Taking a two year old on a plane was a great deal different from taking a one year old on a plane. Up until very recently, Hugo preferred being held by me to just about anything, so traveling by plane was easy enough. Easier than long car trips when he had to be in his seat.
Just this past April, he and I went to Atlanta by ourselves. I wore him in a sling on my hip and he mostly slept on the plane. We call him “Slingo” when he’s in the sling. I mentioned it as we were trying to prepare him for the trip. “We’re going on an airplane to see Grandma B. When we’re in the airport, you will be Slingo.”
“Nooo! No want Slingo!,” but I thought maybe he was just saying that. He wasn’t.
We decided to fly out of Philly because we had such a good experience last year. That was a mistake. Hugo fell asleep on the way to the airport and it killed his afternoon nap, which would have happened on the plane. He was very good in the car, the bus from the economy parking lot, the security line, the gate. His Go patience ran out while we were on the plane.
He had his own seat because he’s over two but I ended up holding him most of the time. I tried every trick – bear graham cookies, a granola bar, the iPod. It was only a two hour flight, thank goodness. He spent a full hour trying to get to sleep by vigorously nursing while squirming and kicking (and otherwise trying to expose me) but the little nap in the car had robbed us (and fellow passengers) of the possibility of sleep. I’m pretty sure an overly-friendly man across the aisle was enjoying the show but I was careful not to look up.
Twice I had to just restrain Hugo in my arms while he screamed “I WANT PEEKA DOWN!” (I think this originates from the phrase “pick me up” and I adore it). Several neighboring passengers offered words of encouragement when we landed, saying he was “pretty good” after I apologized.
Coming home was better because he did sleep almost the whole flight. Didn’t touch his seat once! Hugo’s meltdowns were confined to the airport before the flight took off (late). He did breastfeed much of the time, again doing his best to expose me. I have a vague memory of reading about an airline that somehow censured a mom for breastfeeding on the plane because a passenger found it offensive so I was a little on edge.
But when I was leaving, our flight attendant said “You go, girl! I’m proud of you,” and patted me on the shoulder. It made my day!