We left for Georgia on July 24th, a Tuesday afternoon. The problem with taking an international flight west is that they are always day flights, and day flights do not bode well for an active baby/toddler. Everyone told us that traveling with a baby between one and two years old is really hard, so I was a little prepared, but it was still a shock . . . after all, a ten-hour flight is hard for anyone, let alone a mobile baby who just wants to be anywhere but in your lap!
I always try to feed Liam something on the way up and on the way down to help his ears pop, which inevitably means takeoff will be around feeding time. And of course, most flights are delayed (as was this one), so trying to not feed a hungry baby is no fun. By the time he finally did eat (after an hour on the plane, much later than anticipated), he passed out for the first two hours in the air. That was a welcome relief for Keith and I, but we quickly learned that he was just resting for what would become the flight from h-e-double-hockey-sticks.
After our very brief respite (during which neither of us could sleep because the flight attendants spent that time serving drinks, serving food, collecting trash, and serving more drinks), Liam awoke and was ready to go, right as everyone else had full stomachs and heavy eyes. We kept him as preoccupied as we could, but it was no use. Our tactics included:
- Sky Mall magazine
- ipad games
- Baby Einstein video
- walking the aisle
- sitting in the seat
- sitting on the floor in front of us
- "playing" with the baby across the aisle
- cup of water
- changing diapers
And then we tried each of these things over and over again because at this point there was still six hours left. I am not even exaggerating. For those of you who are parents of young ones or remember what that was like, imagine trying to hold your mobile toddler on your lap, sitting on the couch. And not put that child down. For ten hours.
There were tears. Some even came from Liam. There was a banging cup and dropping everything on the floor because it's much more fun to watch Mom and Dad pick things up. We could not get off that plane soon enough, and I'm pretty sure the other passengers cleared a path and shoved us on our way. At baggage claim we discussed how we would break it to everyone that we weren't coming back at Christmas. It was that bad.
Now that we are far removed from that day, we aren't so adamant in our convictions . . . after all, one long, painful, pull-your-hair-out kind of day is worth four weeks with family and friends. Plus there are some major family events to look forward to this December that I don't want to miss out on. But it was bad.
And then we made it to Georgia and Liam really was a trooper that evening -- he stayed awake and played and was pretty happy, considering it was 1:00 and 2:00 am in the morning for him. We got to spend some time with my parents before heading to my friend's house for a couple days. And that's in the next post . . .