I’ve had the luxury of travelling many places of the last few years. Of those times, I’ve been on more than a few planes that were exhibit to babies that did not travel well. And by not travelling well, I mean they cried.
A lot. Loudly. Ear-piercingly.
My biggest fear is that we would have one of those children. Loud. Ear-piercingly. So instead of casting disapproving glances at others, we would be the recipients of such withering glances as to kill off entire forests.
I held out hope that if there was one gene I could pass onto my offspring, it would be the ability to travel without much concern.
So this weekend, we flew out to Maple Ridge to visit with family. (Alex’s family, that is. Oakville will have to come later.) Alex and the wee one are here for about a week and a half. I’m here only until tomorrow. But the first trip out was a joint affair. It had to be — just in case.
Packing was a little rushed at the end, mostly because everything had to be tied around a final feeding at home. (Everything is ultimately tied to either feeding or sleeping, and schedules be damned.) Although late leaving the house, we managed to get to the airport pretty zippily, and I dropped off Alex and our assorted stuff at the terminal, before whipping over to the Park ‘n Fly to drop off the car. (Yes, we should take a taxi, but for what they charge, it’s just easier to leave the car.)
I was back in less than 10 minutes, which caught Alex off-guard, as she didn’t expect me that quickly. Turns out I wasn’t needed for check-in. But I did prove somewhat useful in bagging up the Bugaboo to go into oversize baggage. Then we joined the longest security line I’ve ever seen for Gate D.
Twenty-eight minutes to spare, we opted for Subway to tide us over until we got to the Lower Mainland. The wee one was mostly asleep in the Bjorn, much to our collective relief. So far, no issues. (I even managed to take the kid through the metal detector in the Bjorn, and it didn’t set off the alarm!)
A last change, and we boarded our flight. WestJet seemed to put everyone with babies in the same area. For better or for worse, it seemed. No squawk, no fuss. So far. As we began taxiing, Alex started to breastfeed. Although the recommended procedure is to hold your child until after takeoff, there was enough squirming to suggest hunger. The squirt was out like a slow base runner before we even got to takeoff, and remained asleep for a good 30 minutes.
In fact, the only sound she made was one whine as we started descent — not even anything major. She was genuinely hungry (having had very little on the way up). We hit ground, slowed, hit the terminal, and waited for everyone to leave. Not a sound, except a bit of cooing.
Allen was waiting for us at the security doors, and would not let us pass until he’d kissed his grandchild. Then it was picking up the bags and off for Maple Ridge.
While this is but a single case, and a very ideal one at that (the Calgary-Abbotsford run is barely over an hour), I’m holding out a lot of hope that our child will be a good traveler. Given that some of our family is a four hour flight away, and we want to travel to other places (we’re already in early stages for a Europspecial handlinge trip in April), a good travelling baby will help us a lot.
Now we just need her to learn a few languages... starting with English.