Baby naps on airplane
Parenting,  Travel with Baby

20 Hours of Travel with a Baby

One time two years ago, Harry, your dad and I got upgraded to first class while flying, and I never thought I would encounter a flight-related experience that would make me more exited than that. Turns out, I have: it’s when you wind up on a plane with an entire row between two people and a “lap” infant.

Due to whatever wonderful concession (or coincidence?) by American Airlines, we had a combined four hours of flying yesterday that included you sitting in your very own seat. Your dad and I were delighted, and even more so when you settled in for solid naps on both of them. You did so well, Harrison, and in the process of that, you gave us a false sense of confidence going into the 13 hour international flight.

If course we had pretty low expectations of that chunk of the journey, which as it turns out were pretty reasonable. To be honest, the vast majority of the flight went well, Harry, with you being your typical delightful (and excessively busy) smiley self.

What about that thing you’re supposed to do at night though?

You know, sleep?

We’d hoped that by the time we got on the plane at 11 pm, you would have been soundly snoozing, and would remain so for several hours. I keep meaning to check your mouth to see if you cut a tooth in the 30 minutes before and after boarding because…wow. That period of time really threw us for a loop (as well as the other 200 or so patrons sharing a cabin with us, I’m sure). Nothing would settle you, and we were starting to wonder what we’d gotten ourselves into. You cried for 45 minutes (screamed, more accurately). You redeemed yourself  pretty quick after boarding by passing out for about three hours of sleep (I was hoping for a solid 8 hours, but who am I?). You woke up well and while I did not get to finish my movie, you contentedly played with dads waterbottle, the seat remote, and a straw, until your next three hour nap rolled around (again, I was hoping for longer, but it could have been worse).

Baby enjoying in-flight entertainment
Harry’s ears are too small to fit Mom’s earphones, so he has to hold them up to his ear to hear his movie.

 

The remainder of the journey (until we reached our hotel) was mostly uneventful: customs, biosecurity, shuttle, car rental. Your Dad competently navigated us into the heart of Auckland, driving the whole way on the right side of the road (the “right” side being the left). We took guesses on the way of which rental cars contained novice left-sided drivers like ourselves. You could pick out who drove in the shoulder, and whose windshield wipers suddenly activated when attempting to engage a turn signal (guilty).

At our hotel we encountered our first major snafu. After walking around downtown for two hours waiting for check in, we found our name not on the register. As it turned out when I booked, I forgot we lost a day with the time change, and we’d been “no-shows” at our booking…the previous night, and no vacancies remained at our time of presentation. We took a few minutes to mourn the showers we’d so been anticipating, walked down the street to check vacancy at a nearby hotel (unsuccessful) and were faced with nothing but $400 rooms in the immediate vicinity, and at this point a filthy, overtired, and crying baby.

We wound up booking into a place I never expected to stay with a baby: a hostel. We’re outside the central city region, but we have a room to ourselves with surprisingly comfy beds, and showers with amazing water pressure. We are right off a chic area containing shops and resterants. After 14 hours worth of napping, we all awoke at five am (rather…you woke us up, with the time change it would have been normal morning at home, 8 am). Fearing we’d wake the whole house, we dressed quickly and took a morning walk to check out our surrounds in Parnell.

Coffee for three
The waitress brought our “flat-white’s”, along with a baby-sized treat for Harry: a “fluffy” (It’s milk foam in an espresso mug)
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