We arrived at the airport with 90 minutes to spare. There was no one in the ticketing line. There was no one in the security line. Perfect. They didn't even wait for me to take out my liquids, they just took my bag and ushered me through the metal detector. Awesome. Then they checked my hands for explosives while I held William (cause I'd touch my baby after I handled explosives!) and it was POSITIVE! What?! How can that be?
I'm ushered into the little closet off to the side while they check my bag. A woman pats me down. Ugh. This is just stupid/embarrassing/unpleasant. William watches. I'm clean. (duh). And off I go.
The flight is delayed for 30 minutes which gives me enough time to play with William and feed him dinner. He was so happy and we had a great time. He loves being with people so you can just imagine how many friends he made before we boarded the plane. And he watched and flirted with the girls across the aisle from us on the plane for a long time, too!
It was not a full flight, in fact, it was quite empty. I had a whole row to myself (yes!). The row behind me was also empty and I ended up spending most of the flight there since the arm rests didn't go up in my original seat. William can't spread out if I have the armrests down so sleeping and nursing were challenging.
We read books, we sang songs, we snacked a little. After two hours, he was starting to get fussy (aka: overtired). He gets really chatty when he's tired and apparently, quite loud. As people were lined up to use the toilet, he would stand up and practically shout "BA . . .BA... BAAAH!" They all thought he was cute and happy. But I knew he was on the verge of a meltdown.
And then it happened.
Thankfully, after drinking a whole bottle he fell asleep. He slept for nearly an hour before I selfishly moved and bumped his foot against the chair. He went back and forth between sleep and screaming for the last fifteen minutes or so, until we finally got off the plane. At 11:30 p.m.
Getting ready to fly back to San Francisco, I was not nearly as lucky.There was a short line for ticketing and an even longer (families only) line for security. They had to dump out the water I had packed in William's bottles because the plastic had set off the alarm. Not awesome. On the plus side, William fell asleep in the stroller and slept until we got to the front of the security line. Once we got through, I had 20 minutes to get to our gate. I picked up some lunch. As soon as I took out the toys so William could move around a bit, they started boarding. Ah! Quick, pick up the toys, run to the bathroom, change the diaper and board the plane.
The very crowded plane. No empty row for me this time!
The time between boarding the plane and take off is the longest, hardest time for us. I was waiting to feed him until take off to help with the ear popping, but he got pretty impatient waiting. He cried for a couple of minutes and finally, I could give him the bottle as we sped down the runway. He finished it in no time.
The four-hour flight seemed to take forever. We read books, he ate Cheerios, he drooled over everything/everybody and pulled our neighbor's hair. We bounced and walked, and twisted and turned for two hours before he fell asleep. He slept for over an hour before we started our decent and slept on and off until we landed.
Overall, he didn't do as bad as I had anticipated. But it was still a lot of work traveling by myself with him. Everyone was really kind and encouraging on the flight. (Except the neighbor who got his hair pulled, but I understand that.) William really does love people; everyone commented on how happy he was as he showed off his six pearly whites. He's a pretty good traveler for that reason. I was really thankful for how well he did, but I was so exhausted when it was all done.
Next time, Hubby comes with me!