Flying with a toddler is better than flying with a 7 year old…

So we just returned from Missouri, what an exhausting trip. First off there is so much to say about this trip that it will probably take more than just one blog. So for part I of my trip let’s just discuss flying with a toddler.

 To start with, this was our second time flying with Avery. The first time she was 4 months old. What a breeze that trip was. Last year when we traveled with her I remember getting to our gate being completely exhausted. This year went a little smoother but it’s not a breeze like when you travel alone.

Anyways, when travelling with a toddler there are two aspects to consider on a trip. How will they act on the plane and how will they adjust once you land. My concern was based around flying with Avery. We had four different flights (2 flights each way) and she did great on three of the four flights. I won’t even blame her entirely for the flight she was cranky on.  I picked flight times around her schedule. We left to go to Missouri around her nap time which worked out great because she slept on our flight from Denver to Kansas City. She did awesome on the way out she loved flying and even said weeeeeee at some point on one of the flights. On the way home I picked a later flight that was closer to her bedtime. She was tired and this plan would have worked out great except Frontier airlines had other plans for us. The one thing no one tells you about travelling with a baby is that you can’t check-in online, you can only do it at the airport. By the time we were able to check in there was only one set of seats together which was the very last row of the plane. We were fine with that until we got to our seats. I was next to a kid flying by himself. At first I was kinda relieved until the stewardess gave him Pepsi and M&M’s. 

When I was a kid I traveled alone all the time with my brother and cousins to Missouri. His behavior made me wonder if we were that bad on flights. If so, I guess payback is a B. 

The worst part about sitting next to a child flying alone is that the other people on the plane assume he is your kid, especially when you already have a kid with you. So my warning sign should have been when this kid said “this is a lot of sugar” in regards to the Pepsi and M&M combo the stewardess gave him. As he consumed the sugary sweets he quickly became out of control. He was kicking and annoying the person in front of him. It was hard because as an adult I wanted to tell him to stop but he wasn’t my kid. It was an awkward situation to be in. Then he wouldn’t leave Avery alone. She was so tired and cranky on the flight and he made a bad situation ten times worse. She was screaming which caused him to be loud as well. Finally we calmed Avery down but then this kid proceeded to show me all his Pokemon cards. I didn’t even realize that was still popular. As he would tell me about each card he’d get louder with excitement. He gained enjoyment out of seeing Avery upset so he’d purposely put things in front of her then take them back which upset her. The last 20 minutes of the flight to Denver were a blur. I tried to ask the kid questions so everyone around me knew he wasn’t with us but in between questions he would be as loud as possible trying to get a reaction out of Avery. It was awful. It made me thankful for just a moment I didn’t have a 7 year old boy. It made me mad that the airline would allow a kid flying by himself to have so much sugar, and it made me mad no one checked on him and I felt like he was my responsibility. He probably had good intentions but his intentions were not appreciated by anyone on the flight. Everyone stared as he screamed and made noises as we were landing.  As we were waiting to get off the plane he did say “I hope you never forget me” and he made such a lasting impression that I won’t forget him anytime soon. The worst part was I saw a lady a few rows in front of me saying how rude we were to let him act that way. If he were my kid that would have never happened but he’s not so what can I really do? You can’t punish a random kid you don’t know. 

Anyways, after that flight I was left with another flight, a cranky baby, a very bad headache, and my desire to get home was stronger than ever. Lucky for us, we were on the very last row of the back of the plane again. This time without a kid. We gave Avery milk and she passed out before we even took off. We got home late and by the time we got her ready for bed, visited with the dogs it was past 12:30. About 4 am Avery woke up screaming and nothing would calm her down. Needless to say she was in bed with us and after about an hour she fell back asleep. I’m exhausted today.

At this point travelling any further than Missouri with Avery is not an option. It’s made me rethink a lot of things I planned for 2014.  The nightmare flight from Kansas City to Denver will be in my head for a while and again while Avery wasn’t completely at fault her screaming did not help the situation. I don’t know how people travel out of country with kids. Chad keeps saying it’d be a nightmare and I might finally start to see his point.

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