Extreme Flying

Praise gives this mom the power to travel solo ... with her four kids

Filed UnderWork & Life, family fun
Photograph by Getty Images

I’ve never thought of myself as a daredevil.

I always pick Skee-Ball over roller coasters at the amusement park. I will never be caught dead on a ropes course, even though I’m well aware of the safety harness. And zip-lining in Costa Rica set me back a good three months in therapy.

But then I became a mom of four kids, and simple, everyday tasks have me earning my superhero cape. Just going grocery shopping is no small feat. Eating out at a restaurant is like an extreme sport.

But I’m pretty sure flying alone with all of my kids is downright heroic.

She uses the iPad like it’s a high-priced drum, and toys are just tossed, usually at your lucky seatmate’s head or on the floor just beyond your reach.

I flew once with my first three children, who were all under 5, and vowed never to do it again. But desperate times, like my husband’s deployment to Afghanistan, called for desperate measures. And even though the DVD player could not soothe the savage toddler beast, we survived—as did my fellow passengers, who were extra glad they had packed their earphones.

So when I added a fourth child to my brood, I vowed that I’d never fly alone with all of them until the youngest was old enough to be entertained longer than two minutes by something other than kicking the seat in front of her.

Even traveling as a family with my husband is challenging, because while the older kids can generally be occupied with treats, toys and technology, my youngest (just under 2) could not care less about any of them. The bag of gummy bears only lasts so long, and then when the sugar high hits, you regret ever thinking that letting her eat them was a good idea. Sure, you survived the long taxi and takeoff, but now she’s running up and down the aisles as if it’s a relay.

She uses the iPad like it’s a high-priced drum, and toys are just tossed, usually at your lucky seatmate’s head or on the floor just beyond your reach. And even when you get creative, by packing masking tape or cleaning wipes, or begging the flight attendant for lots of straws and empty cups, you get maybe a total of 10 whole peaceful minutes. A small consolation on a two-hour flight.

MORE: What's on Your List?

Prev PagePage
2 Comments
stay in the know
from our partners
from:
from:
from:
from: