Traveling with Titus… ALONE!

November 30, 2007

Titus, Uncategorized

capture.jpgAs you know I took a flight from DFW to Jacksonville, FL last week. My grandmother broke her hip and bumped her head in a fall. As bleeding on the brain was beginning to cause major problems, Sara insisted that Titus and I go on without her. In am matter of days, all of Sara’s immediate family, along with spouses and kids, were coming in for Thanksgiving. Since my grandmother had not yet met Titus, we felt an urgency to have Titus meet his Great Mama. Initially, Mama was supposed to come to Texas for a visit 8 weeks ago, but a similar bump on the head kept her from coming (she spent a week in the hospital and a month in rehab).

My brother-in-law, who travels extensively, shared some frequent flier miles with me and got me on a 9:00 flight out of DFW. Thank goodness I was able to get on a direct flight. Titus is such a great kid, but I just had a feeling. Certainly a dad, a 4 month old, a crowded plane and it being 2 hours past bedtime was a recipe for disaster. We got to the airport just after Titus fell asleep. This would have been a great thing if security hadn’t decided to ruin my plan. Apparently, everything had to go through X-Ray scanner… including the car seat Titus was sleeping in. (Here is where I planned to make some joke about offering to slide Titus… baby and carrier… through the X-Ray machine. For some reason I figured some people wouldn’t think this was very funny)

So, now I’m through security, the plane is delayed and Titus is awake. I decided to feed him again. If he’s going to be awake, he might as well be happy and awake. As I got ready to board the plane I was juggling him in his carrier, in his stroller, with my backpack and a diaper bag. I checked in to the gate early hoping the person working the desk would take pity on me (Really, how many dads travel alone with a baby?) and offer to put us in a bulkhead seat or find an empty seat and put me next to it. No such luck. I then waited for them to announce early boarding for those with small children (sounds like a good idea, huh?). Yeah, none of that either. Finally it was my turn to get on the plane. I drop off his carrier and stroller at the gate and boarded the plane. Earlier, when I had hands, I had memorized my seat… 21F. One of the flight attendants got in Titus’ face and “goo gooed.” Now Titus is crying. I get to 21 F. It’s a window seat, in the emergency exit row (certainly they’re not going to let me sit here with a baby). Since the plane appeared to be full, I sat down. After a few minutes (which seemed like hours), Titus stopped crying. The flight attendant realized that I was where I was, so she began asking for volunteers to trade with me. A few minutes later, I was moving and Titus was crying again. Once I get to my new seat and buckled up (that’s tough to do with a baby in your lap), I get Titus calmed down again. There seems to be a little confusion around me though. The flight attendant comes to me and asks what seat I was assigned to. I told her that I was at 21F. She asked, “Are you sure?” So, I try to get a free hand into my pocket to pull out my boarding pass. 29F! Ha! I sure messed things up. Thankfully everyone was fine where they were.

I must say that it was the most stressful 3 hours of my life… or at least close to it. It wasn’t that Titus was bad, but was just afraid that he’d freak out and that I wouldn’t be able to get him to calm down. The second he would begin to fuss, I’d whip something out of my bag of tricks to see if that would appease him. The thing that seemed to keep him the happiest was to have him stand in my lap (which means I’m holding up 75% of his weight in my arms). When doing this, Titus’ huge smile would bring smiles to everyone around, but it got exhausting. As soon as I would let him sit to take a break (and me too), he’d start to fuss.

Eventually I did get him to sit still long enough he actually fell asleep. Unfortunately, airplane coach seats are not designed for sleeping children. I reclined my seat the full 3 degrees back, but it didn’t seem to be enough. I couldn’t really scrunch up since the space between seats were not designed with me in mind. So Titus kind of slept in a diagonal, across my lap arrangement. Unfortunately, his feet were kind of resting on the legs of the person next to me and the crown of his head was kind of hanging out in the isle. This made me very uncomfortable as I imagined the snack and beverage cart flying down the isle and banging into Titus’ head. That would be loads of fun. Every time someone would walk down the isle, I’d try to protect the space around his head with my other arm and hold my breath. Fortunately for me, Titus slept for about 45 minutes and when he woke up, he was pretty relaxed, just taking in all the sites.

We landed at about 12:30 AM and Dad and my brother Gary were there to pick me up. Garry had to be in at work at 7:00 the next morning, so he slept the whole way back… so did Titus. Dad and I talked the whole way home and we got in close to 3:00 AM. Mom (who I may refer to as Nana) hadn’t seen Titus since he was a few weeks old was anxious to see Titus, so I decided to run by the hospital. So, Titus and his Nana and Pops got a little time together from about 3:15 to 3:30. Yeah, this was just a little past his bedtime. So, it was quite the adventure but we made it all in one piece.

One Response to “Traveling with Titus… ALONE!”

  1. Nene Says:

    Oh boy ! You and Joel should do a movie script! I’m so sorry about your Mama – she was a sweetie. Please tell your Mom I’m thinking about her. So what’s up? Keep me posted! Love you, Nene


Leave a Reply