A couple weeks ago, I took my children aged 2 & 4 on a plane ride. A round-trip ride from Edmonton to Toronto. They were delighted to go on this adventure with me. The week prior to embarking on this mission, we counted down the sleeps left until the airplane. (The kids even tried to skip a few nights just so it would come faster.) As much as they were excited for our adventure, I was questioning if I could do this.
I’ve flown solo with one kid before. I’m not sure if it counted entirely, as Mr J was a babe in arms at the time and didn’t require a seat or really any entertainment. This mission was one of a different variety – try to keep it together, and get my two very active wiggle bottomed children to stay in their chairs (or as close to it as I could muster) during the 3-4 hour flight.
To add a few kinks into my plan – I was flying a different airline that I typically do, I booked one of the tickets after I booked the first two, and the first flight was at “do-people-really-get-up-this-early” o’clock. You know, just to spice up the story a little.
We had our shares of ups and downs in the trip. The kids loved watching the airplanes take off and land at the terminal. We didn’t love the 1 hour delay since the air conditioner was not working in plane. Both of the kids loved the new toys that I had packed for them. I didn’t love it when my 2 year old didn’t understand why she had to wear a seatbelt on take off and landing and screeched her displeasure.
Attitude is 98%
There are times in parenting when your attitude makes up 98% of what you need to do. This is just one of those times. Polish up your best mommy self that you can manage – give yourself that extra treat, or self care routine before you embark on this mission. Be the most patient, loving mommy possible, and have a friend or family member waiting on the other end to help to get you where you need to go.
I packed a backpack of amusements for each of my kids to carry with them on the plane. Each backpack contained: a blanket and lovey, colouring utensils and a few colouring pages, a brand new toy they had never seen before, headphones, and a few favourite toys. In my own bag, I packed my iPad with kids apps, napkins, diapers, and a change pad.
Snacks, snacks, and more snacks
Pack healthy snacks with you, and take at least 1L of water. Snacks are just easy ways to distract kids on a plane; we packed veggie sticks, little sandwiches, fruit slices. As a back up for emergencies, I had a big box of Smarties, which are my kids favourite candies. The stewards of the plane also provided cookies, chocolate bars and a few cups of juice.
This Isn’t Where You Limit Screen Time
Screen time is limited at my house rather severely. On the airplane, it just isn’t so. I wish there was another way, and although my kids did run up and down the aisles of the plane, there is no real way to get energy out – or at least not anyway my active kids are used to. I also found out on the way there the in-flight shows offered by some airlines aren’t up to snuff for the variety of choices that my Netflix kids are used to. On the way home, I was smarter and bought a few shows out of the iStore to ensure peace. These went over really well.
Be Polite and Ask For What You Need
Since my third ticket was not booked at the same time as the other two, Ms P was technically suppose to sit about 2 rows up from where Mr J and I were sitting. Try telling that to a 2 year old? The trick is to approach the check in counter before the plane begins boarding. The helpful stewardesses of the plane were able to switch her seat with someone sitting elsewhere who hadn’t checked in yet because of my timely approach. Unfortunately, another mom was in the situation and didn’t ask until boarding and they were not able to help.
Drink up after it’s over. You deserve it, Super Mom.
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.