I have a few minutes while I'm waiting for Mom to get home from work, so I thought I'd post a quick note. We made it to Ohio safe and sound, and Elias did GREAT on the planes! Both planes were completely packed, so there were no extra seats in which we could spread out. So Elias had to stay on my lap the entire time for both flights. That wasn't a huge deal, but it wasn't as trouble-free as it would've been if I could've put him down in a seat next to me. Really the only bad part about it was trying to keep him from constantly kicking the seat of the person in front of us. The lady in front of us on the first flight was NOT understanding about it, and that made me feel pretty bad. But seriously, no way I could've kept his feet from touching that seat the entire time. And if she didn't want him kicking her seat back, she should've thought twice about reclining it back into our faces... Ahem. (I do admit, though, that before I had kids, I didn't understand how hard it was for the parent behind me trying to control their child... I regret having been impatient with them in the past...) So for the second flight, I apologized in advance to the man in front of us, telling him that I would try to keep Elias from kicking his seat, but he'd probably get some kicks. He said not to worry about it because he had three boys at home and completely understood. I appreciated that and it made the second flight less stressful for me.
But Elias did AWESOME. Didn't fuss at all, didn't freak out at the pressure changing, didn't wrestle to get down. I'm very proud of him. I was a little concerned about his ears on both flights because he drank his entire sippy cup when we took off, which didn't leave him anything to drink when we landed. But for the first flight, I just fed him some fruit snacks upon landing, and the second flight his paci was enough for the landing. Score! I did discover that snacks were definitely the easiest way to keep him entertained on the flight - toys were just kind of hard to finagle with so little room. He did enjoy shredding the barf bag and the safety instructions on the first flight, though.
He didn't take even one minute of a nap all day long, so he was pretty strung out by the time evening rolled around. We went out to dinner with the family when we got here, but we had to hurry home because he was verging on a meltdown. But I think that's completely understandable! So it's taking a few days to try to catch up, but he's doing just fine. I think the way home will be easier because our layover is an hour shorter, which puts us home in time for him to catch a bit of an afternoon nap before dinner.
So I'm proud of how well our big boy did, and I'm not at all concerned for our return flight next weekend.
MANY thanks to all of you who gave me advice and suggestions about how to fly with a toddler. You saved my life in convincing me to take the big stroller!!!!! I felt confident with all of your support and encouragement, and we had a successful trip!