The Kid Travels Well

As you might have read in my recent photo diary posts, Em, Lu and I went to Michigan last week for a big family reunion on my mom’s side. Since we had just gone out to Ohio/Michigan a few weeks ago and vacation days are at a premium, my folks were kind enough to fly us from our local airport in to Detroit for the event. Being that this was Lu’s first time flying, I was understandably nervous about the endeavor. Would she freak out in the airport? How would she do on the plane? Would her ears pop? Would she sit still for the hour and a half long plane ride? The answers wound up being yes, good, no and yes.

We got to the airport early and the flight was delayed just a bit which wasn’t much of a problem. Lu entertained herself by walking around the terminal and babbling at anyone who would look at her. But, after we wouldn’t let her play with a lady’s phone that was charging near us, she had a bit of a meltdown. My stomach dropped and I worried that the entire plane ride would be like this. My wife was able to settle her down in time for boarding and we were good to go. She nursed Lu on take off to help with her ears popping and Lu even fell asleep fora few minutes, but wound up being awake for most of the flight. And she was great on the plane, busying herself with crayons and a few other toys. As an added bonus, Stephen Baldwin was sitting right in front of us and even gave Lu a big smile when he came back from talking to someone in a further back row. The trip home was a bit more complicated. We got to the airport a few hours early and had heard there was going to be a half hour delay, then an hour. While I was talking to the gate guy about getting our seats put together (they were separated for some reason on both flights), I saw the time of departure change from 5 to 6. Plenty of people asked him what the deal was and he had no idea. Then the gate changed, so we had to move. No one knew anything at the new gate either, but it did have one of those moving walkways which Lu really dug. I wound up getting super stressed out at the nearby Fuddruckers but while I was getting crappy expensive food, Em got Lu to fall asleep. While we were sitting there, someone said the flight was delayed again until 7. People were not happy, especially the ones who were on the last leg of a trip that had lasted all day. The worst part? The plane was just sitting there. I heard one lady call whoever was supposed to pick her up on the other end of the trip say that there might have been a mechanical problem and someone else said that there just simply wasn’t a crew. No crew? So Delta just forgot about us and that’s why we had to wait? That seems to be the case because when they boarded — at a little after 6 — the captain said he had no idea why we were so delayed and that the crew had only just heard about this flight. Awesome. Once on the plane, we got in line to take off and were all very excited to get out of there when everything stopped again. Apparently there was a VIP taking off or landing in the airport which means no one could take off or land. Finally we got in the air and they gave us complimentary drinks. That won me back a bit, but I think that was the captain’s call, not Delta’s. Lu was good on this flight too which was great and soon enough it was over. At our local airport, though, we had to wait once again for our bags and not like a normal wait, but an overly long one which didn’t sit well with all the people who had been traveling all day. It’s a small airport and this has happened every time we flew there, but it still stinks.

So there you have it. Lu’s first airplane rides actually turned out pretty well and I didn’t have to worry too much. Now that I know that she can handle it, I won’t have to so much next time. Parenting lesson achieved!


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