I was never really one for kids. This is really much less about their unappealing aspects than it is about my own inexperience. I never spent much time with babies growing up and until recently didn't even have any friends with kids. Given this, it is not surprising that I would avoid them on airplanes. Their crying and irrationality unnerved me. Ironically, I have always felt comforted by their presence, as though bad things could not happen to a plane carrying little babies. That didn't mean they annoyed me less when their screaming kept me awake so I always tried NOT to sit anywhere near them.
So it was with some trepidation that I approached flying with my own little one. I contemplated getting some Benadryl, but just couldn't bring myself to unnecessarily dope my child. Our flight was scheduled for 6:30am, which meant we had to leave for the airport at the unholy hour of 4am. We let Sophie sleep until the very last minute. She dozed on the drive and was chatting and happy as we checked our bags, went through security and awaited our plane at the gate.
Finally, they called our flight and we boarded the plane. Sophie was curious and enjoyed watching the other passengers. I got her settled and nursed her on takeoff. Although she was drowsy afterward, she was far too interested in her new surroundings to go to sleep. She spent the next hour or so standing on my lap smiling at anyone who looked her way. About an hour before we were due to arrive, she sat down and fell asleep in my arms. She was so peaceful and beautiful. She awoke as we began our descent into Kansas City. As we got off the plane, everyone commented what a sweet, happy baby she was and we thought, "piece of cake."
Fast forward five days to the return flight.
Everything that went right on the first idyllic flight went horribly wrong on this one. She cried and fussed and generally made us, and the unfortunate souls that sat near us, miserable. She circled my lap, like an ornery old dog, until she found a comfy spot and would then settle for a few moments only to pop back up and resume her wriggling. My mommy-strong arms were tired from wrangling her. From time to time I would try to cradle her and get her to sleep, but the result was agonizing screaming and crying. The cherry on top of this ordeal is that I had woken up that morning with a sore throat, stuffy nose and headache which had only gotten worse as the day progressed. By our 8 pm flight, I was in no shape to be dealing with a cranky baby. And unfortunately said cranky baby only wanted mommy.
After two hours of her squirming, screaming and crying and me nearly in tears because I was so tired and worn out and frustrated, that
I don't think we'll be flying with her again any time soon.