Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Babies and pressurized aluminum cylinders

I’m at 30000 ft and never been quite so pleased to own an iPod. The mom behind me is clearly very organized and has a well-behaved baby. She even brought back-up and together with her mom outnumber Jr two to one. Unfortunately, I know what’s coming. If you ever temporarily loose sanity and acquiesce to getting on this mode of transport with a very small someone, these are, given time, the things that will inevitably happen.
Poop. Almost guaranteed to happen. Usually during taxing, take off, before the seatbelt sign is turned off, after the seatbelt sign just went back on, during turbulence, landing, or taxing to the gate. Do not under any circumstances get on an aircraft without coming fully prepared for this event. Start praying now that you never experience a “Chernobyl Diaper” in flight. The size of the baby-gear bag you are asked to haul by your better half will likely be directly proportional to the length of your flight. Believe me: Just haul it.
(ED: Jr starting to complain 30 mins into a 4.30 hr flight……)
Puke. Motion sickness in a vehicle without windows you can wind down is a bad combination. Tiredness, air-conditioning, motion etc, all seem capable of exacerbating any pre-existing condition. Watch Jr’s demeanor for signs of “greening” and have the airsick bags (plural) handy.
(ED: Jr settling down. 500 Mom points)
Ear pressure pain. This is the big one, the event that induces the most pain in Jr, yourself and your co-travelers. What goes up must come down, however, so this one is pretty unavoidable. Landings are much worse than take offs. Try feeding little ones a bottle, and older kiddos something they can chew. Raisins work well. Or, conversely, you could just issue earplugs to the entire flight. Be prepared for helpful strangers offering random advice (ED: like Dad U is doing right now??).
Whenever you are required to deal with such issues on a flight, you will encounter a totally random variable (TRV) that exerts a huge influence on the outcome of your efforts. The TRV will impact the process at some point within a continuum from greatly enhancing, simplifying or speeding your progress, through to actually attempting to hinder, obfuscate, or negate your strategy. The TRV comes issued with a company uniform, control of access to the bathrooms when the seatbelt sign is illuminated (see above), and an endless list of Federal Laws they can ....choose.... to enforce in times of baby-crises. Fortunately, nearly all TRVs I’ve encountered have been comfortably on the “good” end of the response spectrum. However, be warned that “dark side” TRV’s exist. Dad U’s worst experience with a TRV ended with being “allowed” to change a screaming baby on the floor of the isle, while he sat belted-in and sneering nearby. If Dad U had encountered said TRV in ages past, there would have been a duel.

Dad U
-Flies Delta now

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