17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Upside to Flying With Young Children

There have been many horror stories spread around the blogosphere about flying with children, and I have to admit I enjoy reading all of them. I even have a few of my own thanks to our frequent cross-country voyages. But this is a different kind of story. It is a story about how flying WITHOUT children can be so much worse...

I was recently flying alone with my two boys (ages 4 and 2), returning home from a trip to the West Coast. Our first leg was from Portland to Chicago. It was a long stretch for the boys to be sitting in a confined space, so I was completely absorbed the entire four hour flight with keeping them busy and relatively quiet, doling out sippy cups, crayons and goldfish like a Vegas blackjack dealer.

Imagine my surprise after our landing to hear the elderly woman sitting behind us sobbing, mumbling over and over how she thought she was going to die.

I vaguely recalled some turbulance in the air and a storm brewing outside our little airplane window and I was really annoyed that the fasten seatbelt sign stayed lit for most all of the flight so I couldn't take my kids to the potty. Yes, the landing was bumpy, but when my boys landed smack in the back of the seats in front of them, hadn't they jumped out from their seatbelts themselves?

Surely, the little old woman must be paranoid, maybe even suffering some dimentia? I jumped up out of my seat to look around. We were at the gate, but everyone on the plane sat still in their seats and the cabin was completely quiet. A guy in his twenties a couple rows ahead of us was hyperventilating...or maybe dry heaving...into his barf bag. Other passengers looked visably shaken.

Wow, I thought, there was a potentially catastrophic event going on all around me, and I was completely oblivious inside my little caccoon with my boys and our portable DVD player and fruit snacks and CARS coloring books and handwipes. People around me were likely praying for a safe landing and for their lives to be spared....and I was praying that my 4-year-old wouldn't burst from the five juice boxes he consumed during the flight before we could locate a bathroom. The childless folks around me were probably wondering if they would get to see their loved ones again and I was wondering if crayon came off of airplane tray tables.

I have a whole new perspective on travel with children from this experience. Really, traveling with toddlers is the only way to fly....


  • Really funny story. And... I think we can all relate to the feeling of travling with little ones. When I fly with my two boys, I am so consumed with keeping the DVD Player going, the snacks ready and the toys within a seconds reach! Great way to look at flying with toddlers!
    Rachelle -
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/14/2007 09:44:00 PM  

  • Jen, that's awesome.

    OK, I'll fly with my kids again...
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 9/14/2007 10:03:00 PM  

  • I had a similar feeling after the last time I flew with my two kids (DH was there as well)...our flight was delayed by 1 hour, and we were coming from a foreign country, therefore many, if not all of us were going to miss our connecting flights because of the time it takes to go through customs, etc. DH and I were likely going to be staying overnight in a hotel, with two kids, but our attitude was "we were so busy trying to keep the kids relatively happy on the flight that we couldn't worry about what was going to happen next - just go with it." However, the single lady (30ish) sitting across from us was so upset about her connecting flight, went on and on about how she just wanted to be home, how she missed her dog (who was being taken care of), how she would be late for work tomorrow, swearing at airline staff that had nothing to do with her plight,etc. It made me so glad that I had more important things to worry about (my two precious kids). Turns out we didn't miss our flight because we were calm and willing to work with the problems that came our way.
    posted by Anonymous amy at 9/15/2007 06:08:00 AM  

  • I totally agree! I guess it's because the ones you love most (besides your DH) are right there with you. Our kids keep us so busy that there's no time to worry or freak out on an airplane ride. Anyway, what a fun and creative post to read this morning! :)
    posted by Anonymous LJ at 9/15/2007 10:35:00 AM  

  • I love this story! What a twist on an event that is usually considered "high anxiety".
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/15/2007 10:35:00 PM  

  • This is great! I am getting ready to do a cross country with my crazy one year old...and I will be hoping for some turbulance?
    When I first read this I thought the title was "Flying Upside Down with your Children"...I thought - yeah Jen, this is going to be great (I envisioned you upside down, red faced with your boys).
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 9/19/2007 05:24:00 PM  

  • Ha! Melissa, flying upside down would have made for an interesting trip. Good luck with your trip, with both my boys 1-years old was the hardest time to fly with them....pack lots of snacks and small toys and you'll be fine.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 9/19/2007 06:32:00 PM  

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