The last time I was in Calgary I was manager of a successful business and was on a conference with fellow managers. We joked and laughed on the plane ride over yet all secretly wondering if our staff could manage without us. Once in Calgary, we were treated to a tour of the WestJet flight hangar. We walked amongst planes and marveled at the ‘training plane’ where future flight attendants practiced jumping out of the plane into the big blow up slide. We wanted to practice ourselves but our guide politely declined this rambunctious gang flailing themselves out of planes and acting as if we were on a playground.
Strangely, we were instead allowed into a million dollar flight simulator. Looking exactly like an elaborate video game, we walked in and simulated landing at various domestic airports. On the same trip, we drove out to the Rockies where we stayed in the luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, relaxed in the Hot Springs and drank ourselves silly (or sillier…) It was an enjoyable trip.
I did not realize how enjoyable until my latest trip to Calgary. The one where it was me, alone, with a baby. Gone are the days of throwing a few things in my backpack and setting off. On this trip, for a mere 5 days, I had 2 big bags, a stroller, a portable highchair, a backpack (full to the breaking point of baby supplies), and a carseat. After driving to the airport, unloading, unhooking a stubborn carseat, registering at the Park n’ Fly, going pee (with Kaya strapped on to me), changing Kaya, boarding the shuttle, unloading again, checking in, making it through security, feeding her dinner (but not me- I starve), and another change, we make it onboard the plane.
We’re okay for awhile but once the plane ascends, the ears start to pop and Kaya screams. Loud. For 10 minutes straight. 10 minutes is a very long time while trapped in a flying metal contraption with no escape. Eventually the lady (a Mom to a 4 year old thank god) beside us placates her with a very expensive watch that Kaya happily munches on. Until the lady takes it away once Kaya discovers it’s really funny to throw it on the ground. She cries again. Until given a barf bag. It has a jagged edge with metal entwined (like a twist-tie) along the top edge and she chomps away at it. She eats paper but I do not care. She is quiet. Upon landing we wait for all passengers and their dirty glares to exit, then we disembark.
Fortunately on the trip home I get smart. I drug my baby. 30 minutes before departure, mixed with her cereal, I add in 1.5mL of baby Tylenol. It seems to have worked. She munches on another barf bag (hey, go with what works) while we take off and before even leveling off, she falls asleep in my arms for the entire 1 hour 12 minute flight. I practically have to pinch her to wake her up so we can get off the plane. People smile as they pass and remark what a spectacular baby I have.
I nod, thank them and push the baby Tylenol far into the folds of my bag.