On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flying with Children


Tom and I always hoped that our children would add to the experience and adventure of travel rather than detract from it. We both get antsy if we haven't been on a trip for a while. We held out for 10.5 months this year before beginning our journeys. We love to explore new places and sometimes even visit our favorite haunts again. Our travels are modeled in some fashion after our friends Tom and Maureen and their willingness and skill in traveling with their two girls. They are amazing adventurers. Imagine long bike trips with an infant in tow, camping in the snow with a baby...You get the picture. They are also extremely adept packers. The four of them come to visit us for a week with just one suitcase and a small backpack each. That's just 5 pieces of luggage for 7 days (if you include the backpacks)! I am almost positive that they traveled to Japan with about the same amount of luggage, too.

Before Caedmon and Libby came along, we watched in awe and aspired to have such brave and adventurous spirits when we had kids. Tom started coaxing me to pack lighter and lighter (I just got back from a vacation in which I packed NO makeup! It was to the beach, though.) We broke Caedmon into traveling at a very early age (8 weeks) with a trip to Pittsburgh. Fortunately, he has proven to be an excellent traveler and we have since dragged him around the world (Hawaii several times, Peru, and Taiwan, as well as several states). Not to be deterred by baby #2, we recently embarked on our first adventure as a family of 4 (actually, 5 since we took Tom's mom with us - there is much to be said for an extra pair of hands). We just returned from a wonderful, relaxing (that's somewhat relative) week away in Kauai, one of our favorite vacation destinations. We plan to share all about our adventures, but I thought I'd start out with a quick post on the airplane segment of our trip.

As I already said, packing light was our intention and I think we succeeded. For the 4 of us, we had just one suitcase plus a backpack each for Tom, Caedmon & me. We also brought the Mountain Buggy all-terrain stroller (invaluable for the rugged terrain and sandy beaches of Kauai) and 2 car seats (we learned from previous experience that renting car seats from a car rental company is a poor sacrifice of a child's safety just for our convenience). We checked the car seats and the lone suitcase (I knew there was a reason we strive to reach American Airlines Gold status every year - free luggage check-in is definitely a perk). This left Tom with a backpack and pushing Caedmon in the stroller and me with a backpack and carrying Libby in the Ergo. Tom's mom had her own luggage to contend with. When we boarded the plane, Tom had the fun job of gate checking the stroller, which left me boarding with both kids. Since Libby was in the carrier, it was easy. As we walked through first class to get to our cabin, a lady loudly and emphatically expressed her wariness about me traveling with two little ones. I politely smiled and commented that they are good travelers. I was hoping that Libby would prove this true and secretly glad that she wouldn't be witness if it weren't the case. While we have had nothing but positive travel experiences with Caedmon, I was a little worried about traveling with both kids. Libby can be as sweet as pie but she can be equally as feisty and I wasn't sure how she'd handle an airplane. I was hoping that it wouldn't be anything that nursing couldn't quiet. As we settled into our seats, the lady across the aisle made a comment about the days when she could drug her kids on long plane rides. That didn't help to settle my concerns about the impending 8 hour flight.

This is only our third flight with Caedmon in his own seat. We decided to try the CARES child restraint instead of a car seat. It's an adapter for the airplane seat belt to make it a 5 point harness. As always, Caedmon proved to be an amazing traveler. He was so excited to fly on an airplane. It had been almost a year since our last flight and he's been itching to fly on a plane, talking about it every time we go to pick someone up at the airport. He was so ramped up that it took him a long time to settle down and take a nap. On the other hand, Tom and I had spent a lot of time (and money) stocking up on in-flight entertainment for him and we didn't really need to use any of it. (We have not yet succumbed to the use of DVDs for inflight entertainment/control of Caedmon. We know we will someday, but right now we want him to learn that there are rules and expectations in the grown-up world that even an almost 2.5 year old needs to follow.) Overall, he was just happy to talk with us and look at his surroundings.

I am relieved to report that Libby is also a great traveler! She was mostly content and easily distracted by nursing. She slept a good bit and spent a little time with Nai Nai (Tom's mom), too. She also loved trying to get other people on the plane to smile at her.

Both kids performed like pros. I am going to attribute this to the many prayers that I know were being sent up by us and for us. On our trip home there were at least two very unhappy babies on board and I was VERY relieved that neither one shared our last name.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Lynette - did the airline allow you to use the CARES restraint for take off and landing? Did you feel like it worked as well (or better) than a car seat?

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  2. We have not talked in awhile. I did not know you all were going to take this trip. We took our first trip but it was a car trip to San Antonio. We hit horrible traffic though and it took 8 hours. We will probably fly to California this spring. I am glad to hear of someone who can review the CARES. I have been looking at it and was unsure.

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