For the second flight in a row, Maddie was treated to more mechanical meltdowns compliments of United Airlines. (They hate to fly and it shows)
It was a long and arduous trip home, but it did not tarnish a wonderful Easter weekend with the entire family. We pulled up to the airport in Chicago this morning with plenty of time to spare. We even breezed through security and things were proceeding almost too smoothly. That’s when we saw that our flight was already delayed by a couple of hours.
Actually, being stuck at the airport was the best part of the day. Maddie and Aunt Jacque got to hang out and throw food together at the airport Chili’s. There was no pressure, plenty of food and a happy baby. But once we made our way down to the gate, things got a little dicey.
There was a mob of people who had been waiting for some time to get to Newark and United had one person manning the gate. We shuffled onto the airplane and found our seats. We had no idea that our time on the runway was just beginning.
Once again, Maddie managed more than an hour of runway naptime only to find her parents wondering if they were ever going to take off. At one point, we were supposedly taxiing down the runway for takeoff when the pilot had to turn around for mechanical issues.
Hot tip: Babies as a general rule don’t like to sit still in a plane. Especially if they already were stranded for several hours at the airport due to “windy conditions.” Once we got into the air, Maddie’s patience’s was on shaky ground.
We pulled out all the entertainment tricks in the book, but after four hours plus on the plane – Maddie was fed up. You can’t blame her, we could have flown to the moon and back by the time we left O’Hare. After a while, Maddie staged a few mini-meltdowns – but her behavior went above and beyond. She fought the good fight and we were very proud of her.
Maddie’s look seemed to say it all, “You guys are pushing your luck!” After a flight to Chicago and three plus hours in the car, my 8-month-old super star was winding down before our eyes. Today’s flight wasn’t as adventurous as her faux-emergency landing at Newark last week, but it did have it moments.
We hit the airport early armed with snacks, stealth and experience. Our plan was to feed Maddie before boarding the plane. Do to unforeseen circumstances, that didn’t quite happen. But Maddie kept her spirits high and was patient enough to let us feed her on the plane.
Once again, we were all underwhelmed by the grandeur of Newark Liberty Airport. We taxied so long that Maddie finished a full bottle, some English muffin pieces and almost an entire apple worth of slices. We actually thought that the pilot had diverted to the highway and was going to taxi us all the way to Chicago. Anyway, by the time Chucky Lindbergh got the bus in the air, Maddie was celebrating her Sweet 16.
At the tail end of our flight, Maddie started to unravel a little bit. But before she could get out of hand, a woman across the aisle started telling her what a good girl she was. Maddie has never been one to shy away from attention. She made fast friends with the woman who chatted with her until we actually landed. Good stuff!
Maddie endured another 3 hours in the car like a champ as we pulled up to the thriving metropolis of Peoria, Illinois. Both of my lungs collapsed before I could actually blowup Maddie’s little inflatable tub. As we got Maddie into the tub, it was obvious that her sense of humor had left the building. We needed some baby supplies so I slipped out to the store and left bedtime operations to her mom.
As the door closed behind me, I could hear Maddie lighting up her mom with high-pitched screams and fussing. But I figured that after the day she had, the baby was more than entitled to vocalize a few well-placed complaints. Tomorrow we will have a full report from the baby’s first fish fry!