airport woes

May 7, 2007

Oh, man. I hope I never have to travel alone with my 18-month-old again. It might not have been so bad if I’d remembered to bring the expensive sash I use to carry the baby on my hip more comfortably. I had to lug around Diego, who tips the scales at 26 pounds, a little travel suitcase and a stuffed diaper bag. I didn’t want to bring the stroller because I thought (moronically) that it would be more of a burden since Diego is such an eager walker now.

Because he’s under 2, and we’re cheap, I didn’t get Diego a seat. I planned for him to ride on my lap, and sleep most of the flights. This plan worked on the short flight from Walla Walla to Seattle, when I got to enjoy some wine (it’s free on these short flights). But for the big one, the 2 hour flight into LA, he did not want to sit still. I tried to get him to eat part of my veggie burrito, and he took a few curious bites, then flayed his arms around, sending beans and rice all over me and the kindly woman sitting next to me. I wanted to disappear.

I spent most of that flight walking up and down the isles with him, and keeping his little hands off people’s shoes and personal items. It was a long two hours. No nap whatsoever.

Getting back to Walla Walla was a little better. The little guy slept on both flights and only fussed a little during take off and landing on the LA to Seattle leg. But before getting to Walla Walla we were stuck in the Seattle airport for just about 3 hours. Part of it was a long layover, the other mechanical issues with our plane. I tried to stretch that time out as much as possible, and walked and fed him, but a good nap and good lunch meant he was ready to roam. I spent much of the layover chasing Diego through our terminal. Every time I’d get him to sit and watch planes, he’d sneak off and go running full speed. I worked up quite a sweat. I finally had to corral him at our gate by sitting on the floor and catching him every time he tried to take off. This was a fun game for him. A nice woman offered me a mailing tube for him to play with, and this entertained him for about 15 minutes. After I got to rest for a while I encouraged him to run around while I chased him, hoping he’d wear out. I was out of snacks at this point too, and out of wipes. On the flight into Walla Walla, which left an hour and a half late, I enjoyed a nice beer while he enjoyed a much needed snooze.