We flew to NC and back on a non-stop trip to Raleigh. We chose this destination since 1. we had a 3 hr drive to get to our ultimate location no matter where we flew into and 2. non-stop flight with a toddler. Need I say more.
One of the things that made our flight relatively painless was a borrowed CARES Harness. We didn't bring our car seat on the plane but instead this FAA approved device turned little goat's seat belt into a 4 pt harness similar to his normal car seat. This was so helpful because once he was strapped in he did little to fight the seat belt. And let's face it, airplane seat belts aren't hard to open, so this was essential.
Also helpful to our success: Bribery. In this case via Barney DVDs and jellybeans. As a parent you do what you must to survive.
It isn't to say it was entirely smooth, but it really was pretty painless all things considered. Our flight home was better than our flight out, but he was so tired that he took a sizeable nap on the flight back. Unfortunately the 1 yr old in the seat in front of me was not so well behaved. I felt badly for the parents as the child was clearly overtired and yet unable to settle down. I gave them kind looks and offered up little goat's goldfish, and played peek-a-boo over the seat when I could help.
What was interesting was my seatmate. The plane was two seats on each side so little goat and Mr. Goat sat on one side and I got to plane seatmate roulette. And boy, I hit the jackpot in an elderly, sick, opinionated Indian woman. Actually it was plenty enjoyable but I was a little taken a back. As the child in front of us cried the woman kept interrupting the parent's attempts to calm her and demanding a chance to comfort the child herself. I realize that she was just trying to help but it takes a lot to pester a set of parents for the chance to take their child. Worse she kept looking to me to try to translate and help get her point across to the parents. Um sorry, the baby can stay where she belongs lady.
All in all, it was very strange.
But we survived the planes with a toddler and it turned out just fine. Still we aren't headed any place exciting soon. The Goat family is grounded for now, but grateful for our time away.