We took A on his first plane ride this weekend, and I'm happy to announce that we all survived our "two-year-old-on-a-plane" experience. We had been psyching him up all week for the flight, and by Friday morning, he was prepared to "ride airplane", "give tickets", "buckle up tight", "take off" (plus hand motions), "watch movies", and "eat snacks".
Our flight was at 7am, so we got up at the crack of dawn to get ready. For some of us, dawn cracked earlier than for others. Lately, Alex has been getting up around 3am, getting out of bed, and jiggling his door handle until I come to check on him. When I open his door and ask him why he's up, he says "nose stuffy" because he thinks that if he's "sick", I will take pity on him and let him stay up. When I give him the option between using the saline nasal spray and getting back in bed, he inevitably chooses to go back to sleep. I guess he never expects me to call his bluff...Of course, I was unable to go back to sleep at that point, and since we were planning on getting up at 5 anyway, I just got a headstart on my morning.
Luckily, we left from Love Field, which is approximately a mile from our house, so it was a relatively stress-free morning. The security process was a bit of a pain because we had two carry-ons and an umbrella stroller to juggle, as well as our shoes and jackets and boarding passes. Thank goodness we opted against bringing Alex's car seat because Alex would have had to haul it himself.
Our plane was on time, we got three seats together (we flew Southwest), and we let A have the window seat. He loved taking off - he giggled and grinned from ear to ear as we raced down the runway and climbed into the air. He wasn't all that impressed by the view out of the window - I'm not sure that he completely grasped the concept of being thousands of miles above ground - and he much preferred take-off to the rest of the flight. He kept saying, "one more airshwane!", and we kept explaining to him that we were still on the airplane, and that there was more to flying than just taking off. It was only a 40 minute flight, so by the time we read a couple of books and had a snack, it was time to land. Again, Alex was in heaven as the plane dropped, along with our stomachs.
Lucky for him, he was going to get another chance to "ride airshwane" because this was only the first leg of our trip. We had a short layover in Houston...but not short enough. A was pretty restless as we waited to board the next plane and kept trying to sneak onto the next plane before we were allowed to board.
Finally, we got on the plane, and this longer flight required us to pull out the big guns to keep A entertained. We bought a new portable DVD player and brought a handful of A's favorite movies, so that kept him happy for the majority of the flight.
During the last forty minutes of our two hour and forty minute flight, the 5am wake up call started to catch up with A, and he seriously contemplated having a meltdown. Luckily, we convinced him to "chill", avoided any major meltdowns, and we were on the ground before he knew it.