When Reina was about three months old, we boldly stepped into parenthood by purchasing our darling newborn her first airline ticket to the USA so that she could meet her grandparents, or at least so they could dote on her. To avoid possible pitfalls, I emailed friends, solicited advice on Facebook, and queried members of the Beijing community about the wisdom of such a journey with a small baby. After considering the dearth of feedback we received, we decided to defy conventional wisdom and took the trip anyway. Besides getting a sore arm from carrying her around the plane when she wasn’t sleeping, there were no major disasters (from my experience and observations, it’s the toddlers that have the most trouble on flights). Five years later, Reina still loves to fly on long flights and is more likely to get cranky if a plane ride is too short rather than too long.
Conversely, when our boys were born 9 weeks ago, we had already decided taking a trip to the USA with two infants would be a bad idea. Things are always different with twins, so we decided it would be best for us to wait until next summer to attempt the pilgrimage to Oregon. But then we began to think about the children’s grandparents (one cannot fly), Savvy’s maternity leave, and we had all those frequent flier miles that needed to be used. So what was stopping us from getting on a plane? Twins! Not taking care of them, I’m sure that will be relatively easy considering all they do is eat, sleep, and make cute faces, so that’s not the issue. Reina already has her bag loaded with books and activities to keep her occupied for 12+ hours, so that’s not a problem either. No, the real dilemma is rolling up to the gate with two infants and staring down the other passengers as they all think the same thing, “Please God, not my section of the plane.”
Yes, my biggest concern is how to alleviate the anxiety of my fellow fliers, especially the poor schlep who will end up sitting in seat E since I intentionally left an empty seat between our party just to see the expression on his face when he looks up in disbelief between his ticket and his assigned seat flanked by babies and a 5 year-old. Priceless. Then again, the passenger will probably get upgraded to avoid any trouble, so perhaps I am doing him a favor.
Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got to pack one last bag. Where did I put those noise-cancelling headphones?
Photo courtesy of flickr user Christian Haugen