A 13-hour Flight: This Mom’s Hour by Hour Perspective

A 13-hour Flight:  This Mom’s Hour by Hour Perspective

Hour 0

Why are all these people glaring at me as I board the plane with my sweet little 1-year-old?  It is not THAT big of a deal.  We’ve taken a dozen flights with him.  What’s one more?

Hour 1

Oh, this isn’t so bad.  This flight is actually going much better than I thought it would.  But I don’t want to be too positive and jinx it.  Sure, I can read your Forest Babies book to you for the 20th time while you have another snack.

Hour 2

Stickers, no?  Snack, no?  How about your picture book?  That’s a picture of a motorcycle.  That’s a basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball.  Do you want to point to any of the other 100 pictures in the book?  A butterfly, a balloon, a monkey?  No?  Ok, that’s a motorcycle.  That’s a basketball.  Motorcycle.  Basketball…..

Hour 3

You want to take a nap? Sure!  Come to mama.  Oh, you don’t want to nap in the baby carrier?  Or the seat?  Oh, you want to nap while I abruptly rock you back and forth?  For 5 minutes?  For 10 minutes?  Sure, I can keep up this ab workout for 30 minutes until you are so deeply asleep you forget I am no longer rocking you. 

Hour 4

Woah, still napping.  Don’t move a muscle.  Thank you flight attendant, but I’m going to pass on the water for now.  I have to keep this bladder empty so I don’t have to move.

Hour 5

Oh man, this is heaven. Glass of wine. Sleeping baby. Movies on the screen. Seat reclined.  Lunch served.  Happy mama.

Hour 6

Oh no, don’t wake up.  Oh, you are just changing position and going back to sleep?  Phew.  I should not have had that glass of wine.   I do not have to pee.  I do not have to pee.  I do not have to pee.  I do not have to pee. 

Hour 7

No, no it can’t be time to wake up yet.  Well, at least we have made it to the eastern tip of Canada.  Can’t be too much longer now.  Ok, do you want to watch mama’s movie?  No?  You don’t want to play with stickers, books, magnets, cling-ons, buckles, paper bags, or post-it notes?  You don’t want to listen to mama sing songs?  You don’t want to play on the tablet?  You sure you don’t want a snack?  That’s nice that you decline each of my offers with a passionate no and countless loud grunts while thrashing your body back and forth between the seats.  Oh, you want to put the window shade up?  Now, down?  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  I’m sure the passengers sleeping on the dark plane are enjoying the quick flash of light along with the thud of the window shade going up and down abruptly.   Here, take a snack. 

Hour 8

Oh, you want to climb up and rattle the seat in front of you?  Oh, you want to screech, as loud as possible, over and over?  You want to peek through the seats to look behind us and yell at the nice passenger until they acknowledge you?  And repeat that over and over?  Awesome.  How about another snack?

Hour 9

Why don’t you have some water out of your sippy cup?  You want to drink out of my water bottle.  No.  Oh geez, if you are going to scream like that, please drink out of my water bottle.  Oh look, now you have water all over your shirt.  You don’t want to wear a wet shirt?  But you don’t want me to take your shirt off… hmmm…but you are freaking out about your wet shirt touching you.  There’s really only one solution.  Onnnnnne.  Twwwwwwwo.  Thhhhhhrrreeee.  Uh-oh, where’s your shirt?  There’s a shirt on your head.  Hi, Mr. T-shirt head!  Oops, now there is a different shirt is on your body.  See how much more comfortable a dry shirt can be.  Let’s go for a walk.  Oh, you want to touch everyone you pass as you walk?  Say hi and wave.  You need all the cute baby points you can earn.

Hour 10

I don’t think I am going to make it.  Do you want a snack? No, the water bottle is gone.  All finished.  Here is your sippy cup.  The water bottle is gone.  There is no more water bottle.  Dad’s turn to take you for a walk.  

Hour 11

Do you think anyone has noticed that we have been in the bathroom for over 30 minutes while you are playing on the changing table?  Sure, we can wash your hands and play in the sink for the umpteenth time. I can’t believe it, but playing with you in the bathroom trumps my repulsive disgust for airplane bathroom germs.  Ok, you are done with the bathroom?  Why don’t you screech to let me know?  I want everyone outside to think I am torturing you… oh good!  You’ve got that down!

Hour 12

You don’t want to sit?  You don’t want to walk?  You don’t want to be carried?  You don’t want to stand?  You don’t want to eat dinner?  Oh, you want to reach up to the overhead bin three rows ahead of us?  Sure, I can lift your 25# body over my head for long periods of time, while you dangle over the passengers seated in the aisle.  I was looking for a workout today.  You want to play with the curtain separating us from the business class passengers?  And open and close the curtain over and over?  You want to repeatedly yank on the curtain, so hard, that it makes a repetitive loud clanking sound?  Do you like the dirty looks from the people on the other side of the curtain?  Ah, you do because you laugh when they glare at you.  This is fun!  Seriously, how long does it take to fly over Canada.  Canada must be hell… because this is hell.

