Taking a one year old by yourself on a plane across the entire country should be considered a special form of torture. I would know as Jillian and I got back from my business trip to Washington, DC last night. A few months ago, my MIL and I decided it would be fun if she and Jillian tagged along on my trip to see the sights since Jeramy would be out of town hunting. The one problem was that my MIL would have to be on a different airline where I had a free flight, and I would need to bring Jillian with me as a lap child. As the little Miss began walking, I started to dread the trip envisioning a screaming toddler screaming in my lap and wanting to run around in the middle of a full plane.
It turns out that the trip would be complete chaos at times, but not for the reasons I suspected.
Getting through security was of course a circus, and trying to get on the plane with a toddler, car seat, diaper bag, and laptop back was challenging. However, the plane ride went rather well. Since neither plane was full as I had feared, I was able to get a seat for Jillian and bring her car seat. She is always much more cooperative in a car seat. Both ways she fell asleep so quickly upon take off that I'm starting to consider plane rides as a solution for those sleepless nights. After a couple hour nap she'd wake up and play happily for a little while. About 4 hours in she'd start to get restless, so I stuck her in my hip carrier and we'd hang out at the back of the plane. Apparently watching flight attendants set up drink carts is completely enthralling. Then it would be time for a cookie. Soon after we'd begin descent and the five - six hours of trying to find ways to constantly entertain a 12 month old were finally over.
When I arrived in DC, I was feeling rather good about the whole experience. When I learned that my checked bag did not arrive due to a flood in the basement of Sea-Tac airport I was less thrilled. I had packed my carry on bags light since I would be by myself, so I had little for myself and Jillian besides the clothes on our back, a few diapers, and a bit of formula. My bag wouldn't get there for another 36 hours, so at 11:30pm at night I was at the drug store down the street from the hotel stocking up on baby essentials. The next morning, instead of seeing the sights, I had to catch a Taxi to a local mall in order to pick up clothes for Jillian and myself since I couldn't very well wear jeans to the conference starting that afternoon.
And that wouldn't have been so bad, but I got about three hours of sleep on the night we arrived. You see some kids next door decided that it would be a whole lot of fun to throw a party in their room. Considering that my work was footing a bill of $300 a night at the Ritz Carlton, I was not so thrilled about that. I called the front desk at 1am who came up, and they shut off the music. However I could still hear shouting. I went next door and asked them to quiet down twice explaining the sleeping one year old in my room. Apparently I was not persuasive (aka bitchy) enough. So at 2:30am I marched down to the front desk where management was not very happy to hear about the continued disruption of my sleep. After threatening to kick them out, the punk kids (don't I sound old?) finally got the hint. And I got my room free of charge for the night...so I guess my employer can thank me for the savings.
And just when I thought my problems were over, I discovered my debit card was missing and had to cancel it. Thank goodness nobody had charged anything on it inappropriately.
But wait, there is more. When I opened my suitcase this morning I discovered that an entire can of formula exploded over the contents. It is a big white powdery mess. I'm still trying to get that little mess cleaned up.
I know the trip probably sounds like hell, but really it wasn't all bad. My MIL and Jillian had a great time playing, and the conference I attended was excellent. It is admittedly nice to be back home though.
Now if only Jeramy would hurry back from hunting because this single parenthood business is for the birds. He'll probably be gone until Sunday afternoon though.