All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

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Before we left last week, I frantically asked coworkers and friends for flying-with-baby advice.  I heard pacifiers, I heard snacks, I heard drugs, I heard napping and eating and loveys. What I didn’t hear was – DON’T DO IT!

There were four legs to our trip. Well, eight if you want to get real and count the driving on either side… but we’ll stick with the flying. Tulsa to Denver, Denver to Seattle, Seattle to Salt Lake, Salt Lake to Tulsa.

Tulsa to Denver was too easy. We sat in the very back row on all four legs, which had us disturbing as few people as possible. And we were able to take the car seat on board the first flight. There was an empty seat next to us so we had room to breathe a little. We knew we would pay for this later in the trip. We’re not that lucky. But Colt slept the whole way, waking up for the last few minutes.

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Denver to Seattle was the kicker. We were told there were no empty seats – so no car seat. We were in the back again, and as each person boarded the plane we wondered which poor sap had drawn the short straw and a seat next to us. But the next thing we knew, they were shutting the door! Empty seat! So we spread out a little and settled in for a three hour flight. About six seconds into the flight, Colt decided he’d had enough. Enough quiet. Enough sitting still. Enough general cooperation. I spent the next three hours standing with him in the back of the plane, chatting with the flight attendants and people waiting for the bathroom. He seemed perfectly happy as long as we were standing up. Great. Not to mention he weighs 20 pounds and gets exponentially heavier with every passing minute… Upon the landing in Seattle (during which Colt fell soundly asleep), we vowed that there would be no more air travel for the little guy until he was able to walk, talk, and mind. Ha! In fact, Jeff told him as we deplaned that he had earned himself the title of “Worst Baby on the Flight” (there were several others) and we presented Colt with a “Fussy”. You know, like a Grammy or an Emmy… give me a break people, we were hungry and exhausted…

We got to Seattle in one piece, but Mom and Dad were delayed for several hours. So we went ahead and got the rental car and got the heck outta there. We drove around Seatac a little, got something to eat, and made it back to the airport to get Grandma and Grandpa. Seattle is really a cool town, I wouldn’t mind getting back there someday. It was nice to see family, and we’re glad we were there to honor and remember Sherlock. There were several cousins and aunts and uncles that Colt had not met yet!

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Top Left: Colt and Uncle Brian.  Top Right: Carrie, Mama, and Colt.

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Top: Colt with Uncle Brian’s wife Sang Ju. Bottom: Colt with Sherlock’s daughter Haley.

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After spending time with family, it was time to head home. We all left Anacortes around 4am to catch 7am flights in Seattle. Seattle to Salt Lake wasn’t too bad. Colt didn’t want to sit still, we did a lot of standing, and I let him eat WAY too many of those little pinwheel crackers, but we made it through without incident. After the flight from Denver to Seattle, I almost felt as if we should have boarded our return flight and started off by apologizing to everyone in advance. “Yes folks, it’s your lucky day. We are those people. And I’m sorry. Here are your complimentary earplugs. Enjoy your flight.”

But it was during our three hour layover in Salt Lake City that we clinched a nomination for ‘Mom and Dad of the Year’ by letting Colt play in this germfest.

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God bless the Salt Lake City International Airport. This little play area was right outside our gate and I honestly don’t know that we would all have made it through three of the longest hours of our lives without it. Colt systematically put each and every grimy toy in his mouth, but we didn’t care. He was SO happy playing and crawling and, oh my gosh, watching the other kids! Periodically, there were a few other (older and bigger) kids in the play area with us. Watching other kids is better than toys! He just beamed at the big kids as they stepped around him to play. (And no, Grandma Martin, that does not mean it’s time for a little sister.)

Salt Lake to Tulsa was the last flight of our trip. And Colt must have known how exhausted we were – and was probably pretty wrecked himself – and he slept like a log the entire flight. But no car seat this time, so he slept on my lap. In an airplane seat. I’ve been more comfortable. He stirred a little when the flight attendant decided to hack up a block of ice about six inches from his face, but was back to sleep in no time. The whole last flight we kept hearing a baby cry and scream, and we joked about how upset Colt would be that he didn’t get back-to-back Fussys. As we walked off the plane to claim our car seat on the jet-way, we saw the baby who had won the coveted award. There were two of them! Twins! And I suddenly felt exhausted just THINKING about taking twin babies on an airplane. They couldn’t have been more than three or four months old. Poor things. Though I think double-teaming disqualifies you from the voting…

Almost 100 hours and over 4000 miles later, we are home safely. It was a good trip, though taken under terrible circumstances. And I don’t know if we’ve ever been so glad to just be home.

…So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you’ll wait for me. Hold me like you’ll never let me go…

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6 thoughts on “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

  1. Ahhh the fun of being parents. Next time record some soothing music on your ipod and put the little earbuds in the little ears and relax. (I haven’t actually tried that but it sounds like it might do it) So this means you won’t be flying to Botswana to visit CAL? Love you. Dad

  2. Ooooh…I remember the first time I thought it would be a great idea to fly with Hyla. Incidentally, it was also the last time. I’m convinced that there’s no beach vacation that can undo the terrors of travel with a baby, no matter how good the spa visits might be.

    But the pictures of Colt at the aiport and on the plane are so cute, it might just have been worth it?

  3. Gosh and I remember ALL the times we were in public places (restaurants/airports/movies/etc.) and it was Sarah who had a fit at the sound of a fussy little one. Welcome to an unpredictable world.
    And for the record — my Grandson is perfect! I can’t imagine him ever being “fussy”.

  4. I have played in that play area.

  5. You’re braver than me! I avoid driving to the other side of Nashville, let alone flying with my baby girl!

  6. Oh wow. I’ve never flown with either of my two kiddos. We have spent lots of time in the car, but never on an airplane. I don’t know why it scares me so much. Also, the only times we’ve thought about it, it would have been JUST ME with the kids meeting daddy on a business trip. NO WAY. But, we did take our first alone trip to Dallas this past weekend. Heaven. Think about it. It’s better sooner than later :)

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