Hour 13

Well, that wasn’t the worst time ever.  But it was definitely in the top 5 worst times, though…I would never want to do it again.  Good news:  I closed my exercise ring twice from chasing a toddler around an airplane.  Bad news is I have to stand here, waiting to deplane while everyone gives us the “thanks for ruining my flight” stink eye.

Airplane Play by Play

Airplane Play by Play

68 thoughts on “A 13-hour Flight: This Mom’s Hour by Hour Perspective”

    • Thank you! The other flight was just as bad… but a red eye! Eeek. Glad it is all over… lol!!

  • Is it okay that your post makes me giggle? What an adventure! Thanks for sharing a tough time in a humorous light. 🙂 My kids are 5 and 8 now, but we flew when My daughter was 4 and my twin boys were 1.5. Sooo exhausting!

    • Yes, please laugh. It’s the only way to deal with it these days… lol! And you are so right… exhausting. so exhausting.

  • This was great. I flew from round trip from florida to hawaii very pregnant with a toddler. and my husband who was afraid of flying! I could relate! The convenience of first class would almost be worth the money for the space!! where were you flying for 13 hours!?

    • ohmygosh. I couldn’t imagine. pregnant. with a toddler. and a spouse afraid of flying. you poor thing. I hope you got to enjoy Hawaii once you arrived. We were flying to Europe on the flight I am writing about here.

  • Oh my goodness I can seriously relate to this. I love the way you shared the experience by the hour. It is seriously a game of counting down the hours flying with kids. I have so much more compassion for people with kids on flights now that I have flown with my own.

  • So cute and funny. Forget everyone else, they just need to get noise cancelling headphones if it bothers them!

  • That’s really funny! I can’t imagine a long flight with kids. I would be exhausted! You are brave. I love the part about closing the exercise ring. Mine reminded today that it wasn’t as far along as usual …

    • Haha, thanks! You know we were a bit optimistic planning the trip. And when it was a week away, I was starting to dread it. But thankfully, we survived!

  • This is hilarious! We flew from Belgium to Chicago and my then 4 year old asked when we would get our masks. Couldn’t figure out what he was asking about – then pointed to the ceiling to ask when he got to wear the OXYGEN masks. When I told him we didn’t want that to happen because something was wrong with the plane and would have to land and we couldn’t because we were over the ocean he got SO excited – pulled out the emergency guide, pointed to the pictures and said “THEN WE GET TO GO DOWN THE SLIDE AND ON THE RAFTS!” It was a long flight home for me….

    • Ohmy, I just spit my water out while reading this. How funny that he thought the oxygen masks were going to come down. And the slide! Haha! What a fun little guy!

  • What an adventure! That is a long trip for an adult, let alone a little one. I can’t imagine. Personally I love having a toddler or child next to me on a flight. It makes the time pass faster as they go through all the stages of travel.

    • It was definitely an adventure, lol! You are so right, Time does go by relatively quickly with him on board with us

  • We did a 5 hour trip to Seattle with both our kids. The way there they slept almost the whole time, super easy. The way back was somewhat of a nightmare I try to forget lol

  • Well, that was a creative way to tell the story! LOL! I’m glad you survived the adventure. It’s not easy traveling with littles – but it certainly does give us tons of stories to tell later on in life.

  • Hahaa…you’re too funny! Thanks for sharing your story. I was going through a roller coaster ride of emotions 🙂 It must be tough bringing a baby on the plane, I hope people will understand. TC…

  • You are a brave and funny mama! It’s hard enough for me to fly on the long international flights. I can’t imagine doing so with a little one! Good for you though for keeping a sense of humor about it!

    • Thank you, Cindy. Looking back I am so glad we did it, but it was definitely tough during it all 🙂

  • That’s too funny. I thinks it’s one of the reasons we don’t travel, because I can only imagine what my kids would do.

  • You are hilarious! I was giggling as I’m reading your post by the hour. Congrats you survived the flight!

  • Hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing your truthful insight on what it’s like to fly with a toddler. I’m always the person on the plane who desperately wants to help moms traveling with kids out when I see they are tired or struggling. But, I’m often afraid to say anything for fear of scaring them-stranger danger. What would you suggest people say/do that might be helpful to those traveling with babies or toddlers?

    • Aw, you are so sweet, Leah. Honestly, the best thing other folks can do is just give a little support with a “You got this!”.

  • Well done for making it out in one piece :-p I have flown with my kids but 2 hours at a time and sometimes that felt like 13 hours

  • Aww, thank you for this fun-to-read poking-fun-at-yourself take on this experience that so many of us can relate to! You are just too funny. This is one of those things that is worth looking back at with a chuckle, even if it’s hell to go through! #beentheredonethat

  • First, anyone glaring at you should be slapped! As if flying with a toddler is a bucket list aspiration. Second, you are a saint!!! And a great writer, this article is awesome!

  • That is a long flight for a toddler! My kids were never good in the car and I was so hesitant to fly with them. We recently went to Seattle and the kids were so good (they are 10 and 12 now). The toddler days are tough!

  • My daughter is 8 but we have been traveling with her since she was 6 months and haven’t had a problem. It is like she was born to travel. I hate that people don’t give parents traveling with children compassion

    • I agree…the earlier we get them started, the more comfortable they are and the better behaved they are. We all do better when we are familiar with flying.

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