Chelsea Kaplan’s Musings About Life... After Birth


Posted by Colleen on August 17, 2011

I’m flying to Chicago tonight with my three kids, sans husband. Somewhere today are the individuals who will be on the same flight as us. They’re going about their business, peacefully unaware of the potential hell awaiting them. Of course, my toddler and infant may sleep like angels (ahem, Benadryl) while my Tween is immersed in her Dsi (with ear buds, natch). It may be a non-issue and the other passengers may never even know we're there. But I like to play a game called “Worse Case Scenario.” It’s pretty self-explanatory. I imagine the worst-case scenario, not out of morbidity, but for two reasons. First, in my superstitious English-major’s understanding of probabilities, I imagine that this reduces the chances of it actually happening. To say, “I bet on my way to the grocery store I’m going to get struck by lightning” and then actually have it happen? Crazytown…that would make me psychic. Which I’m not, or I probably wouldn’t have majored in English. (Kidding.)

Secondly, once I’ve imagined the worst case scenario, whatever happens, even if it’s pretty bad, seems tame in comparison. (I have a pretty vivid imagination.) Yesterday I had a pretty clear idea of the worst case scenario when the Infant, the Toddler and I (oh, my) all were struck with a 24-hour stomach virus.

The cons: Yuck. Yuck, yuck. The laundry. Yuck. Feeling like crap and crashing on the couch when I needed to be packing.

The pros: I think I lost five pounds, which is good, because since the bachelorette party I’ve decided that brownies are a food group. My lovely bridesmaid’s dress is hanging in a closet in Chicago, and I’m a little skeered to try the bad boy on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…thank God for Spanx.

Luckily, this virus was one that stuck to a strict schedule, and by this morning it seems to have moved on, leaving us all a bit weak but less…fluid. Halle.freaking.lujah. This? Along with the Spanx proves that God loves me.

So worst case scenario: Three kids on a plane, screaming, diapers, vomit, diarrhea, while sick to my stomach myself. And in my mind, this beats firey inferno of a crash.

We’re gonna be golden.

But just in case, here’s how I’ve prepared for a 1.5 hour flight solo with three kiddos:

  • The Husband is getting a gate pass so he can help get us through security, so I'm not having to convince my toddler to cooperate with the body scan machine while holding an infant and trying to collapse a stroller. All while trying to explain the the uniformed officer that unless it causes yesterday's reaction in the baby's stomach,  the contents of her bottle aren't explosive. 
  • The Infant and The Toddler are going in a double umbrella stroller by McLaren. This product? Up there with the Spanx.
  • Packing was done with great efficiency and deliberation. We’re going to do some laundry while in Chicago, so I didn’t pack a full week’s worth of clothes. Since I’m going to be pushing the stroller, I packed bags I can carry on my shoulder, and  a suitcase with wheels that my Tween can help me with. Minimal luggage means minimal juggling. 
  • Snacks. This will be my first time bringing snacks through security so we’ll see how it goes, but I’ve heard it’s pretty simple as long as you declare them. When going anywhere with kids, I've learned that food paves the way to a peaceful experience. Doctors have lollipops at the checkout for a reason. 
  • Packing said bottle. I’m nursing but occasionally supplement with formula, especially now that baby's appetite is through the roof. The logistics of popping my boob out on the plane without flashing the other passengers intimidated me, although they may need a mercy flash. I have my nursing wrap packed in case, but the bottle helps covers my bases. (Pun intended.)
  • Activities. In the diaper bag I have a plethora of new funsies…cheap little activities I’ll bust out in case of emergency. You know, if the Benadryl lets me down.
  • Car seats at the destination. Rather than dealing with checking car seats and having to strap them into the car, my aunt and uncle borrowed some and are going to have them there and ready to roll when they pick us up. Whew.


The Land of Nod has a fabulous new blog, Honest to Nod, that has great ideas for moms. They published a post on making favors for the surrounding passengers when you travel with kiddos…you know, just to smooth the way. Brilliant. Did I have time to do this? Please. I haven’t even packed my toothbrush yet.

Wish me luck. How about y’all? Any tips for flying with small people?

Tags chicago, wedding, travel, flying, traveling with kids



Picture of Audra .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on August 17, 2011 at 12:50pm

I’ve become an expert flyer-with-toddler.  I even have the removable wheels for the kid’s car seat so that I skip the stroller and have the seat for the flight.  Probably only manageable with one though, but it’s awesome to have him strapped in and not trying to wander.  Snacks are a must and no trouble to get through security.  Bottles are also fine - make sure you go through the Family & Medical Liquids security lane - they expect you to have them.  The only retarded thing I’ve come across is that security makes you take your kids’ shoes off… even the babies.  Take full advantage of the family boarding call so you have time to get yourself situated.  Stickers.  Lots and lots of stickers.  And something for them to adhere them to unless you want to be pulling them off of the seat in front of you.  The toddler will be the biggest handful because he won’t understand the whole sitting still part - snacks take care of this, and books, and multiple trips to the really fun (and freakin dirty) airplane bathroom.  My ace in the whole?  I whip out the pacifier - even though he hasn’t used it in months.  The rules don’t apply when flying - I can ween him again later (and have).  The most important thing to remember:  Ignore everyone else but your kids.  Chances are they are strangers you will never see again.

Picture of Sherry Meeks .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on August 23, 2011 at 10:44am

You are one brave woman! You will have to ask Chelsea about the first time she flew with Zach…and the second and probably the third if my memory is correct!




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