Thursday, May 01, 2008

New Experiences

At the risk of getting into Absinthetics' niche, who had a great post about childproofing your home the other day, I wanted to share my experience with traveling with a 4 month old. On the subject of Absinthetics it seems that I have been following in his footsteps with his child raising experiences. Pretty soon Sawyer will be mobile and I will be going through the same home safety exercise. It is pretty cool to read the experiences of a much better writer that is walking down the path a few steps ahead of me.

I have come to the realization that the amount of kit a person requires to travel is inversely proportional to their size. 10 days in Florida and all my big ass requires is one suitcase. 10 days in Florida for the baby requires a slightly smaller suitcase and a pack-n-play and a stroller and a car seat and a diaper bag and formula and his play mat and all other kinds of crap. All of this must be checked (to the tune of an extra $25 for the 5th piece of checked luggage for the pack-n-play) or processed by TSA. I have to admit, I was nervous about the airport security and the baby. I have flown before and witnessed parents struggle with all the gear and misbehaving kids at the security scan. They try to jam strollers that will not fit and load the entire scanning conveyor belt with kid accouterments. All this while dealing with crying or wild kids that will not listen. Throw in a liberal amount of lightweight hi speed business travelers queued behind this circus and you can see why I would not be able to relax until we were settled in at our gate.

All in all, it went much better than I expected. The stroller did not fit, and even though it was obvious to me, the TSA dude still made me try to shove it in the scanner. The biggest issue at the airport was declaring the baby formula (more than 3 oz of liquid) since it was recommended that we have the baby eating during take off and landing to help ease the pressure in his ears. The biggest hassle was lugging all of our crap. SteelerSteph had a diaper bag and pushed the stroller while I tackled the task of moving 4 suitcases and the pack-n-play. It did not work out too well as I had to piggyback the suitcases (2 and 2, the bigger ones hauling the smaller ones) and balance the pack and play on top of one pair. That sucked until the van picked us up in the parking lot and then sucked again in the airport. Freed of the checked baggage we headed to security to get scanned. That went much better than I expected but was still tough and I was glad to be through. An hour and 15 minutes to kill before the flight and Sawyer managed to have one diaper change and a big spit up on SteelerSteph. Her left shoulder smelled like sour milk baby puke so I tried to stay on her right side. :-) She takes it like a champ, I guess the pure unadulterated love helps balance out the highs and lows.

We had a layover in Orlando and arrived at Ft. Meyers at about 10:45 last night and as I am typing this I already have played in a few SNGs, drank 4 beers and enjoyed the baby inexplicably sleeping in until 12:30 this morning after getting up at 5 AM for a feeding. Vacation is good and I have a nice week ahead of me. My sister in law is getting married this weekend so we are in Sanibel Island, FL until next Friday. has our itinerary. Welcome BBQ tomorrow, golf and rehearsal dinner on Saturday and Wedding on Sunday. I have a lot of drinking and eating ahead of me... so as much as I would have to liked to attend the Weekend at Mookies 2, having a buzz before 12:30 on a Thursday really softens the blow.

Time to go put in some QT with the wife and sit on the beach with her some (while drinking some more beers) and think about how lucky I am. Holla if ya hear me.