My boy is 10 months old now. Which means officially he is outside me for longer than he was inside me. Which means his four little bunny rabbit teeth have long replaced that toothless gummy smile. It also means that as he relies more and more on solid food than mother’s milk for his nutrition, he will be less dependent on me. As a corollary I get more freedom. But I cannot continue to flatter myself with the thought that he can’t live without me. He can. For hours at a stretch.
Soon that day is not far when baby boy might want to independently do stuff with his dad. Just the boys. “Purush-purush” as my brother used to say, which means ‘men only’ in Marathi. There was a period from age 3 to age 13 when my brother was so attached to our dad that he wouldn’t care if he woke up and mom wasn’t around for an entire day. They would go for drives, lunch and movie dates, shopping – all on their own. Purush-purush. Of course the next 10 years till he left home to study MBA were filled with ‘I-hate-dad phase’ to the extent that he would do everything possible to piss him off. Sometimes even just for the sake of it. And my poor mom had to constantly play referee. Without taking sides.
So I am prepared that my baby and husband will team up against me and my feminine shenanigans.
But for now he is my baby kangaroo. And I am going to take this little chipmunk across the seven oceans , all the way to California, all by myself.
When we made the travel plan and booked tickets to go visit family in San Jose for thanksgiving, it was for the three of us. But Akshay, my husband, can’t make it due to unavoidable work commitment. Now I have (or had) two choices. Cancel the trip and keep thinking forever that we could have done it, just the two of us. Or simply pack up our shit and go. I chose the latter.
So here we are, this mom and son duo, all set to take the 24 hour international flight to the other side of the world, in less than three weeks.
It would be an understatement to say that I am not scared of the flight, of the jet lag, of baby not feeling well or of a thousand other things going wrong. What if I don’t get the bassinet seat in the flight? What if he decides to not sit still even for a minute? Will he eat whatever I carry for him? Will he nurse during take off and landing to avoid his ears getting clogged? Will Arjun miss his dad and grandparents? He will meet a dozen new people in a week, will he be okay with that? Will they like him? Oh, it’s a wreck in my head.
But I guess the only way to find out is by doing it. Exactly 2 years back when I was preparing to go to Paris for Le Cordon Bleu, I was similarly quite nervous. But it turned out fine. Danielle my hostess tremendously helped me throughout my 5 weeks there and plus I knew if something goes wrong, Akshay will be there in the minimum amount of time it takes to travel. And it is the case even now. So I guess we will be fine.
I have always been a big-family sort of a person. I love and cherish all of my cousins, uncles, aunts, and now my teenage sister and brothers-in-law, and in-law set of uncles and aunts. And a whole load of grandparents. I have fond memories of going to different relative’s houses with my dad and mom and I want baby Arjun to have these too. The added benefit is the Californian family has a dog and a cat. Arjun is going to be thrilled.
So all I need to do now is stop worrying and start planning.
Have any of you travelled with a baby? Or noted anything particular about long travel? Any tips, pointers dos and dont’s will be highly appreciated.
I traveled to the States when my baby was 5 months old, just the two of us. My husband was already in US by then and we were joining him.
It was every bit difficult as I expected it to be. I don’t mean to scare you, but one thing I learned that day was to speak up for myself. Some people will be understanding, while some will give you the stink-eye. Never mind them and do what needs to be done for the baby. It’s just 24 hours in your life. It will pass and then it’ll be fun to look back! Good luck 🙂
PS: Carry extra diapers than you think you need, especially if you have a layover.
Eat well whenever you can, because you need the strength.
Very positive thinking Rutvika. Trust me it is not easy and I am sure you will make it happen and enjoy too. Have a wonderful (adventurous?!) Holiday 🙂
Haha, yes it was very adventurous when I was least expecting it.
Your waiting always moves me, Rutvika. I have no experience with babies, but I have a feeling Mama Bear & Baby Bear will do just fine 😀. Safe travels!
Mama Bear and baby wear did well Tarika, thank you :*
I am scared too..as i have to travel to India from US with a 8months old baby, hubby cannot come due to work commitments. 3weeks to go and such a long hours of flight..dont know how am i gonna handle things alone…keeping fingures cross hope all goes well..just have to avoid her ear pain due to air pressure..entertain with the help of toys..take walk in between..major problem is she is not bottle feed..n going to restrooms at transit point..
It will all be fine. It aways is 🙂
I mean *writing