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On firsts and fears

August 26, 2009

Having a baby brought out in me a slew of irrational fears. For the first three months I didn’t dream of taking him to the grocery without a second adult and an exit strategy. From months four through six, we ran at the first sign of a sneeze or a crying baby, either of which would leave Jack inconsolable for fifteen to twenty minutes. Until he graduated to a front-facing car seat, I dreaded being in the car alone with him for anything more than a quick trip, and feared red lights and congested four-way stops.

Tomorrow we’ll be leaving the house at 4:30 a.m., headed for Jack’s first flight. As is usually the case when we lead him into unfamiliar territory, I’m anxious. Last week I dreamt they told me to pack him, and last night I dreamt that he had to go through the security x ray. I know that Jack is an allowable carry-on, but I’m afraid Delta will give me a hard time about his bottles, or will misplace his car seat. And given his usual response to elevators, I’m afraid Jack will be nervous as we board the plane and terrified when we take off. I worry that he’ll struggle to climb out of my lap, that he’ll cry until other passengers begin asking whether we brought parachutes, or at least drugs.

Thanks to our rural location and my cheap-ticket scouting, we will have THREE opportunities to get it right before we reach Newark tomorrow afternoon. Lucky us.

I think the odds are on our side: Jack likes trains, and he really likes automobiles. Here’s hoping that tomorrow we complete the travel trifecta without air or toddler turbulence.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 9:54 pm

    Good luck! Hopefully you will be surprised with how well he does and how much he enjoys flying!… Again, GOOD LUCK!!!

  2. August 27, 2009 12:55 am

    I just want to say that the first time I flew with my son (he was 9 months), I flew by myself and with him as a lap baby. I bought the ticket when he was four months thinking….oh, he’ll just snuggle right on my lap. Yeah. Not so much the same at 9 months.
    Anyhoo….the night before I could NOT sleep. I worried and worried about every possible scenario. Mind you, I had presented to snooty Board executives and spoken in front of 1000s of disgruntled corporate employees, and never ever lost sleep over those things. No, the thought of traveling with an infant was the first thing that freaked me out so much I lost sleep over it.
    All this to say, everything went WONDERFULLY. It was a breeze compared to all my stressing. (And compared to the time I flew with my 3.5 yr old and 18 month old by myself. That story had a different ending. Ahem.)
    SO, the moral of this ridiculously long comment is that IT WILL BE GREAT! JACK WILL BE FINE! And you will be fine too (just pack a bottle of Mommy’s Time Out–that will do the trick).

  3. August 27, 2009 5:58 pm

    Here’s some tips that have worked for me:
    1. Pack activities: travel size Magna doddle, Stickers, Colorforms, Board Books. We also like the little portable DVD player.
    2. Other essentials: empty sippy cup (they should fill it for you on the plane), snacks, any thing he loves like blanket/binky/stuff animal.
    3. Another good thing we do is get on the plane last. Less time for the kids to be stuck in a non-air conditioned cramped seat. I send my husband on with the bags at the normal time and wait to get on closer to last call with the kids. We did this when we traveled to FL with our oldest. This is my sisters trick.
    You guys will do find. I am always amazed at how well my kids manage traveling. We did a 12 hour road trip last year and they did 10 x better than I had expected.

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