Going on cross-country trips is hard enough on your own. Having to pack for you, your spouse, a toddler and now a newborn (for me) is downright lethal, especially when your kids want to help.
The airlines (as of today and probably not much longer, you money-grubbing whores) will allow you to register your child (under 2) as a lap passenger, meaning that either mom or dad will have the luxury of squeezing their frame into an upright body-bag for six hours with a toddler doing a tapdance on their genitals. Other side effects include rugburned knees (not the good kind from college), achy torso and seasonal flu from re-circulated A/C, which leaves your nasal passages dried-up like parchment paper from the 1800’s.
Once your little one turns 2, get ready to bleed your savings dry or stay home during the holidays, because they need their own seat.
I’ve got a few months left, which leaves me bent over like Ving Rhames in ‘Pulp Fiction’, waiting in the hour-long line, unable to check-in curbside, with my army of strollers and ridiculous matching luggage stacked on a $5 Smart Carte. At the end of the day, your kid is taking up the same amount of space as the inebriated college student that smells like vomit, headed to Cancun on spring break and/or the massively obese gent that smells like hot garbage, pouring himself over the armrest into your seat.
Sounds fair to me.
I’m not always saying I’m the perfect parent, but the thought of cutting some breathing holes in this checked bag to save $300 did cross my mind. Even though Ava’s young enough to agree to take part in most of my shady capers, my almost-Amish morals and borderline Mennonite upbringing took over and I moved forward with my wife’s plan of keeping her in my lap on a recent flight to Atlanta. So I guess we’ll save money THAT way.
If you’ve been tuning in lately, you’ll remember that we now have a new addition to the family, Charlie, who at the time of this picture below, was only two weeks old.
This is us, squeezing into frame, turning out smiles at imaginary gunpoint so that everyone on Facebook thought this was just a Sunday drive through the country with Miss Daisy.
The reality was, sure, we’re not the first and certainly not the last family to travel across the country with kids. I’m sorry if you didn’t have noise-reduction headphones (get with it dumbasses) or the people sitting in front or back of us who didn’t wear goggles or ponchos ala Gallagher fans, to avoid the in-flight fresh fruit and brie-curveballs my daughter hucked at you. I tried my best to keep the peace.
The fake phones and portable DVD player took us to somewhere over New Mexico. Everything kind of fell apart after that. With Ava in my lap and Charlie hooked up to my wifes jugs non-stop, I experienced a wetness in my pants, reminiscent of me blacking out near last call at Marx Bros. bar while I attended Mansfield University.
Turns out, Ava had filled her diaper with enough piss to save the Southwest from a drought. It had soaked through my denim all the way to the CK’s, conveniently giving ole’ dad a giant secondhand wizz stain that I would eventually parade up and down the aisle, keeping Ava occupied, while Jen utilized our 2-3-2 (we were a 2) seating configuration as a diaper-changing triage.
After all of our pre-emptive toddler containment measures were exhausted, I dug deep and got creative. With Charlie now in a sling against my wife’s chest, using informal sign language, I asked her to lower her lap tray, while I did the same. With two consecutive lowered trays, I had created something that Delta or any other airline had not thought about.
The in-flight toddler bed.
Oh shit. I went and did it again. Maybe I just screwed us. One more ounce of blood they can squeeze from the toddler-trampled stones underneath that soaked denim.
Two bad, so sad @dad_or_alive . Long live the airlines!