Yesterday Ben and I took an adventure back to the Motherland of Chicago. Going into the adventure, I was very, very nervous. Reasons why I was nervous:
- It was Ben’s first plane ride.
- We have a teething situation.
- Ben and I were flying solo.
- We had a layover…in Cleveland.
However, Ben was an all-star. I could not have asked for a better travel companion. Well, if my travel companion could walk and feed himself and not wear diapers, that would be ok. But, as baby travel partners go, he was aces. There were several keys to our journey:
- The plane rides coincided with his nap and bedtime. While, this might be DANGER for some babies, my baby is really good at falling asleep in public. He has a gift that he inherited from his mother. Therefore, B-Rex slept for most of the flight from BWI to Cleveland and we both slept from Cleveland to Chicago. So needed.
- The kindness of strangers. Turns out that people are super nice to you if you’re a small woman traveling alone with a baby. On the first flight, Ben and I sat by two of the nicest city planners ever. They were super funny, sang to Ben and were all-around excellent flight companions. Many people would be upset if they had to sit by the baby on the flight. Not these two! Then, when we got to Cleveland, one of the gentlemen helped me carry the stroller up a flight of stairs when the wonky elevator needed an attendant to run it. Brilliance!
- Strategizing. Since becoming a parent, I have developed the ability to think 17 steps ahead. Before being a parent, I was lucky to think beyond the here-and-now. Going into the trip, I had a strategy for what to do at each airport, when to feed Ben, when to change him, and when to have him “walk-around”. The strategy really worked out, because he was a happy baby for most of the trip.
- Restricted beverage consumption. Part of my strategy was to plan out my beverage consumption. The thought of going to the bathroom on the plane was frightening. Frightening. However, I did treat myself to a cup of tea in Balto and a beer (!!!) in Cleveland as a congratulations to myself for getting through part of the journey. In addition, the layovers allowed us to go to the bathroom and also to change diapers in an area larger than the phone booth-sized lavatory.
As a whole, it was a successful journey. Two one-hour flights went really well. Hopefully, the one two-hour flight home will go as well 🙂