Then life changes, the magazine gets replaced by "Goodnight Moon", the book becomes a sleep training book, and who has room for a bag of candy when there are diapers, wipes, and changes of clothing that need space in your diaper bag? Oh, did I forget to mention there is no more perfectly-sized-stylish-travel-bag, just nicely designed diaper bags (Thank you Jonathan Adler--he made a line for skip hop.)
Recently, we took our first trip on an airplane with our baby. The idea of flying with a child was so nerve racking I called all of my friends to discuss their experiences of flying with their children of all ages. I got mostly decent reviews and all liked to add "but don't worry, Kol is at a great age to travel, you can always just feed him if he's crying". Little do they know how active my darling five month old is, if there is action in any form Kol's head is whipping around back and forth to see what is going on.
There is a TV show called "Up All Night". It is one of my favorite shows of the moment and is about a couple dealing with life after having their first child. In one of the episodes, they experience the challenges of flying with said baby. While watching the show I was laughing so hard tears came to my eyes. Needless to say I watched this show before I found out we had to fly with Kol, otherwise the tears might have been from crying. In the episode, the mother decides the only way to make it through the craziness of flying with a baby is if they follow the plan she creates for them. At all costs she must stick to the plan and then their flight will go smoothly. Of course nothing works out as planned! The show inspired me to have a plan before we started our trip, and then I figured if it would all go to hell, if things did not work as I planned, i.e. crazy lines at security, baby crying a lot, I would not be so stressed out.
I over thought everything and so the stress built up. Then the deadline came and we got ready to leave on our trip. At the airport everything went smoothly until...we boarded the plane, took our seats, settled in and waited, and waited, and waited. And there it was, our flight was delayed. My perfect feeding time was about to become a problem. We were delayed an hour, I couldn't starve my child but Kol does not just eat cuz the food's there. I decided to feed him on one side so he calmed down and then I waited until we took off to feed him on the other side. All the scary flying-with-a-baby thoughts and anxiety were for nothing. My baby boy Moshe Kol was the most well behaved child on that flight! He did not cry once! He cooed and played and laughed with me, with his father, with the one year old across the aisle. He sat in his chair and played so we could get some reading in (yes I snuck my novel into the diaper bag at the last moment). Kol slept for a 2 1/2 hour nap, I think the sound of the engine were very calming, and you can be sure there is a sound machine in my Amazon cart as I type this. After all the days of being nervous and planning, and all the anxiety, Kol was an angel! We could not have asked for a better, more relaxed flight!
I flew back to LA last night; it's been 2 1/2 weeks since we got to NYC. It is amazing how much a child can grow in such a short amount of time. Since we left Los Angeles, Kol has started scooching forward. He can get to a toy across the room. He gets up on all fours and lunges himself forward happily banging his head against the floor in his determination to get to whatever object catches his fancy in that moment.
I flew home with my baby brother Cobe as Dov had to go home early, and I was thankful to get on Cobe's flight. The idea of flying alone with Kol was too frightful. I was not lucky enough to get an extra seat the second time around and Virgin America's leg room seemed to have shrunk since the last time I flew on that airline. Cobe sat at the window, I sat next to him in the middle, and a sweet 14 year old girl with the biggest lady bug Pillow Pet sat next to me in the aisle seat. The lady bug print was bright red with black polka dots. The first hour of the flight Kol squealed as loud as he could and kept twisting his body to grab the pillow. After the first 3 attempts at holding him back I let him grab the furry pillow and try to pull it as much as he wanted. The girl was kind and let him play with it until he fell asleep. And then by the grace of g-d Kol slept for the rest of the flight. He slept on me for 4 hours straight and halfway through I could not feel anything from the waist down, but it was quiet, and peaceful. I got to doze on and off and watch a little TV, a simple pleasure I can't seem to find time for these days. I tried to force Kol to eat while we were landing but in his sleep he insisted on throwing his head back and continued to sleep with his ever-hopeful expression. His eyes opened as we landed and he looked curiously about, observing the people and the airport happenings.
Finally, after a happy reunion with his dad, our little seasoned Jet-setter settled in his crib and I went out to have a much needed Jacuzzi dip for my aching limbs, a definite addition to my Flying Ritual list.