Sunday, August 12, 2007

Travels with Zoe, Part 2

I’ve mentioned this before, but thank heaven for boobs. (Actually, I’ve probably mentioned this in more than one context, but for the moment I’m referring to Zoe’s sole food source.) We have just returned from a four-day trip to Seattle (to visit Jill, Martin, Karin & Charlotte—see photo), a two-hour flight that was a test run for our six-hour flight to Boston in September. The flight out went fine, but our return flight required more attention and a lot more boob. The problem with flying with an infant these days is that most flights are full, so instead of being able to spread out over three seats you get crammed into the window and center seats, with some overweight smelly person in a deep sleep on the isle. If we were to take the center and isle seats, the window person would inevitably have a weak bladder and Zoe would inexplicably want to sleep. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is almost preferable to have ones bladder burst than to wake a sleeping baby.

On this flight, as well as our previous trip to LA, we flew Southwest, which, if you didn’t know, has open seating (at rock concerts this usually means a dozen people will be crushed to death attempting to get the front row seats). Now that we are allowed that restricted honor of pre-boarding, we must guard our third seat in the off chance that it is not a full flight. For those of you about to travel on Southwest with a child, here are some tricks to keep that third seat unoccupied.
  • Strap you child into the seat and pretend you don’t know them.
  • Change their diaper during the boarding process
  • Pinch them so they scream. No one wants to sit next to a screaming baby.
  • Pile the middle seat with all the baby paraphernalia and try to look harried (which shouldn’t be difficult).
  • Sing “The Wheels on the Bus” song in a loud and enthusiastic voice. If someone looks like they are going to sit anyway, let them know that they will be required to join in and do their part to entertain your child.
Inevitably your efforts will fail and one of you will spend your entire trip in the center seat with your tray-table piled high with drinks and snacks and your lap covered in toys and blankets, trapped by the snoring football player in the isle seat, and needing to use the bathroom as if you downed a couple of Super Big Gulps® as you were boarding.

See photos of Zoe at

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