Friday morning, Zoe and I will be catching a plane down to Copenhagen to see my family and for me to see some friends. I am going to a theater play with some of my friends, so I thought this weekend might be as good as any to go down for a visit. Having flown 53 times with Zoe before I don't anticipate any difficulties or surprises, yet as I have described before, I like to prepare mentally and practically a couple of days before. One thing that has changed recently is that Zoe is very heavy for me to carry in a soft-structured carrier and that although she likes to walk for parts of the journey, I need to keep her close by at certain key points during the trip. For example when going from the train up into the terminal to check in, I can't let her walk, it would take too long, and there are no trolleys with child seats like there is airside in the terminal. Yet, I could think of only a few things worse than actually having to take her stroller with me, getting it collapsed for security and trying to negotiate a carry-on suitcase with pushing a screaming toddler (Zoe still hates her stroller). In addition I have a stroller in Copenhagen at my parents' apartment and my mom mostly picks us up in the airport, with it. So soft-structured carrier it is.
Of other challenges, one is how to manage an almost two year old in my seat. She is way too big to be a lap infant, but since it is only an hour flight and that she still qualifies, I am not going to buy the extra seat. Besides, occasionally the airline will have an empty seat that will magically be next to me. If not, I pity the person next to us who will get Zoe's feet in his/her lap for the majority of the flight.
Finally, there is the patience issue: With Zoe walking most of the way now, she has less patience to stand in line for security and boarding and it can sometimes be complicated to keep her occupied while keeping my spot. Last time she couldn't understand why I didn't just follow her around all queue into the airplane where we were clearly going, why I kept standing behind all those people that she gladly walked around. I honestly thought it was a bit silly too and secretly prayed that someone would just ask me to come up front, but those things don't happen in the real world. Instead I just kept telling Zoe to come back and wait with me, trying to seem like I had my eager toddler under control.
Wish me luck, I will report back after my weekend trip how toddler traveling is these days.