So I’ve been meaning to write about Kid-friendly Organic Life on the Road. But we’ve been staying pretty close to home. Not anymore. Today my daughter and I are headed to Idaho to visit a dear friend who lives in the Teton Valley. We’re off for five days of riding, hiking, biking, camping, and swimming. And with just one child – wohoo – it’ll be easy! Right?
Here are my first thoughts. Gum. Tylenol. One I brought, one I should have. The gum was a big event. We spent several minutes at the True Value yesterday selecting just the right flavor and waffling between the jumbo pack of Juicyfruit or the tempting watermelon flavored Bubblicious. In the end, she chose the Juicyfruit. After just one flight we are through at least half the pack and still the tears. My daughter has a slightly stuffed nose and an oversize fear of the impending change in air pressure (thanks Dad!). If I had it to do over, I would have dosed her with Motrin or Tylenol before we left and muzzled her father before he could warn her about the potential ear pain. The gum helped, but take off was brutal. I was proud that she wasn’t screaming and sobbing like the last flight she took, but the sad little whimpering was heartbreaking. I don’t know if kids’ ears hurt that much worse than ours or they just think they do.
One more thing you should bring – headphones. It just seems kind of gross to be using the headphones that were on the head of God knows how many others in the last 24 hours. I’m really not a germaphobe, but we’ve had lice in our household. That’s all I’m saying.
This is a little thing, but I would recommend that you have your child peruse the beverage menu in the inflight magazine the moment you enter the plane. I know this seems a little premature, but that way your child can truly consider her options for as long as she needs to before doing so while the flight attendant is leaning over you, napkin in hand with her eager-to-please smile waiting for her to make up her mind between apple juice or water or maybe sprite. Just a thought.
And speaking of flight attendants, ours was not a flight attendant. She announced at the start of the flight that she would be our purser. The only purser I’ve ever heard of was Gopher on Love Boat. And I don’t remember him doing much of anything? Do you? I haven’t flown in nearly a year, so maybe I’m just slow on the uptake, but aren’t we supposed to call them flight attendants, not stewardesses? It seems kind of rude to call them a purser. Odd too.
Bringing your own snacks and food is another must do when flying with kids. I do know this, and you probably do too. So you’ll be surprised to know I didn’t pack our lunches. There was just too much excitement and last minute running around and then there was the leaving the house before dawn. We are loaded to the gills with snacks, but zero on the lunch. Once we landed in Chicago we had three hours to wait. The only lunch deemed acceptable by my finicky daughter was McDonalds. So she ate chicken nuggets, nibbled on some fries and thankfully didn’t drink a soda. The only thing I could find was a prepared salad with something resembling chicken on top. The lettuce was frozen on the bottom, the breadsticks soggy, and the tomatoes tasteless. It was hard to stomach but I did my best since I paid $10 for it. My $1.50 banana ended up being lunch. We were over $50 poorer when we left the Chicago airport after buying lunch, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, Tylenol, Sudoku Champions Book, Twix bars, and – this was the big score – Ear Planes. Earplanes look like funny shaped ear plugs, come with their own case, and cost over $9 (at least at the Chicago Airport). Never mind that my daughter had odd blue rubber spokes poking out from her ears during take off and landing. The Ear Planes alone might have been worth the $50. She plugged them in to her ears before we took off and we had a pleasant flight, even despite the wild and wobbly landing in Jackson. Highly recommend them. Good investment and they probably don’t cost nearly as much at the drugstore back at home.
We made it here tired, happy, and sugared up. I’ll share more of my observations about Kid Friendly Organic Life in the next post. Have a great weekend! I know I will. We’ll be camping in the mountains where it’s supposed to be below freezing on Sunday morning!!