but it is still insanely aggravating.
Anyway that whole story was off topic.
I did find out there was room for Briana’s seat, and we boarded and got all set up during the early boarding process.
I was armed with tons of tips from my aunt and uncle and many others about traveling on a plane with a baby. I had a bottle ready for her to suck on during our takeoff (helps with ears popping and such), I had a bunch of brand new never before seen toys for her to play with, and snacks and bottles galore for her to eat. I had blankets and burp rags and wipes and diapers and everything else I could possibly think of to entertain, comfort, or mollify my child.
She was an angel. She played in her seat for quite a while. She took a nap and then ate and played some more. We hit some pretty bad turbulence so we put her back in her seat and she was fine with that…she took another nap. She loved her new toys and smiled at everyone who walked by. She let us change her diaper in our laps three times when the seatbelt light was on without a fuss.
She was such a good little girl!
She gave a high five (newly learned skill) to the flight attendant who brought by her official Wings (since it was her first flight) and flirted outrageously with the woman across the aisle from us. Such a cutie.
Without my aunts advice, the flight would have been a nightmare…with it, it was the same as flying without a baby. Actually, better for me. I used to have anxiety up in airplanes, especially if I had to sit anywhere other than the aisle seat. Claustrophobia is no fun. Today, I sat in the middle seat on a five and a half hour flight and felt no anxiety at all…well, except during the thunder storm turbulence, but that wasn’t really related to my claustrophobia!
If you’re a new mom or just parents going on their first flight with an infant, my aunt (and uncle, lol) tips are as follows:
If you aren’t buying a seat for your baby but want to try to have a seat available for her, book a window and an aisle seat…the middle seat is almost always the last to be booked.
Bring brand new toys to keep baby’s interest.
Give a bottle or sippy cup during take off and landing. It helps with the change in pressure. Briana didn’t fuss at all either time.
Bring two changes of clothes for your baby, and a change of clothes for yourself…”wearing a poopy shirt for five hours is no fun.” Bring large ziploc bags for messy clothes.
Bring food for three more hours than you think you need (same goes for bottles).
If you are checking a carseat, stuff your diapers (the ones you aren’t using on the plane) in the carseat bag…they don’t charge for the carseats or strollers that are checked!
Bring Lysol or Clorox antibacterial wipes and wipe down every surface on your row that baby might touch or chew on. (I forgot to do this today, shame on me.)
I am sure I am leaving some tips out, but those are the ones that came in super handy today. My aunt and uncle are awesome people with awesome advice.
That’s all I got folks. Hopefully I can get some sleep now!