Seat selection is a game of musical chairs. As you begin to board the plane, all eyes will be on you. A sigh of relief is what you will hear in passing as row upon row of passengers will relax knowing that the “lady with the baby” will not be sharing an armrest with them. Some airlines offer open seating but there are a few tips you may want to know when choosing that special spot. Per a Federal Aviation regulation the row of seats directly in front of the exit rows do not recline. Unfortunately for me, at the time of my travels, there wasn’t a brilliant blogger who was willing to share such valuable tips. So for one leg of my trip I sat in an upright position for four hours. The jury is undecided as to whether it’s better to sit in a window or aisle seat as both seem to offer their share of restrictions. I prefer the window but if you do choose the window, limit your fluid intake as the ins and outs, ups and downs will simply irritate your neighboring travelers. If you choose the aisle keep an eye on your little one's appendages as the passing drink cart could cost him a limb. The aisle also exposes you to four other aisle passengers that may choose to reach out and touch your babe. Most importantly, don’t expect sympathy from other travelers.
At a point during my flight I realized that poor little Gavin was up to his neck in pee. I wouldn’t even consider venturing into the lavatory for a second time so instead I turned to the old man sitting to my right and pointed to my lap. “Do you mind if I change him here?” He shook his head “No”. I then proceeded to ask him to rummage inside of my bag under the seat and search for a diaper and a pair of extra pants. Although he did as I directed he looked at me surprised as if to say, “I didn’t know I was being recruited”. Hey, I was obviously going to need some assistance, and yes, I probably should have asked him before making demands but mild panic was setting in as I realized what I was up against, changing this pee soaked child on my lap. As if changing his diaper wasn't difficult enough I now had to successfully complete an entire wardrobe change. Just in case you were wondering, changing your baby on your lap is okay just try to wait until your neighbors have finished their bag of peanuts. However, changing your baby on the tray table is never okay.
As much as you don’t want to rely on the assistance of strangers, it is inevitable when you are traveling that at some point you may just have to have a stranger hold your baby. It may just be for the second needed to make a fresh bottle or while you ferociously shake the baby carriage closed on the gateway but after the 8 hour and 15 minute return flight home I would have let Charlie Sheen hold my baby. Hand sanitizer is your bestie when traveling so pack it in every bag, pocket and carry-on.
Even with the mass amounts of sanitizer I still managed to contract an angry intestinal virus. For the final days of my trip I lay in bed, away from home, helpless and without the help of my dear and much needed husband. I was impressed with little Gavin’s immune system. He had managed to side step contracting the virus. That was until we were on our return flight home when he began crapping his pants somewhere over
. This followed by a forty-five minute mid-flight meltdown with mommy on the verge of one herself. Oklahoma
I closed my eyes and envisioned what the reunion at security would be like. Would I look disheveled? Would I cry at the mere sight of my husband? Now missing him and appreciating him more than ever, the Boca Fever, as I coined it had taken its’ toll on both Gavin and myself. I was in need of some relief.
Even without any experience in mind control I still attempted to coerce the captain to fly the plane faster, attempting to “will” it home. Faster and faster my feet tapped the floor of the cabin as if somehow I could manage to create enough friction that would cause the plane to fly faster. Then it happened…the captain came onto the overhead, “Ladies and Gentleman, I have turned on the fasten seat belt sign as we have started our descent into
”. Tears welled in my eyes. I was home. I hurriedly pushed my tot towards security and left to right my eyes searched for my husband. There he stood smiling at me and then he placed the sweetest kiss on my lips. Little did we both know that at that moment it would become the kiss of death. There was no relief in sight as the Boca Fever lived on. Portland
After both of my trips I have said that I will never travel again, but the love I share for my far away family will always send me sky high. My only hope is that this post assists another traveling mother by offering her the advice that I obviously wasn't given. So, the next time you are traveling, even if you are flying solo, be willing to lend a hand to a fellow struggling mother after all it may just be me.