Flying Solo

I’m back after a trip to my hometown for my 20th high school reunion. I flew out with both Guppy (4+ months) and Drake (nearly 3 years) by myself, then my husband G. Grod flew in for the weekend, and we four flew back together. Ironically, the flight out was tough, and the return was a breeze.

Outbound, we got permission for G. Grod to accompany us to the gate; we arrived just in time to board early. I asked the high-school-aged girl sitting behind me to hold Guppy while I installed Drake’s car seat, then I strapped Drake in and put Guppy in the Maya Wrap sling, where he proceeded to scream for quite some time, perhaps because we sat for 45 sweaty minutes past takeoff time without air. Everyone around me was carefully looking everywhere but at us. The man on the other side of me asked if the girl behind me was my daughter (OK, while she technically COULD be my daughter, and some of my classmates have kids her age, I still did not appreciate the confirmation that I look my age.), perhaps looking to switch out of our row. I said she was a stranger who helped me. He expressed surprise, and I wondered to myself what kind of person would NOT volunteer to help a mom traveling with 2 kids and needing an extra hand? Drake was mostly good, but kept insisting that he wanted another lollipop, which I had trouble extracting from my bag while also trying to juggle Guppy, whose screams were not only disturbing in general, but also because they were so uncharacteristic. He is normally a placid little buddha.

My stash of Dum-Dum lollipops, a new Matchbox toy, the Consumer Reports annual auto issue, and several paperback books ensured that Drake continued to be mostly good for the 2-hour flight. The monkey backpack/leash worked great once we got off the plane. As usual, we received lots of admiring looks and comments on the wheels for Drake’s car seat.

Drake missed his nap, then had a nuclear meltdown at bedtime, which I thought was due to the nap, but had to reasses when he woke an hour later, having spiked a high fever. Boy, did I feel competent for having bought and packed children’s Tylenol. Drake’s fever rose as high as 104 over the next few days, then passed. Guppy continued to fuss and sleep badly throughout our trip, though he did also occasionally show his cute, smiley side in public and at my reunion events. And if compliments are to be believed, then I don’t look as if I haven’t slept well since I got pregnant with Guppy, so I suppose that’s something.

Once home, I diagnosed Guppy with reflux from trying to lengthen the intervals between feedings, since every 2 hours during the day is exhausting to me, and both my pediatrician and my pediatric-trained dad told me I was feeding him more often than necessary. Now I’m back to feeding him more frequently, and hope that brings back a long interval at night, once the irritation dies down. Last night, though, I was up at 11, 2, 4, and 6. Guess he showed them. And me.

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