Cape Cod Mommies is Excited to Welcome the Newest Mom to our Blogging Team: Ryan Beck! Check out her first post of many to come below! We look forward to her stories!
By: Ryan Beck
In 2009, my husband was transferred out of the Army during the new-age recession. We made the bold choice to move from Germany to the Stable-Economy-Mecca: Fargo, North Dakota. We were young and adventurous and our only possessions were the dog and bed. The ‘excitement’ of the Midwest’s unknown allured us (and we were promised only two years max in that location), so we were naively confident in our decision. Flash forward a few very cold winters, stormy, hot summers, and a couple more pieces of furniture: I am now the mom of two beautiful young boys’ ages 15 months and 3 years. Since we live half the country away from our family, like so many others, we have the wonderful privilege of airline flights with our little tykes. Through our extensive experiences, I now know there is a direct correlation between the geographical distance between generations and stress of travel days.
I wish the amount of times we have traveled with our children would make us travel experts. Instead, it still looks as though we just unpacked our Uhaul in front of the ticketing counter. As it probably appears that we are taking everything but the kitchen sink. But to the parents that stand in travel-family solidarity – they know -We quite possibly may have the kitchen sink and will try to have it gate checked with no fee. But the only consistent thing about baggage fees are the inconsistencies with them. We have found that when traveling with children, baggage fees often differ between airlines, travel day, agent, seasonal solstice, and even wind direction.
I am fully convinced that travel days are just tiny, beautiful, moments during our lives where we are given opportunities to build our own character.
This recaps our latest encounter between me and the ticketing agent.
Ticketing agent: “Your bag is 5lbs overweight. You will need to pay the extra weight fee.”
Me: “Excuse me my dear, dear, sweet ticket agent. Your airline canceled my flight yesterday after I had packed up what seems like my entire house, travel crib, double stroller, dissembled and unloaded two car seats (in the snow), waited in the terminal for 8 hours with an excited 3 year old and a 15 month old who wanted to nurse the entire time, an a husband out a vacation day. I therefore had to turn and crush my three year olds excitement and directly turn around, reload the car, head home, and try again at the crack ass of dawn. So now, as I stand here before you with my overtired, hungry, confused, kids, scratching at my legs and calling my name -Are the 5lbs REALLY a big deal?
That fee was waived.
But, let’s rewind time a little. Let me tell you about the travel days before I had children, and even after I had my first until the age of about 2. I would read about the healthy snack choices you can pack to set your child up for success which wouldn’t result in a sugar-crash tantrum. My husband and I brought all the time-consuming activities, coloring books, NEW toys, even an iPad – with all the new apps. Those were great for the immediate moment. But now I can separate my parenting airline travel into 2 distinct chapters: BEFORE the epic all-flight tantrum and AFTER the epic all-flight tantrum.
What embarrassing, challenging, or beautiful breakthrough moment have you encountered during airline travel days? What works for you?
4/1/2014 07:31:30 am
My kids are a little bit older now, but I have to say (knock on wood) that they have always been really good flyers. We are off to California in a couple of weeks and hopefully they will maintain their rep of being behaved on airplanes.
4/1/2014 09:12:22 am
Ha, ha, ha... 5 pounds over the limit? I hate that... I think your perceptive on travel is amazing. We are not a military family, but sometimes I watch the Military families around me and am jealous of all their travel.
4/1/2014 12:58:31 pm
I remember those days when we'd get on a plane with our two little kids and get dirty looks from people praying we wouldn't be sitting next to them! And I will never forget the time we got upgraded to first class and my son, who was maybe 4 at the time, spilled his entire drink all over himself and had to fly cross country in his underwear!
4/1/2014 03:16:50 pm
I have not flown with small children but I can only imagin all you will need for a trip
4/1/2014 03:17:10 pm
We've only flown with our kids once. We'll do it again but not for a while!
4/1/2014 03:30:13 pm
It's been quite a while since I have flown with my son. He was under 2 both the times we went, but he was so well behaved
4/1/2014 04:04:00 pm
Hi Ryan, so happy you joined the great team ;) Now that is a good kind of travel story, so glad you got the fee waived!
4/1/2014 04:04:31 pm
WOW! I Can't Imagine I Think I would Of Snapped!! LOL1 Your Too Funny You Did Awesome Kept Your Cool & Got What You Wanted!!! :)
4/1/2014 04:30:46 pm
Oh wow! I have to say, I've never flown before. Ever. Ok well, I did fly once but it was to go sky diving... but that doesn't count.
4/1/2014 04:32:39 pm
LOL!! I can so relate! I have a 4 and 3 yr old now but when we flew for the first time they were3 and2 and I know you can imagine what a struggle it was. I understand!:)
Thanks everyone! For me, it was like my child should have come with a handbook outlining times to "avoid air travel at all costs." Before the epic all flight tantrum, he was a perfect little angel. When he was very young, he would nurse then take a nap for the remainder of the flight. When he got older, he would have a snack and take a nap during the flight. I think I can pin point it when we started paying for his ticket - age 2. Boundaries were being pressed. And that is when it happened!
4/1/2014 05:36:23 pm
We don't have kids yet, but I know we have many travel days ahead of us as his parents live quite awhile away.
4/2/2014 12:52:45 am
oh great! Welcome, I cannot wait to hear more about her travels!
4/2/2014 06:45:13 am
As a fellow Military spouse... Travelling never gets easier!
4/2/2014 01:59:36 pm
My kids have always been wonderful flyers. I have no idea why, but I thank God. On my first flight with my daughter when she was 3 years old I was totally ready for any meltdown - we had been to the doctor, where she had been prescribed the right medication for a long flight. Only I wasn’t going to give it to her unless it was absolutely necessary. I didn’t realize until I was past security that I would be lugging her and all of her stuff from gate to gate when switching planes and might not have TIME to administer medication. To my utter surprise, the little tyke actually enjoyed all of the mad dashing and attention to her the stewardesses paid. My son was the same way.
4/2/2014 03:45:00 pm
My experience flying with my toddler was horrible! I hope that as he gets older it gets easier.
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