December 7, 2012

fear of flying

I’m not sure why, but I’m dreading our upcoming flight to Dallas for Christmas.

Okay, I might know a few reasons beginning with my past experiences witnessing others flying with babies. They are mostly not positive ones with wailing children and their horrified, exhausted parents who are the first to board, take the longest to get settled, and are the last to drag themselves out of the plane like haggard old pirates emerging from a dark cave that never found the hidden treasure. I avoided them as much as possible before I became a parent. Now I’m about to become one of them.

So there’s that. And, since I’ve worked so hard at establishing and maintaining my sweet son’s sleep schedule, I’m sure this trip will blow it out of the water. What with relatives, airplanes, security, big liquid containers, a makeshift crib-type bed in the same room as us along with a white noise machine, relatives, visiting and eating and drinking and sleeping… and relatives. What could go wrong? (insert hysterical, buggy-eyed, strait-jacketed laughter)

I think the babe will be wide-eyed with joyous wonder at the airport and on the airplane, since he’s such a social bee and loves people so much. On the advice of my sister in law, I booked our flights near his naptime in the hopes that he’ll comply and nap on the plane. No, it’s not the worst thing that could happen if he doesn’t sleep. But the minute we land he’ll be on his tippy toes playing with Grandma and being loved, cuddled, and pampered as any baby should be – which will be wonderful as long as I can get him down at a reasonable time.

The makeshift sleeping arrangements have me wondering which I’d rather pack – Benadryl (for him) or earplugs (for me)? I’ve been looking at those travel cribs (not the recalled ones) and wondering if that’s the way to go – mostly because we’re planning at least one more flight before he turns 2. Or maybe it's not worth it, and I don't give my baby credit for being adaptable.

To allay my fears, I’ve started trolling baby travel websites to see what I can do to prepare and avoid the worst. Now that I’m feeling a bit more mentally prepared, I’m fairly confident we can ride it out and I’m probably making it worse in my head. 


Then again, maybe he won’t sleep on the plane, won’t settle in a foreign house, will be overstimulated by relatives, and will be cranky as hell which means we sure as hell won’t get any sleep for the four nights we’ll be there which will pretty much mean the end of all sanity.