Flying with a Toddler, part 1

Last week, Will and I flew East to visit family and friends in Atlanta and Charlotte. Will has crisscrossed this vast country several times so flying is old hat to him. And, the boys (only) flew to Delaware in June 2011 without KW, so I knew what to expect in terms of ‘Toddler flying time management’.

I packed the carry on with:

  • complete set of extra clothes (for Will)
  • snack food (noodles, pretzels, carrots, peanuts, raisins, a full PBJ sandwich)
  • 5 books
  • one coloring book with crayons
  • numerous toy airplanes
  • tilda stuffed animal (dog) – for sleeping
  • warm jacket
  • tissues
  • empty water bottle (to go through security then fill)
  • several pens and paper
  • 4 sheets of misc stickers

Lastly, for “emergencies” or as a reward to behavior above and beyond….KW’s Kindle with 10 episodes of “Diego (Dora’s cousin) the explorer” downloaded.

Our first leg, the direct flight from SEA to ATL luckily caught the jet stream and only took about 4 hours. Will occupied himself for the first 3 hours with coloring, reading a few books and eating and looking out the window. I always try to book the middle and window seat.

The last hour, I needed a break, so pulled out the Kindle then closed my eyes for a few minutes of downtime.

An uneventful flight but even so, it is amazing how exhausting air travel with a (even well behaved) toddler can be. I guess it is so tiring because I’m monitoring him constantly, or waiting him to do something like kicking the seat that requires rapid counter measures.

The next day was the shortest leg, from Atlanta to Charlotte. Less than an hour of flying time. By far, the highlight for Will was waiting to board the flight. We sat in the far corner and three (female) Delta flight attendants sat near us. Will was strapped in his collapsible stroller but facing ‘the ladies’ and quickly showed them his American airline toy plane, to break the ice. For the next 20 minutes Will thoroughly entertained the ladies with numerous funny faces, stories and even a song. The kid was the life of the party and “worked” the crowd hard for compliments (“he is so cute, smart, funny, etc”) and laughs.

Delta Flight Attendants 1970


After we boarded the plane, our seats were the second to last row, Will quickly discovered that two of the 3 attendants in the waiting area were seated directly behind us. During take off, he kept standing up in his seat trying talk to ‘the ladies’ behind us. After we landed, they asked, did Will want to stay aboard and continue to the next stop, Charleston SC?

About Scott

Training to qualify for the Boston Marathon and simplify our life, as a stay at home dad.
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