Travel with a Toddler
I want to tell you about my trip to San Antonio with my baby, Tallulah. Before my flight, I had to stop at our local PBS station for a meeting with a TV producer. Jay is one of those really young producers. So, when the receptionist asked me if I could be his wife, I was both surprised and flattered and told her so. "Why couldn't you be his wife?" She asked.
"Well, I'm sure I'm much older than him," I explained. Looking at Tallulah she asked, "Well, is that your baby?" "Yes," I answered. "Oh, then you're not older."
Tallulah is a great accessory. Wearing her on my hip had taken 16 years off my age.
After the meeting, we headed over to O'Hare Airport. We got to our seat in the bulkhead at 2:15 for the 2:44 flight.
Now, my special technique for flying with a baby is to wear layers. That way when one layer gets messy, I can remove it and get down to the next clean layer. This works especially well if I'm flying south. By the time I get there I've shed my raincoat and sweatpants and am down to my T-shirt and cargo shorts. But for this trip, I was still in my business clothes. After all, it would only be a two hour and twenty minute trip and it was during Tallulah's naptime anyway. We pulled away from the gate at 2:44, right on time and began taxiing. Because of the threat of storms, we kept getting rerouted and having to taxi to another runway.
Six hours later, Captain Miller announced good news. We were next in line for takeoff. Five minutes later he announced bad news. Because we had taxied so long, we were low on fuel. We had to go back to the gate to refill the tank. People were starving. I had run through all the snacks in Tallulah's diaper bag and was covered with juice stains and cracker crumbs. But Captain Miller had more good news. He had called for catering to deliver food to our plane. Of course the bad news is, the meals were those awful little picnic bags. We refueled, ate and taxied one more hour. And then we did have a nice smooth two-hour flight. We were on the plane for a total of nine and a half hours.
Tallulah napped, ate, spilled more food on me and played peek-a-boo with the fellow sitting behind me. She was really good considering the long flight. In fact, I think Tallulah was the only one on that plane who did not cry. A woman said to me, "That baby is so wonderful. Is she your granddaughter?"
That's what a nine and a half-hour flight with a toddler can do. In the morning you look like you could be married to a twenty-something TV producer and by the end of your flight, you're your own baby's grandmother!
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