Flying with children is no easy task especially when your the lone parent on the flight. I've done this once before when Aubs was around 6 months old. It wasn't too bad then because my boobs were still magic and all I needed to do was nurse her to sleep or to calm her down. I knew it wasn't going to be that easy this time.
Even though Aubrey isn't even 17 months old yet, I still booked her her own seat. Pricey, yes. Worth it, yes. In the weeks leading up to our trip I went back and forth from being totally freaked out by it and totally feeling like I could handle it. My biggest feat would be boarding. I would have to carry the convertible car seat, the babe and a carry on bag. I looked online and asked friends who had previously flown with toddlers and they all assured me that the flight attendants would help me out. This information made me feel confident. I could definitely do this if I could just get a little help getting to my seat and putting the car seat in.
Unfortunately the airline I flew is not as friendly as most. When I first entered the plane there were two flight attendants chatting with each other by the captains closet. I politely asked if one of them could assist me to my seat because I didn't think I could make it through the aisle with all of my things. The older of the two told me no. She said she had to stay there. I told her I would try to do it on my own but I couldn't make any promises. Guess what, I couldn't fit without violently bumping into everything and everyone. I promptly pulled myself over into the nearest aisle to reassess the situation.
The same flight attendant as before saw me and asked if that was my seat and I told her no but I can't make it back to mine on my own. She rolled her eyes at me and grabbed my car seat, walked it half way up then yelled to the flight attendant in the back of the plane and he came up and brought it to my seat for me. I don't see why that couldn't have happened all along. I could maybe sympathize if she were the only flight attendant in the front of the plane but she wasn't.
Now comes the part were I lost the cool that I promised myself I would keep. I've never installed a car seat using a seat belt instead of a latch system. I figured it would be easy but the buckle on a airline seat belt is huge and I couldn't get it through the back. I asked the flight attendant in the back if he could help me out but he said he had no idea how to. This is where I began to panic a little bit. I got sweaty and shaky. I was already feeling a little off because I woke up around 4:15 to catch the early flight and hadn't had coffee or anything to eat. It has been years since I had been awake that long without a cup of coffee. I didn't know what I was going to do. I couldn't just set the car seat on the seat. What if there was turbulence or if it slide in our final descent?
So I did the only thing I know how to do in a mini-crisis. I called my husband. He told me to calm down because he heard the shakiness in my voice. Then he told me all I had to do was recline the seat. He had done it a couple of months before when he put the car seat in his dad's jeep. Problem solved. Hubby to the rescue once again.
The rest of the flight was fine. Aubrey was a little fussy here and there but nothing serious. She kicked the seat a lot but thankfully there was a very understanding older woman in that seat who told me not to worry. She had once flown from California to the Philippines in a propeller plane with a 2 year old and a 6 month old. God bless her. Our way home will go much better because my own personal superman is flying back with us, Joe my husband who always knows what to do.
I have no photos from the plane or the airport because that was just too much for me to handle but I have a few shots from when I got to my parent's house. The home I grew up in. It feels good to be home.
I am linking up again this week with Hill from Capturing Motherhood.