Ask the Real Mom Lady: Traveling Edition

Dear Real Mom Lady,

I am planning on traveling with a toddler this spring and am not sure how to go about it.  We have to fly to our destination and I wonder what I should be prepared for?  How do you navigate airports, flights, wait times and the needs of a child (who is still in diapers)?

SIncerely,

Unsure How To Travel

Dear UHTT,

You should be prepared for a number of things:

  • The sneering and judgement of others.  People don’t like children very much, especially young ones who can be loud and stinky.  Make sure you have a few dirty looks of your own prepared as well as a few choice phrases such as:  “What are you looking at asshole?”
  • Sweating.  Traveling with children is an uncomfortable and sweaty process.  You will have to load them and their things in and out of many vehicles over the course of your vacation and this will suck.  You will also have to restrain your child from kicking and hitting when on the plane and this will hurt you a lot.  Wear deodorant and loose fitting clothes in layers that you can rip off in frustration and stuff in your diaper bag or use as a blanket when your tired and frazzled child eventually passes out (I pray he or she does this at some point for your sanity’s sake).
  • A well-stocked diaper bag.  I actually had a parent offer to pay me $5 for a diaper on a plane.  You could smell her child from ten rows away and she was the only person on the plane happy to see me and my child because she knew we would have diapers.  We did, and she was relieved.  Don’t get caught short of anything because you will curse yourself and want to jump from the plane or lock yourself in the putrid bathroom.
  • Entertainment.  Bring books, toys, stickers, headphones for the TV on the plane, iPods, iPads, or whatever you know your child loves and may keep him or her entertained for even a millisecond.
  • Food.  For obvious reasons.  A hungry child sucks.
  • Pack lightly.  If you can manage to do that and all of the above, please let me know how you did this because I am pretty sure it is impossible.
  • If you can rent or borrow anything where you are going, do that.  Try not to have to check strollers and car seats in at the airport.  It is a pain in the ass and you have to stand in yet another line up for oversized baggage.
  • Drink lots upon arrival.

Good luck!

Sincerely,

RML

Dear Real Mom Lady,

I recently went on a trip and had to sit next to a mother and her child on the plane.  It was really uncomfortable for me and unpleasant, to say the least.  Her son screamed and cried during takeoff, wouldn’t sleep and threw his snacks everywhere.  He even tried to grab for mine!  What should I have done in this circumstance?  Could I have asked to move?  Told the mom what she should do?

Sincerely,

Frustrated Co-Traveler

Dear F-ing CT,

Yes, please ask to move.  If you can’t handle a situation like that with some sympathy and tact, please move your ass somewhere else on that damn plane.  I know it sucks to be seated next to the mom and baby, but it sucks even more to be the mom of that baby.  Be kind, offer to share your snack with the damn kid, try to engage him or her (unless they are on the verge of sleep in which case you should not make eye contact and be completely still and silent), don’t roll your eyes and offer to share your tray with the mom who can’t lower hers for her glass of wine.  If she hasn’t already ordered a glass of wine, order one for her.  Don’t EVER offer her advice unless you have had a slew of children and have flown with them!

RML

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