Flying back from Sweden with a 4 month old baby was not bad at all. Zoe slept almost the whole long haul flight from London to LA, letting Mark and me have nice dinner and watch a movie. Zoe was snoozing in the bassinet above our seats, where she occasionally opened her eyes, looked drowsily at us and then dozed off again. This preemptively made up for the full on cry all the way from LA to San Diego.
We had been relaxing in the LAX lounge when the personnel came down and told us that our flight was about to board and the gate was quite a walk away. It was still early which is why we hadn't packed up yet and I was feeding Zoe. I had to de-latch her and put her in the carrier where she started crying. She was not done eating. What we also hadn't realized was that we had to go through security again. And the line was long. I looked the officer in the eyes as he sent us out a door where the end of the line had snaked around to, hoping he would realize I was carrying a crying 4 month old and let us through before everyone else. He didn't budge. Outside I started pacing back and forth while Mark stood in line for us but Zoe was still out of it. People looked sympathetically at us but nobody offered us their spot. When we got inside the door, still with a wailing baby, there was a bit of commotion up front and the security officer from before came over and, still not looking at me, told us to come up front. They let us go through in front of the still snaking queue and I almost felt the communal sigh from the crowd as we started jogging towards the gate.
At that moment a little airport car came towards us with a woman that was about to save our night. "Do you need a ride?" she said and we nodded. With Zoe still crying we made the flight as the last passengers and a check-in guy letting us know that we were very lucky. I didn't feel very lucky because Zoe was still crying, now hysterically, so hysterically that she couldn't even latch on as soon as I attempted after sitting down and fastening my seatbelt. She just cried and cried. Mark took her for a bit of the 20 minute flight, which felt like three hours, but it wasn't until the pilot turned on the seatbelt sign for our inflight that she finally fell asleep. We stayed on the plane until everyone had left and then very carefully, very quietly put her in the carrier again where she continued snoozing until we got out to the curb. Our friend and summer subletter were waiting with our car and Zoe's car seat. Mark and I agreed that for a 18 hour journey, she had done very well. This was not bad at all.