I recently took a flight with my two toddlers by myself. Sure, they’ve flown before and obviously I have too, but it’s either been me and just one baby, or me with daddy and both babies, but this last time… I was running the “zone” all by myself! There was 2 of them and only one Mommy. I did have a little anxiety going into it, from the logistics of pushing the stroller and retrieving our roller bags from the carousel and getting everything and everyone in the car, to just the thought of keeping both boys entertained and “quiet,” while sitting in a confined space with one lap child and his big brother on the plane.
Honestly, it is so doable, and I’m sure as they get older and can carry more of their own stuff, it’ll get easier…but our first go at it, wasn’t exactly “smooth sailing.” I picked an early morning (6am) flight, we were flying from west to east and would have one stop over in Chicago. Well, what should’ve been easy enough resulted in 2 hours of sitting at the gate in SFO while maintenance checked out an issue. The plan I had counted on was flying out on time and the boys going to sleep til we hit the Windy City to change planes. That didn’t happen, instead it was endless cries and whining…and I don’t blame ’em. I was up at 3am for the early travel and getting stuck sitting in a small space going nowhere is NO FUN! Then, when we made it to our stop, the next flight was delayed and so we had to endure a much longer “break” than anticipated…another horror for a Mommy trying to pack the patience and time it just right for meals and nap time. Needless to say, we eventually made it to our destination, albeit 5 hours later than scheduled…but we all made it, in one piece.
As I reflected on the events of that day, I realized there are so many things that I let “fly” which would never ever normally be okay. Keep reading…
- Shoes with no Socks – Maybe it’s not a big deal, but with my busy body boys and their uber active feet, things can get pretty stinky when we’re talking sneakers sans socks! However, I was picking my battles and I wasn’t going to force socks on their feet. What can I say they preferred to be barefoot on the plane.
- Milk Monsters – I’ve written about this before, my boys LOVE their milk… I try to limit their intake because if they drink more milk we’ll have more wet diapers, and both the amount of milk and diapers I had on hand were limited…BUT when we got stuck at the gate for a couple hours, filling their cups up with leche was the ONLY thing that’d keep them calm.
- Candy – They’re toddlers, they really don’t need candy, but on this day, the Starburst Jelly Beans I had in my purse were lifesavers! Yes, I let them have candy, heck I even allowed a fellow mom on the flight give my kids some kind of Ice Breaker Fruit Cool Mints.
- Screen Time – On a normal day I’d limit their use of electronic devices and tablet time – we have a Cubby, Nabi Jr. and iPad…for this day, it was a free for all. I let them use them as long as they would hold their attention. Screens on the seat backs were helpful too to help pass the in-flight time.
- Lay on the Floor – Never would I ever let them lay on the floor and play in a public place like a (dirty) airport, but I did. During our layover, the gate areas were packed and if sitting and playing on the floor keep them content, who was I to interrupt the “quiet time.” One of mine was even sneaky enough to eat a fallen (aforementioned) jelly bean off the floor, and I didn’t even flinch! Shhhh!
- Talk to Strangers – I do let my kids “talk to strangers” when I’m around, and they love saying “hi” to anyone they come across, and since I have 2 it’s always a double take, and one can’t do something without the other one wanting in on any subsequent attention. There was actually one “stranger” in particular though that I allowed to carry my kids for a few minutes…he was a Dad. We were in the home stretch of our travel, we got word we were actually going to board for our final destination and my babes took a liking to the guy standing near us. So much so that one stretched his arms out in the “carry” motion and I let it happen. Of course #2 couldn’t be left out so he got carried for a few seconds too. Hey, I was right there and monitoring all of it and while I would never usually allow that, I was about to be running on fumes and his gesture to appease my kids actually helped me out!