6hr flight PHL to LAX
Lap Infant: 23 mos
Seated in window seat next to a nice guy, 20-something hipster. Ben’s trying to be his friend and he’s playing along. On our aisle seat is another 20-something guy I was in back of during boarding and kept accidentally running into, so that wasn’t awkward.
Mom behind me(pink hair) pointed out an open window seat and I asked a flight attendant to ask the girl in the middle if she wanted my seat. She did, so Ben and I had our own seats. To get out of that row and into another was quite an ordeal complete with me asking the guy next to me to hold my bag. He was nice enough to help.
We sit down and Ben’s losing it. I get him a snack and he’s good. The snack is animal crackers and he eats them contentedly until he takes a handful and the bag springs back from the force of his hand and crumbs go everywhere.
Woman with pink hair is now across from us. She sits in the middle of her 2 kids, 5ish and 8ish. She calls a flight attendant before takeoff to ask about the noise below her. “It’s a lot of banging. Is that normal?” The flight attendant says, “yes, it’s the hydraulics” and rushes to sit down so we can take off. (Unnecessary questions.)
Ben’s fine for takeoff and loses it about 10 mins later and the pink-haired mom offers us snacks and a toy. I turn her down but thank her for the offer. Ben calms then loses it again– pink-haired mom offers a coloring book and crayons. We’re in! The Ben enjoys them and then one drops and he’s losing it while I put him the seat next to me to pick-up the crayon. The old woman in the aisle seat of our row says, “oh, no!” at the sound of his shrieking and by the time the 2 min tantrum is done she is gone and we have our own row.
Ben enjoys taking the borrowed crayons in and out of their case. He colors for two seconds, the rest of the time is in and out of the case, in and out of the case. This activity was awesome and I’m so thankful for that mom since I had forgotten mine at home.
I move to the middle seat and Ben moves to the floor of the window seat and watches Cars 2 for 2 mins on the iPad. He then discovers the magazines behind the chair and starts looking through.
In the next hour and a half he will….
-eat crumbs from the floor
-try and escape numerous times from our row
-discover the arm rest is up in the row in front of us and bother the sleeping people trying to fight me to touch it.
-make the world slimiest, grossest smelling #2 and need to be changed in the bathroom(which is now directly behind us). Upon closing the changing table over the toilet, I will knock my own glasses off and go on a blind search for them in a 2×2 restroom with a toddler.
-entertain the people lining up for the bathroom
-scream each time the beverage cart passes and try to touch it
-put the window shades up and down
-ask to put the overhead light on(because he remembers from previous trips) even though I refuse
-repeatedly kick the chairs of people directly in front of both the window and center seats in front of us
-sporadically shriek for no reason and scare half the plane
-sit sideways behind the second arm rest closest to the window and hop up and down like he’s on an amusement park ride while watching the iPad
-stand up and sit down on the first and second seats trying to nudge me out of the row
-tries to put a pretzel crumb, the size of a pea, in his ear canal. (I now know I have a future pea-up-the-nose kid.)
As I write this, he’s watching Finding Nemo and doing yoga on the window seat. 3 hours to go.
Ben decided to blow raspberries at the iPad. The problem is that he’s teething so the iPad is drowning in saliva. Wipes to the rescue.
The bell for fastening your seatbelt just sounded and Ben imitated for everyone. If you don’t remember what I’m referring to think Phantom of the Opera. Getting him to sit is the hardest ever. He’s up, down and all around . Every time I tell him to sit he shrieks. Some guy just stood up looking for him and said, “THAT was so loud!” Great! I’m now the mom of THAT kid, if I wasn’t already.
Because he hadn’t yelled and rebelled enough, Ben started randomly yelling a loud “ah” and, in typical toddler fashion, every time I asked him to stop it got more intense. Therefore I let him yell for 1.5 mins and said nothing. This may not have been the best for the rest of the cabin, but it would have gone on forever otherwise.
Pretty well-behaved the last 1.5 hour of the flight. A nearby baby was losing it and Ben started imitating her, the refreshment cart came by again and he got super excited and he currently has Mater and Grover cars shoved into each pant leg while watching The Incredibles. Impressive, I know.
The girl in front of him was also nice enough to play peekaboo with him. And talked briefly with the previously crying baby, who was actually a toddler maybe 18 mos.
Ben didn’t sleep a wink but after the pilot came on to say we’ve started our descent and we’ll be on the ground in 25 minutes, I start seeing his head bobbing. I fully expected him to pass out before we landed and he did just that with 5 minutes to spare.
I wouldn’t give a lot of advice to any parent trying to fly an active toddler on a flight longer than 2 hours. That advice would consist of only: Put the toddler a seat, bring a carseat and never question your decision to do so. It’s the safest and most legal option.
I considered using vodka in apple juice, lap belts and extensions to strap him down, but passed since it would look bad.