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I apparently did not learn my lesson two weeks ago with the debacle in involving an explosion of Gerber puffed-wheat snacks in church.
This weekend, I once again will attempt to handle a two-person job by myself when I fly with my 17-month-old daughter from Savannah to St. Louis, Mo., to visit my family. My husband won’t be able to accompany us because of his work obligations. The trip was planned a long time ago, when Reese wasn’t quite as much of a handful as she is now. But there’s no turning back.
We flew to St. Louis last year at this time; however Reese was 6 months old, and she slept through most of the flights. Fortunately, we didn’t really have to contend with layovers, either. This time will be different.
Reese now can run, talk, throw fits and make a mess with snacks and drinks. In addition, I’m somewhat concerned her little ears might not easily tolerate the elevation changes. Fearing my fellow passengers and I might be in for a few hours of toddler shenanigans, I’ve been cramming tricks up my sleeve for weeks.
During my most-recent weekly grocery-shopping trip, I picked up a few snacks Reese has never had before — yogurt-covered raisins and a bag of Newman’s Own organic-chocolate alphabet cookies, which are little letter-shaped treats. Hey, if you’re going to ply your kid with sugar, you might as well make it a “learning experience,” right?
It’s my hope that if she gets fussy, I can alleviate the situation by offering her some never-before-seen nibbles. And once we make it past the security checkpoint in the airport, I plan to stop and buy a bottle of apple juice to pour into Reese’s sippy cup. Typically, she gets water and milk, so full-sugar juice will be new to her as well. I hope I’m not opening up a can of worms by arming myself with (semi-)sweets, but I don’t want to be caught with a screaming toddler and no tools in my arsenal.
If Reese’s isn’t in a snacking mood, that’s OK. I also downloaded several episodes of GPB Kids programs to my phone. Really, what child can’t be calmed by a handful of cookies and 30 minutes of “Sid the Science Kid?”
My only fear there is that she’ll insist on holding my phone while she watches the shows, and that is not a demand I’m willing to negotiate with her. Having my iPhone launched across the aisle of an airplane — which undoubtedly will happen when Reese gets tired of holding it — is not a memory I want us to make on this trip.
With any luck, food and TV will placate my little one until we’ve landed safely in St. Louis. And it could be that I’m worrying for nothing. When we last flew home, I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful the other passengers and airline employees were. Reese behaved perfectly, and our trip couldn’t have gone better. Could we be so lucky twice? We soon shall see.

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