Last week, I’m traveled with Boo for the first time on an airline.
I wrote this post before leaving and forgot (in my temporary insanity) to post it! So here it is with an update….
I am freaking out. I KNOW people do this all the time. That people with children, those with special needs and those who are perfect, manage to fly all around the world without incidence.
But they are not Boo’s mom. Allie’s mom, for sure could fly the world. I have flown with Allie and it has been a great, fun experience. I never had any anxiety or worry. This time, with Boo? I am a nervous wreck. I am worried about getting her through security, about making sure the airline will accept her need to sit in front of the wing to decrease the sensory overload. I am worried that she will disrupt other passengers, because I was one of those judgmental people who used to think can’t that mother control her child? (Stress the WAS) I am worried that my worry will be transparent and stress her out.
How do I combat worry? Knowledge and obsessive planning! I got a note (two actually) from her neurologist saying that she had sensory issues and needed to be accommodated on the flight, in the hotel and at theme park. I called the airline, paid extra for early bird seating and told them I had a handicapped child that would need to be allowed pre-boarding (it was worth the extra money). I called the airport to make sure that I could get her stroller and car seat through security. I printed out a label below to pin to her t-shirt in the event she elopes:
Hello my name is Boo. I am unable to tell you my name or my age. If you are reading this my mom is freaking out. Please call her ASAP at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you.
I thought I thought of everything. But yesterday (the day before the day before we leave) she woke up sick, with a fever, a croup cough and general malaise. We took her to the doctor who diagnosed an ear infection and possible bronchitis. I asked if it was safe to fly and was assured that we had enough days to get an antibiotic into Boo to make her comfortable.
So a new round of worries! How do I get the medicine (which needs to be kept cold) onto the flight using a carryon? The way Boo’s luck goes they will lose our luggage before we leave the airport! I recalled my friends at the TSA to find out what the protocol would be. I talked with her about Boo’s sensory issues and the need for a car seat and carriage in the terminal. The lovely TSA woman (I don’t know why they have a bad reputation) was awesome. I must have sounded frantic, because to rest my mind she even e-mailed me the do’s and don’ts.
And this where my sense of humor came back, regarding taking child carriers onto the plane the TSA recommends that:
“Babies should NEVER be left in an infant carrier while it goes through the x-ray machine. For information regarding what is permitted or prohibited from being in carry-on luggage, please refer to our prohibited items section on our Web site”
Okay, you just know that if this is a disclaimer on the directions that someone MUST have tried to do it! With my humor restored, we just might survive the flight.
UPDATE: Boo (and her mom) survived. She did great, even with the ear infection. 🙂