I’m flying to Chicago tonight with my three kids, sans husband. Somewhere today are the individuals who will be on the same flight as us. They’re going about their business, peacefully unaware of the potential hell awaiting them.
Of course, my toddler and infant may sleep like angels (ahem, Benadryl) while my Tween is immersed in her Dsi (with earbuds, natch). It may be a non-issue and the other passengers may never even know we’re there. But I like to play a game called “Worse Case Scenario.”
It’s pretty self-explanatory. I imagine the worst-case scenario, not out of morbidity, but for two reasons. First, in my superstitious English-major’s understanding of probabilities, I imagine that this reduces the chances of it happening.
To say, “I bet on my way to the grocery store I’m going to get struck by lightning” and then actually have it happen? Crazytown…that would make me psychic. Which I’m not, or I probably wouldn’t have majored in English. (Kidding.)
Secondly, once I’ve imagined the worst-case scenario, whatever happens, even if it’s pretty bad, seems tame in comparison. (I have a pretty vivid imagination.) Yesterday I had a pretty clear idea of the worst-case scenario when the Infant, the Toddler, and I (oh, my) all were struck with a 24-hour stomach virus.
The cons: Yuck. Yuck, yuck. The laundry. Yuck. Feeling like crap and crashed on the couch when I needed to be packing.
The pros: I think I lost five pounds, which is good because since the bachelorette party I’ve decided that brownies are a food group. My lovely bridesmaid’s dress is hanging in a closet in Chicago, and I’m a little scared to try the bad boy on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…thank God for Spanx.
Luckily, this virus stuck to a strict schedule, and by this morning it seems to have moved on, leaving us all a bit weak but less…fluid. Halle. freaking. Elijah. This? Along with the Spanx proves that God loves me.
So worst-case scenario: Three kids on a plane, screaming, diapers, vomit, diarrhea, while sick to my stomach myself. And in my mind, this beats the fiery inferno of a crash.
We’re gonna be golden.
But just in case, here’s how I’ve prepared for a 1.5-hour flight solo with three kiddos:
- The Husband is getting a gate pass so he can help get us through security, so I’m not having to convince my toddler to cooperate with the body scan machine while holding an infant and trying to collapse a stroller. All while trying to explain the the uniformed officer that unless it causes yesterday’s reaction in the baby’s stomach, the contents of her bottle aren’t explosive.
- The Infant and The Toddler are going in a double umbrella stroller by McLaren. This product? Up there with the Spanx.
Packing was done with great efficiency and deliberation. We’re going to do some laundry while in Chicago, so I didn’t pack a full week’s worth of clothes. Since I’m going to be pushing the stroller, I packed bags I can carry on my shoulder, and a suitcase with wheels that my Tween can help me with. Minimal luggage means minimal juggling.
- Snacks. This will be my first time bringing snacks through security so we’ll see how it goes, but I’ve heard it’s pretty simple as long as you declare them. When going anywhere with kids, I’ve learned that food paves the way to a peaceful experience. Doctors have lollipops at the checkout for a reason.
- Packing said bottle. I’m nursing but occasionally supplement with formula, especially now that baby’s appetite is through the roof. The logistics of popping my boob out on the plane without flashing the other passengers intimidated me, although they may need a mercy flash. I have my nursing wrap packed in case, but the bottle helps covers my bases. (Pun intended.)
- Activities. In the diaper bag I have a plethora of new funsies…cheap little activities I’ll bust out in case of emergency. You know, if the Benadryl lets me down.
- Car seats at the destination. Rather than dealing with checking car seats and having to strap them into the car, my aunt and uncle borrowed some and are going to have them there and ready to roll when they pick us up. Whew.
The Land of Nod has a fabulous new blog, Honest to God, that has great ideas for moms. They published a post on making favors for the surrounding passengers when you travel with kiddos…you know, just to smooth the way. Brilliant. Did I have time to do this? Please. I haven’t even packed my toothbrush yet.
Wish me luck. How about y’all? Any tips for flying with small people?