Posted by Annie Kayser, Working Mommie | Posted in Working Mommy | Posted on 17-07-2011
Tags: Annie Kayser, anxiety, Benadryl, flying with children, toddler
As we approached the security line at SFO, the butterflies in my tummy were all a flutter. I’ve flown many many times without batting an eye, but on this day, I had my almost 3 year old with me who has never set foot in an airport or on an airplane. Allie knew we were going to “fly like a birdie” to Seattle, but of course had very little concept of what that actually meant. Allie was already throwing a little fit as we approached the security line and I was finding myself wondering why I thought it was a good idea to book this trip. A few months ago I decided we needed to go to Seattle to visit our family. I hadn’t been up there since I was pregnant and it was a regular yearly trip before then. I thought it would be great to take a vacation right after my job at the hospital would be ending, take some time to decompress, just hang out with family and take Allie on this fabulous adventure with her first plane ride! Then here I was standing at the entrance to the security line thinking I must have been out of my mind! What had I gotten myself into?
Okay, I totally get our national security issues and appreciate the measures that are in place ~ but poor Allie doesn’t understand any of it, let alone why they had to take Pooh Bear from her AND I had to take off her shoes. This is a girl who ALWAYS takes of her shoes when I don’t want her too… but of course all hell broke loose when I took them off combined with losing Pooh Bear for a minute. Within seconds we were in full meltdown mode and I couldn’t fold the stroller up enough to fit through the scanner… while trying to get one of the agents to help me, I’ve got Allie in tears, totally confused by all the activity around her. Fortunately, I’d realized that I serendipitously landed in the Family and Extra Assistance security line. The family behind me was having the same difficulty and the folks getting assistance in wheelchairs looked at me with compassion and patience. I had no clue this line even existed and I totally stumbled into it! I took a deep breath, got everything through the conveyer, made up a story about Pooh Bear needing extra attention to be able to get on the plane with us, walked us through the metal detector together and just like that passed a major milestone in my life… getting through airport security with a toddler for the first time. WE DID IT!
I had received so much advice about traveling with Allie. I brought a well charged iphone, a portable DVD player, crayons, paper, books and snacks… and benadryl, just in case. She was having a grand old time on the plane, so much so that she was TOO excited and not using her inside voice (not even close). I had envisioned a crying Allie, but not an wound up, excited, screaming Allie. I know that the method I chose to handle this may be somewhat frowned upon, but I’d received the “Benadryl” advice from so many people that I felt comfortable giving her a small dose. Only problem is, we were already 45 minutes into the flight. By the time we landed she’d only been asleep for 45 minutes and was totally groggy. I felt like such a bad mommy! She was so upset and let everyone know… the tears flowed as we exited the plane… Parenting sure is a guessing game sometimes. I don’t like that I felt I had to turn to Benadryl and I know some people frown on this, but I’m learning.
Fast forward a week to our return flight. Sea-Tac also has a family line, yahoo! I felt much more efficient in my ability to get through ~ gave Allie the Pooh Bear pep talk ahead of time and she placed him in the bin Made it onto the plane without incident, but again she immediately got over excited and started screaming (loudly). This time she also started throwing her crayons, paper and books onto the floor. I made the decision to give her Benadryl again (I know, I know), but this time right before take-off. She slept the entire flight and woke up rested and not cranky like the first time. She was out of it a little, but was okay. I still do question whether the Benadryl thing is the right thing to do. I hope that all future flights she will be a perfect angel… like next year when we fly to (gulp…) New Zealand. o_O
Happy Travels to all you rockstar parents that fly with your little ones this summer!