You know those moments in life when everything slows down and it feels like you’re life is in a movie? That’s how I felt when we took our almost two year old on a flight home from Hawaii recently. She did really great on the way there—a six hour flight! While she refused to nap, she remained pretty calm compared to the thirteen month old in the seat in front of us. Maybe the key is having a view of a child that is more difficult than mine to deflect the internal struggle I have with surviving such cramped quarters for the sake of saving the cost of a ticket to Hawaii. We wouldn’t have been able to swing it otherwise.
On the way home, it was another story. While E was a respectful neighbor for the most part, she was a wiggly and squirmy girl. The flight was supposed to be quicker—an hour shorter—but it felt at least two hours longer. An afternoon flight, I had hoped E would take her usual nap. Flying is far too exciting for a toddler to miss anything. She was excited the entire time to be on an airplane, even though she knew the drill. She’s really a great flyer, but her much larger size and energy level was enough for me to swear that I’m buying her a seat the next time around, no matter what the cost.
Here are the things we took with us to keep E happy and entertained. Aside from her refusing to nap, they were a smashing success. I brought a variety of snacks to break out throughout the flight—her familiar favorites and some new things I knew she would like. I grabbed four new board books, which we read over and over and over and over again. We had downloaded an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on our Ipad. We don’t really let E watch TV—only on special occasions—so she was excited. An arsenal of stickers at my disposal, we had fun putting them all over the place. E has really been into the Little People lately, so I was able to grab a set at our local grocery store on clearance, as well as a Minnie Mouse & Daisy play set. Both could have been easy to lose on the plane, but since I kept putting things away, it was easy to keep track of them. We also colored in a new coloring book, and identified things in one of my magazines. Finally, her “lovie” (an old sleep sack from her baby days), her stuffed bunny, and baby doll all kept her comfortable.
I can still relive those dreadful moments when time stood still, but I really can’t complain. A toddler the same exact age as E screamed his head off for over an hour of the flight, so I really am grateful for our seemingly idyllic child. We’ve flown with E since she was born, and each time there’s been a different set of challenges because she is growing up so fast. So far, we have a little adventurer, and we hope to keep it that way!