We went into this trip knowing there were going to be a lot of firsts. I usually get pretty wound up when I know we have to travel anyways but putting a baby into the mix adds a whole new dimension. Putting the packing aspect aside, how was Maxon going to hold up in such a confined space? Or, for that matter, how were we even going to get him and all our stuff from the car to the gate? The minute after we booked our flight, my mind raced on how we were going to get this done. What we ended up doing really worked well for us. Instead of renting a carseat with the car, we decided to bring ours with us. I found out that carseats can be checked for free so armed with that little tidbit and a great padded carseat bag, we were in business. In order to streamline the security checkpoint area, we decided to organize our carryons with the next immediate destination in mind instead of just what’s-mine-is-mine. For example, my carryon largely held Maxon-comfort items like toys, diapers, and a burp cloth. Mike was in charge of our laptops, which for the security checkpoint destination, ended up in the bottom of Maxon’s stroller until we put it all through the X-ray machine. We also made a point to get into the furthest x-ray line behind a family with two young kids with an inordinate amount of stuff. When in doubt, just put yourself next to someone in a touger state and all of sudden what you have is pretty manageable. There was a tiny moment of panic when it seemed like our stroller wouldn’t fit through the x-ray machine but it turned out we just needed to hone our Tetris skills.
The flight started off really well. I fed Maxon as we took off and he didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss. He stayed asleep for about half the flight and even got to stretch out on the empty seat in our row. Things took a turn for the worse when he woke up a little earlier from his nap than expected and was restless. Mike took him to the back of the plane where he was soon confiscated by a couple of flight attendants who had some advice for Mike on how to hold Maxon properly (yet was on the receiving end of some well-timed spit-up). Mike finally got him back as we started the descent and that’s when things got a little uglier. Apparently a fleece sleeper was much too warm for the flight, which made him even more restless and uncomfortable, which made him cry even harder and get even more overheated. By the time we landed, I had stripped him down to his diaper, which finally calmed him down. I didn’t even know he could sweat! Happily, by the time we got off the plane, he was in a great mood and ready to people-watch all the way to baggage claim. And even more happily for us, he fell asleep as soon as we got him back in his carseat which arrived without a scratch.
The rest of the trip was non-stop. We arrived at my mom’s house where the whole family was gathering. Maxon held up great, offering smiles for all the Lolas, Lolos, Titos, and Titas. At least, I think that was the case, as we hardly saw him once we got to the house. Even being on Mountain time, we couldn’t keep up with the rest of the family and were first to crash for the night. We had big plans for the next couple of days seeing friends we had neglected to see on our previous whirlwind trips to the area. Maxon continued to be a trooper, being dragged from one gathering to the next. We also lucked out on warm weather during our stay so Maxon got to go out on sunny walks with Lola and Tita Stephanie and didn’t have to be bundled up from head to toe. In fact, Maxon got to hang out in just a onesie around the house and slept swaddled in just a diaper. It was fun to see so much of his skin!
The return flight went even more smoothly. Again we had the row to ourselves and timed feedings during the ascent and descent. He did get restless somewhere during the middle of the flight but luckily it didn’t escalate to any real crying fits and he was able to calm down. The flight attendants on this flight seemed pretty indifferent to having a baby on board so there wouldn’t have been much sympathy there. I’m usually the one that needs to close my eyes and pretend I’m somewhere else during the ascent and descent but I think being in charge of someone else’s comfort made me forget my own. Win-win!