First Cross-Country Solo Flight

Posted: June 25th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Misc Neuroses, Miss Kate | No Comments »

Tomorrow Kate and I fly to Boston alone. Mark comes on Friday, since someone in this family has to work.

Kate has already been on four round-trip flights, only one of which she and I took alone. It was a short flight to SoCal, and I figured I could withstand anything for an hour.

Generally Kate has done well on flights. She tends to lose it on landing and even though everyone says nurse the baby when you’re landing, they haven’t tried this with a baby who has no interest at that moment in eating and/or one who has already lost their shit and refuses the nipple you are woefully trying to shove in its mouth. Modesty, at that point, goes out the window–along with thoughts of ever leaving home again. But truthfully, for the majority of the flights she’s been great–with the exception of that one trip back from Boston, but that was so bad I think it’s damaging to my psyche to dredge it up from the deep place where I’ve repressed it.

So tomorrow Kate and I are staring down the barrel of a six-hour flight. My sister Ellen has flown to Asia multiple times with a baby and toddler and made it look like a drive to the grocery store. Until today I’ve been trying to emulate her and have successfully embraced a devil-may-care attitude about the whole thing–even when friends have freaked out at hearing that Kate and I were leaving before Mark. I figured a successful flight with a baby is 90% attitude, right? If I’m stressed, Kate will somehow sense it and will abandon her plan to sleep the whole time in order to persistently wail, writhe, and scream. If I adopt Ellen’s laissez-faire aero-Mom appraoch, hell, I may even get a good nap or two in along the way.

But today’s packing process has served to deliver a dose of reality. It started with the back-pack I bought to transport the car seat. When I have it on, I just need a pair of hiking boots to make me look ready to mount Everest. So, how it’ll work is I’ll wear the thing on my back as I gingerly negotiate my way down the aisle (while clutching Kate and our awkward and sizeable carry-on). If there is no one seated by me, I remove the car seat from the case (while still holding Kate?!), and buckle it into the seat next to me. If the plane is full and/or I can’t convince the masochist next to me to move to another free seat, I will have to take the gargantuan pack back down the aisle to be checked with the luggage. Oh phew–now that I walk through that in my mind I realize that should be noooo problem at all.

But wait there’s more. Luggage, that is. There’s the stroller (also checked at the end of the gateway), the world’s most immense roller bag, and the earlier-mentioned 20-ton pink carry-on packed with toys (all new and all hopefully endlessly captivating), diapers, extra clothes, food, spoons, washcloths. (Oops. Just realized I forgot a bib…) Oh, and the fragile squirmy 18-pound human.

So then, I shall muster and renew my sense of confidence and ease about this voyage! Attitude, attitude, attitude! And hopefully the kindness of a couple strangers along the way. (Shelly says that’s been imperative in her solo travels with kids.) I’m sure it’ll all be easy-peasy, but if you happen to have a free moment tomorrow, it wouldn’t hurt if you could look skyward and send some good thoughts my way.

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