Baby Finn: International Traveler

26 May

One of the perks of the academic life is summers off. (Although Patrick will be quick to argue that he’s working the whole time doing research and writing, but if you don’t have to clock in, I don’t think it counts). So we’re doing with our summer what just about every other expat in Cairo is doing: getting the heck out of Cairo.

We fly out of here next Wednesday and head to Texas for the month of June. We’ll be flying the Egyptian airline nonstop to New York and I have to admit I’m a little more than apprehensive about it. We’ve flown this airline within the country and were very impressed by it. I’m hoping the flight across the ocean will be just as nice.

Really, it’s not the airplane that worries me, although I was a little thrown when I called this morning to request the bulkhead row and the lady said “baby? we don’t have a baby listed on your reservations.” What worries me more is that we’ll be flying out in the morning for a 12 hour flight with a baby who doesn’t nap during the day. He’s a good kid, he hardly ever fusses and almost never throws fits. Still, I’m convinced that this trip is the one where Evil Finn will come out. Why do I believe this? One word: revenge.

I am ashamed to admit that I was one of those people who always rolled my eyes at people with screaming babies on planes. I sighed and huffed and thought to myself, “why can’t they control their kid?” Oh stupid naive little me. What I didn’t realize was that babies don’t come with a mute button and the parents of screaming kids were in agony ten times what I was going through listening to their screamer. I made a stressful trip worse for poor stressed moms on planes and now…well, now it’s my turn to be punished.

So what can I do? I have an army of rattle toys at the ready and I’ll be taking a few books, including Finn’s clear favorite Is Your Mama A Llama? Finn has his own seat and always falls asleep in cars so hopefully it’ll be the same on planes. Beyond that, I don’t know what to do. In desperation, I asked my pediatrician her advice on using Benedryl as a last resort. Any advice from anyone out there?

After Texas, we’ll be in South Bend from June 25- July 2, then in Utah until the second week of August when we head back to Texas before flying back to Cairo on August 29. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone, so be sure and let us know if you want to get together!

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18 Responses to “Baby Finn: International Traveler”

  1. tracy m May 26, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    Hopefully your honesty about past eye-rolling will garner you some points from the Revenge Fairy…

    I have travelled a lot with my three babies- two are good on airplanes, one is HELL. He starts screaming on the jetway, and doesn’t stop until he’s exhausted himself to the point of passing out. Truth be told, there isn’t much you can do either way. Yes, the toys are books are a good idea- so is a binkie, if he uses one. Take off and landing are usually the toughest, especially on tiny little eustation tubes.

    As for the Bennedryl- if your doc ok’s it, give it a test run at home before you fly. One of my kids goes WAY hyper on Bennedryl- the others, it’s fine for- and the airplane is not the place to find out which kid your will be!

  2. Adri May 26, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    Jesse and I are living in Houston. If you get the chance to pop in, it’ll be good to see you.

  3. Dre May 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    I’m afraid the operative phrase will be “ALMOST never throws fits”. If I were you, I’d go back to the Khan pronto and try to find that Egyptian baby whisperer and either pay for her to come with you or get her to teach you the prayer from the Quran. Maybe what she did while whispering in his ear was push a particular pressure point in his neck that rendered him speechless. Couldn’t hurt, might help.

  4. janae Baumeister May 26, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Ok we are definately going to make a trip down to see you guys. You are more than welcome to come up to Austin as well but I’m thinking you’ll be travelled out. Anway we’ll look over our calendars and let you know for sure our time range. So excited!

  5. mom May 26, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    Benydril used to send Javy into warp speed and you into zombieville. Baby tylenol worked exactly the opposite on each of you. Take the advice and try at home first before you use it. Wait to feed him until take-off if you can or give him a bottle or binkie but have something in his mouth during take-off.

    Good luck with EgyptAir.

  6. DaD May 27, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    You might record all his (?) favorite songs ..er.. lullabies on your player and set the earbuds nearby. As you know, nothing is as soothing as a little Tool, Led Zepellin,or Pink Floyd.

  7. Stacy May 27, 2008 at 3:37 am #

    As with everyone else, try a home test before you do benedryl. Chloe was an amazing traveler, Madeline, um…not so great. You can always do what Bruce did when Blayne screamed the whole time on a trip. As soon as the seatbelt off sign came on, he popped up with Blayne and said, “Okay! I’m sorry! I’m really sorry!” People laughed and forgave easily. We cannot wait to see you!!!!!!!

  8. Michelle at Scribbit May 27, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    We have some friends living in Cairo right now and I love hearing about their adventures there. I’ve always wanted to visit!

  9. aunt yvette May 28, 2008 at 2:22 am #

    Ok on the feeding thing. excellent idea. Our pediatrician (the amazingly knowledgeable Dr. Johnson) always told me to make sure that the baby is sucking on a bottle during take-off and landing. It has the same effect as chewing gum or yawning. So make sure you don’t over-feed before you leave. Can’t wait to see you three.

  10. Nancy May 28, 2008 at 4:46 am #

    First, we definitely would like to meet up with you guys!

    Second, my baby was a strict non-napper for the longest time. She’s a good little napper now though. It’s so nice!

    Third, let me know how the flight goes. I am so nervous for it! Rachel is just learning how to walk and she wants to be practicing all the time. She’s so energetic and, although she does nap now, her naps aren’t very long…I have no idea what to do…anyway…good luck!

  11. Jeff May 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    I’d second the Austin tip, but we will be seeing you guys in Utah in July, right!?!?!? I guess you could come help us pack up our house! πŸ˜‰

    Feeding during takeoff and landing worked well for us. We have not had to resort to medication unless they were already sick. 12 hours though, good grief. My best advice is Good Luck!

    However, when he gets older, a portable DVD player/video iPod is worth it’s weight in gold.

  12. Melissa May 29, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    Ok, so we just did a trial run of benadryl for Finn and his reaction was…no reaction at all! He didn’t seem sleepy or hyper, just the same as ever. Is that normal? Someone recommended 3/4 tsp as the right dose for babies under 25 lbs. Any advice??

  13. Chad May 29, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    Good luck on the flight. I just got back from Singapore and Tokyo and I wish I would have benadryled myself. In fact, that may not be a bad idea. If it doesn’t work for Finn, maybe it will work for you guys and you won’t even notice that he’s screaming.

    We’d love to see you guys when you’re in Utah.

  14. mom May 29, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    I have a very strong feeling that Finn is sitting back laughing at your stress. He will be fine and you will be fine. Just remember, I will waiting at the end of your 12 hour trip to take one exhausted and hopefully not hoarse baby into my arms for as long as it takes you to recover or until he needs to nurse. That I no can do.

  15. Javi (not the brother) May 29, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    OK, so all of your faithful readers are DYING for an itinerary of where you’re gonna be and when. I’m in Texas, in a different time zone, but would be willing to do some time-traveling to see you guys when you’re back in the Lone Star State!

  16. Javi (the brother) May 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    You can’t sleep in my room June 13-15th. Got it? πŸ™‚

  17. Melissa DM May 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    Yay! Finn is excited to meet you. I promise not to invade your room, but I can’t promise the same for Finn.

  18. mom May 30, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Finn can sleep wherever he wants, as long as it’s in our room.

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