First, a note from Staci: Alright guys, I'm gonna level with you here for a moment. Jen and I are damn near at capacity right now. I'm dealing with some very inconvenient and time-consuming health issues, and Jen is transitioning into her new role as a certified #bosslady at MTV. So I wanted to let you know, we might miss some of our regular posting days (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday) here and there. This week we've been particularly fucked, so my beautiful wife of 20+ years, Carly, has swooped in and saved the day.
A new-ish mom, Carly is writing about the realities of flying with a baby -- namely, Fiona, the love child she spawned with my sister-wife, Joe. It's hilarious and a travel perspective Jen and I are not able to give you. Which reminds me to tell you that we welcome guest posts! Some of you have asked us about guest blogging before and I KNOW you all are funny (I'm looking at you, Whitney Taylor). and have different perspectives on travel. If you're a freelancer of any kind, I'm sure you recognize this for what it is -- an invitation to contribute free labor to our passion project. So no obligations, because this shit makes zero dollas, but just know that if you're interested, guest bloggers are welcome and frankly, not unneeded at the moment.
Alright, onto Carly's post! <3
Back in October, when I prepared for my first flight with my then-4-month-old, I scoured the internet for tips. The same ones kept popping up: Nurse during takeoff and landing to help with their ears (literally not been able to achieve this even once); bring an extra change of clothes and plenty of diapers (as if I don‘t have enough shit to carry); make those stupid little “it’s my first time flying” care packages for the poor souls around you (why should I give some stranger candy for being in the presence of a baby for an hour? They should be giving ME candy).
Since that first trip, little Fiona has made two more roundtrip flights. Once I did it by myself (bow down) and once more with my husband, Joe. I am here to tell you what you REALLY need when you fly with a baby:
1. NO INHIBITIONS
I brought hand sanitizer and wipes planning to disinfect all of the grimy airplane parts Fiona was sure to touch. They never left my bag. Mostly because I couldn’t locate them under all the other shit you have to carry for a baby. And as soon as I start pulling stuff out of my bag, little Fiona wants to do the same thing. So basically I just took a deep breath and patted myself on the back for helping to build her immune system.
Also on the topic of no inhibitions, if you do nurse your child, you might have one of those fancy “titty tents” or maybe you are really wealthy and have nursing clothes like a scarf. Maybe you have those things, but your child refuses to hide under a blanket when they eat because WHY WOULD A HUMAN LIKE THAT? When your kid is fussing, and you can’t maneuver a titty tent, just whip out the boob and let everyone else deal!
2. A FEW KIND SOULS WHO ARE CHARMED BY BABY SMILES
Now that Fiona is 1, she is much more interactive. She lives for people smiling at her and playing peek-a-boo. I wish she was at the age where she gave a shit about TV, and I could just plop an iPad in front of her. I am a BIG proponent of screen time. But as much as I try, she just doesn’t find TV or movies as fun as peek-a-boo.
So thank doge on the last flight, there were kind people around us. She particularly likes to smile at men. So thank you to Josh from Kentucky, who downed an entire glass of whiskey in five minutes (because it was a short flight, duh). Thank you for calling her the best baby to ever be seated beside. Thank you corny dad behind us on the way from BWI to Detroit. I almost forgive you for your horrendous jokes. Thanks Paula, the flight attendant, who was a total B to everyone except Fiona and gave her wings (#chokinghazard). Without you, I would have gone out the emergency exit.
In an ideal world, all humans would only eat when they are hungry. We wouldn’t start feeding babies just to pass the time because that instills the idea that you should eat when you are bored. Well guess what? We don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where my 1-year-old has the attention span of a gnat and where being able to chew food is a novelty. So on our way from Baltimore to Michigan this weekend, out came the banana, Nutrigrain bar, and Goldfish. It took up a good 15 minutes.
And not that anyone gives a shit about my needs, but I was starving. Joe saw an imminent meltdown and hand-fed me airport sushi. It was one of the grossest and most romantic experiences of my life.
Next month we take a slightly longer flight to Charleston. Maybe Fiona will be into "Great British Baking Show" by then…