We did it again – we flew to the east coast with Pumpkin to visit our families. Just like last summer, the flight out was fine. Pumpkin relaxed in the carrier I got for the flight and played with the new toys and other random household objects that I brought along for her entertainment. I still marvel at how much mileage I a can get out of an empty plastic soap container. Pumpkin didn’t nap until the very end of the flight, but didn’t cry either so I’d call that a success.
And then… there was the flight back home. It seemed to me that the seats had shrunk to about half their original size, and the two guys seated in front of us were fully reclined for the entire flight so we had about six inches of space in which to keep our daughter entertained. We were so cramped that I couldn’t even reach the bags under the seats in front of us without both of us standing up. At the airport they said they were too understaffed that day for the usual “family lane” so we had to go through regular security and the guy we got seemed extremely suspicious of the container of cantaloupe that I brought for Pumpkin and wound up taking apart three of our carry-on bags and putting everything back in different locations… so I couldn’t even find Pumpkin’s pacifiers and spoons for lunch for the first half of the flight… not fun for anyone. Daddy bought a fish sandwich at the airport and I thought he finished it before we boarded the plane, but took a few bites and then put the majority of it in my carry-on “for later” without telling me. He admitted this a few hours into the flight when I commented that I couldn’t understand why I could still smell fish. And what was up with Pumpkin? Did grandma give her a cup of coffee before we left the house? I’ve never seen her so active. She was climbing on us, pulling on the seats, pulling the arm hair of the guy sitting next to us (who, bless his heart, was very tolerant) and in general making very clear to mommy and daddy and the rest of the plane that it was a really bad idea to try to keep her in a confined space for six hours.
The only time I think anybody smiled at Pumpkin was at the very end of the flight when the plane stopped taxiing and Pumpkin started clapping. I’m pretty sure the whole plane was clapping in their heads along with her.