Just a few hours fresh off the plane from a long weekend in Arizona while Seattle endured a rare snowstorm, I am already missing the good tequila and poolside siestas. As I write this, I am force-feeding myself frozen whole wheat lasagna that vaguely resembles particle board smothered in tomato sauce, exhausted and jet-lagged with a possible ear infection. But hey, I have a tiny bit of a tan and my baby didn’t cry, vomit or otherwise melt down on not one but two flights. So all in all, life is good.
My husband, mother-in-law and I tag-teamed the baby care as we took Anderson on his FIRST PLANE TRIP (!!!) – a long-awaited and long-worried-about trip for his mom. Some of you may be rolling your eyes or wondering what the big deal is about taking a baby on an airplane. Now that I’ve done it, I see your point. But for some reason I built this adventure up in my mind as one with the potential to wreak all kinds of havoc that could elicit all of my worst OCD/anxiety/Type A personality tendencies: Blow Outs. Melt Downs. Nursing in Public. Baby’s ears pressurizing because I failed to nurse him in public. Excessive leaking. Not enough diapers.
You get the idea.
I’m happy to report none of those disasters came to fruition. In fact, I couldn’t have asked for a smoother first flight experience with my son – I’m so proud of us!!
Here we are, braving the airport for the first time. They didn’t even card him.
On the plane, Anderson performed like a champ and could have passed for a seasoned member of the frequent flyer club.
He ate neatly while waiting at the terminal:
Carefully read all safety instructions in case of an emergency:
Chatted up all the lady flight attendants:
And even earned his wings:
Apart from a couple of minutes of over-tired whining before falling asleep in my arms, he never cried on either flight. Success!!!
Here are the top 5 things I learned this weekend about traveling with a baby:
*Time things around their normal nap schedule as much as you can. If they must nap on the plane, a nursing pillow and blanket to make it cozy really helps.
*Plastic cups and crinkly bags of snack mix from the flight attendants provide endless entertainment. TAKE THEM.
*The security staff is much nicer and less menacing when you have a cute tiny person strapped to you as you walk through metal detectors and get screened for explosives. They make jokes, talk baby talk and adoringly call you “Mom.”
*There are plenty of places to feed and change baby without having to resort to the impossibly tiny airplane bathrooms. Disposable changing mats, Clorox wipes and sanitizing hand wipes were our on-the-go friends.
*Being on a plane with my baby wasn’t very different from being anywhere else with him. His personality, rhythm and needs didn’t change. Once I realized this I was like, “OK, I’ve got this.” Just took me a minute….
While in Arizona we had a great time.
Anderson took some dips in the grown-up pool:
Took it easy in the lounge chairs:
Took lots of walks and soaked up the sun (with sunscreen of course!)
Grandma Sue was a huge help, and provided Aaron and me with some much needed sun time and date nights! A win-win bringing Grandma along, I tell you…
The trip was not without its hiccups, but they only make for that much better of a story, so the writer in me has dutifully accepted them.
For starters, the host at the resort restaurant jubilantly congratulated me on being pregnant within about 45 seconds of our arrival to a luxurious patio dinner, to which I scrambled to reply that I “recently gave birth.” To which SHE replied by feeling terrible and leaving this in our room while we were at the pool later that weekend:
It was a NEWBORN onesie and socks. Yep, all wrapped up with an apology card. We even held hands in the bathroom and hugged later that weekend as she told me how horrible she felt and how she couldn’t sleep that night. She said she should have known better after having 5 boys herself, and that it took her a long time to be able to afford “the right surgery” (???). She was blonde, in her 50s and come to think of it her name was Anne….. Romney?
That is all a true story by the way, though I guess her British accent breaks the Romney connection. We’re pretty much Scottsdale BFFs now after a face-to-face “I forgive you” from me, and I guarantee you if I ever visit that resort when I’m 9 months pregnant, she won’t say a word.
In addition to Anne, there was Ricco, the food service manager. After I complained about the poolside service being scattered and slow, he took it upon himself to buy us our poolside drinks…..AND lunch……AND delivered an ice bucket of beer to our room that night….. AND wine……AND a card. Anderson liked it so much he ate it.
I’ll tell you one thing, these Arizona resort people know how to make up for their mistakes, and by the end of our trip I’m pretty sure we were the most recognizable, uniquely treated family there. The cute baby I “recently” gave birth to, didn’t hurt. : )