14 hours of less than pleasant travel time

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Oh the joys of flying with a one and a half year old. I never knew that I would have so many to choose from, ‘joys that is.’ And so, I’ve compiled a list of 5 points on how to survive a 14-hour flight with your 20 month old.

1)Pack 34 snacks. Yes, 34. Nothing less. Zip lock everything, and, as a bonus ask your baby to open them – that alone will waste about 45 seconds of them trying before they cry out in frustration. A whole minute if your baby is extra stubborn.

2)Keep your passport in your back pocket and forget about anything else that would be for your own comfort. Hand cream? Nope. Takes up too much space: you’ll have to pack all three of her stuffed animals. Fuss fuss, fifi, and foo foo. ALL OF THEM. Taking just one would constitute for grounds of nepotism. Okay, so she doesn’t really know what that is yet, but don’t risk it.

3)Dress in light materials and dark colors so the stains don’t show through in the first 5 minutes you’re on board. I always seem to get balsamic vinegar on everything and that never seems to come out. In fact, avoid eating anything that will stain. Ideal meal? Water (but just a few sips, see point 4, and crackers).

4)Do not drink any liquids because God forbid you have to pawn off your child to someone so that you can pee or better yet, control your toddler as you squat over the grubby toilet in the airplane. And yes, of course she will touch and lick everything. Just disinfect her when you land.

5)Don’t forget to wear noisy jewelry. Bracelets, necklaces rings – don’t hold back. Also make sure it’s nothing you really value because chances are it will be yanked off you. Also pack Band-Aids for the bleeding wound from where she yanked.

As a bonus I’ve also included a 5-point list of how everyone around you gets through the flight. No one likes a crying baby. Hey, even if it’s your own.

1)Two words – Bose headphones. And earplugs underneath those noise cancelling Bose.

2)Pretend you’re going to the bathroom and find an empty seat far away from that damn baby.

3)Give the parents dirty looks.

4)Complain to the flight attendant. And ask why the airline doesn’t load kids like cattle or cargo…you know, on their own aircraft? Or at the very bottom?

5)Swear that you will “discipline your kids better” when you have your own and order another glass of wine imagining how well behaved your unborn children will be.

Flying with a baby is never fun. You will contemplate drugging them, selling them or “losing them on the plane,” but you won’t because you’re ultimately making this 14-hour trip to show her off like a prized pony to your in-laws. So breathe and get through it. Nine more hours to go? Keep breathing. Oh, and one more thing…to the gentleman in 5B, thank you for making me feel like a totally inadequate mom and adding to my anxiety the entire flight. I cannot wait until you get married and have kids of your own. Only then will you get it.

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