Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Year Old and 16 Flights Later

Today, Allie completed her 16th flight!  She has been on 16 flights since the day she was born, all before her 1st birthday.  Before Allie, flying was wonderful!  I'd read my book, listen to my iPod, SLEEP!  Not anymore.

In the beginning, flying wasn't so bad.  Allie would usually fall fast asleep in my arms and wake as we were landing.  The hard part was planning how I was going to go through security with a bag, a stroller, a car seat, milk...and a baby.  Now, I got that down to a science.  We have two car seats (one at each home) so I don't have to worry about that.  I keep Allie in the stroller until all my stuff is on the security belt and going through.  Then I get her out and have the security guys take the stroller through and wand it down by was too hard to fold and lift it up on the belt all while holding Allie.  And after the guy in front of me got his exact same stroller STUCK in the machine three times and held up the line for a good 15 minutes...I'm not going to take that chance and be "that girl."

When Allie turned about 7 months old, the flights became more difficult.  She is now very active and doesn't want to sit or sleep.  Her hands are everywhere, touching everything.  I usually give her some crackers or Cheerios to eat to keep her busy.  However, she LOVES to touch everything, including whoever the lucky person is who sits next to us.  Having a middle seat is just NOT an option...could you imagine?  I know that on every flight, I will have to apologize (more than once) for Allie's slobbery, cracker covered hands. 

Once I scheduled our flight during her usual nap time.  Bad idea!  It never fails... there is ALWAYS someone sitting near us on the plane that wants to play peek-a-boo with Allie and try to make her laugh and smile.  This happens on EVERY flight.  So trying to get a cranky, tired baby to go to sleep on a very well lit plane with little old ladies playing peek-a-boo with you...not a chance!  Allie was not having it.  Now, I try to schedule flights during her wake time...if possible.  I usually have a stash of goodies to keep her occupied.  Toys, cheerios, Delta peanut packets, the emergency escape plans pamphlet in the back of the seat pocket.  Flying is stressful with an infant.  And like clockwork, as we descend Allie lets out her cries.  I still don't know if it's her ears hurting from the altitude, or if she's just had enough..."Get me off this plane!"  This is when I get really worked up.  The plane shuts off, it's quiet...and Allie is screaming...and everyone is staring.  This is when I'm "that girl."

This past flight was a dream...Allie wasn't feeling so well so I gave her Benadryl right before we boarded.  During take off, my perfect little girl feel fast asleep in my arms.  Why does this not happen on every flight?  For the first time ever we also had an empty seat next to us.  We hit the jackpot!  I gently laid Allie down on the seat and she slept the entire flight.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I didn't have a book or a magazine.  I didn't bring my iPod.  Why would I have these things?  I used to bring them and would NEVER use them.  So, I stopped.  I ended up just sitting and starring at my Allie girl snoozing away, so peaceful.  In the future, I'm going to be very tempted to bring Benadryl with me on every flight.

Allie earned her wings

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