In June last year I wrote a blog entry with 10 suggestions to make your flight with kids easier… One month later we got to re-visit some of those lessons with our three year old. Oh boy.
The previous time we had flown with him, I had brought the car seat and strapped him into that. It went so well. So here we were again, and it was a no-brainer… bring the car seat on board for our 5 1/2 hour red-eye flight to Vancouver. He really tried to sleep, he did. For the first hour he tried to sleep. But then he got frustrated and started swinging his feet. Now the car seat didn’t just keep him in his seat, it also brought him three whole inches closer to the seat in front of him. Which was fully reclined because a woman was trying to sleep in it. Kick. I felt so badly for her. I did my best to catch his feet and talk quietly with him, trying to calm him down. But a few kicks did make it to the seat in front of him. And she did glare at me and mutter under her breath. (I’m sooo sorry).
I gave up. Here it was, one o’clock in the morning our time, but I hauled out his brother’s i-touch. He then proceeded to play his Thomas the Train game (thankfully on silent-mode) for 3 hours until he finally fell asleep as we were descending into Vancouver. Yes, I stayed awake too, in case he started kicking again…
You know what I discovered as we got up to get off the plane? There was an empty seat between the lady in front of us and her husband…. It sure would have made my flight easier had she moved a seat over! Ah well.
We de-planed, two sleepy adults, two drowsy (but awake) kids and one dead-weight heavy three-year-old. You know how kids are when they’re completely out? They don’t even pretend to hold on to you when being carried, so you absolutely need both hands to balance them. We also had the car seat, his stuffie, our hand luggage, his backpack… a stroller would have been nice, but we’d left that at home…
Was the flight worth it? Absolutely! We wouldn’t have missed visiting our family and friends! How was the flight back? Much better, thank you for asking! We checked the car seat with the luggage, planned for his being awake, packed plenty of toys and snacks to try to keep him busy for the flight home.
Will we do it again? You bet! And guess what – he’ll be a whole year older on his next flight. Every year it gets easier… you just have to plan! Don’t skip out on a fun family trip, just make sure the trip is long enough to be worth the effort!