We're in Texas now and the past few days have been busy. I hope both of my very devoted blog readers found some other way to pass the time.
The flight was... an adventure. As things with Charlie always are. I am lucky to have an extremely thoughtful husband who managed to work from home an extra couple of days this week so he could fly with me and help me Charlie-wrangle. And I am so happy he did. He had a seat a couple of rows up and we ended up taking turns - one of us in the 'sanity seat' and the other entertaining Charlie.
I was fairly happy with the CARES harness I rented on eBay for Charlie. My one complaint is that it's kind of a challenge to get the straps around the seat tight enough on a window seat - and the window seat is where you are supposed to put your child. The instruction card showed the harness on an aisle seat, where you would have quite a bit more leverage to tighten the straps. It took some effort and still wasn't very tight. I eventually just shrugged and gave up.
To install the harness, you have to lower the tray on the seat behind you and pull the main strap to tighten it. Sounds like the seat belt instructions on the flight, no? It's a similar concept. Because you have to lower someone else's seat tray, it's very important not to miss the small children boarding for the flight. Best to get it installed before the person behind you boards or you are going to be all up in their personal space.
I also think at 25 pounds, Charlie is just a tad small for the harness. It would work beautifully on a child just a little bit bigger. It seemed a bit big and unwieldy for him. I would only mess with it for children who are too young to understand they need to stay in their seat. It was lovely not having to haul the car seat through the airport and on to the plane - this thing fits in a small bag that I slipped into the diaper bag. Heaven knows we had enough stuff to lug through the airport.
Charlie did sit fairly well strapped in and only got frustrated pulling on the harness a few times. I foolishly let him out about halfway through the flight, thinking he would lay down on my lap and fall asleep. I'm incredibly naive like that sometimes. Brad had to come back and get him clicked back in, where 10 minutes prior to landing Charlie finally fell asleep. Naturally.
At the beginning of the flight I had a bunch of little bags of toys and things from the Dollar Tree that MIL Sue put together for Charlie over the holiday weekend for him to open on the plane. He absolutely loved all of it. Things to throw, things to squeeze, things to take apart and inspect. Very exciting.
I remember as a kid on long road trips, my mom would have paper bags we could open each hour that had something new to do in the card. Crosswords, books, car games, etc. This was the same concept, but for the younger set. I highly recommend. If it can keep Charlie occupied for an hour then it may work even longer for your child! Charlie has something of a short attention span.
The next portion of the flight, we entertained Charlie with the portable DVD player we bought on our way out of town. Along with two Yo Gabba Gabba DVD's. I felt slightly guilty on the plane watching Charlie watch DJ Lance Rock and crew with such a glazed look in his eyes. It was a trade off I suppose - brain cells for quiet time. We've also used it in the car here and it works like a charm! Of course, each night when I'm trying to go to sleep, all I can hear are the songs from the show - pretty maddening.
The final part of the flight, I passed Charlie over to Brad, as he was so restless and I'd finally hit my limit. Not sure what Brad did, but it sounded quiet from 2 rows up. I got some reading in and talked to the very nice man in the seat next to me. It was a rather blissful way to be traveling when you have a small child on the plane.
I have come to accept that I am just not one of those moms that can stay relaxed during the airport security screening and boarding processes. They stress the daylights out of me. I feel frazzled the whole time. I know there are other moms out there who can just sail through security, get their child on the plane and then relax while said child plays with something quietly in their seat. I saw this mother in the other security line and watched her for a sec until I had to get back to my control freak obsessing over where everything was and the squirmy 25 pound kid on my right hip.
Each time I've flow with Charlie, I have been a stressed out mess by the time I finally sit down and pretty desperate for the drink cart by take off. I'm trying not to think about the return flight, which I will need to do without Brad. It's gonna be a doozy! Fortunately we sprung for the portable DVD player with 5 hours of play time.
Until then we are keeping pretty busy in Dallas. Well, McKinney actually. My sister Megan's engagement party is tonight and my other sister Meredith flew in from New York with her boyfriend Lucas for it. Last night and today we've been hanging out, playing with Charlie and partaking in our 3 favorite food groups: carbs, fat and alcohol.
I also chopped off my hair and dyed it a chestnut color. I'm trying to get back to my natural color. It's taking some getting used to, going from overly bleached out hair to dark. And then 3 to 4 inches gone on top of it. I'll post some pictures of it later so those of you I see in real life will recognized me.
The Biker Family
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