If you want to know how a second kid impacts your family life style, the best way to know is to fly out somewhere. The longer is the flight duration, the better the experience about it.
We had to fly to NJ because my wife wanted to spend 2 months of her FMLA with her parents and I thought it was good idea. Partly because my in-laws have not seen the baby and this would be a good opportunity for them to spend time with the baby and also for wife to wind down little bit by getting some help from her family. Partly because I am really running out of my energy by taking care of the baby in the night. I can imagine how the day is spent for my wife, by taking care of the baby and also the older one. It's one tough job. This makes me feel that being stay-at-home-mom is not a cushy job. But then that discussion can spawn into a different blog entry.
Anyway, we decided to fly in a day flight. The main reason for choosing a day flight is not to disturb the fellow passengers. Passengers in a red-eye flight would sleep through out the flight. This being the first trip for my baby, I didn't know how he would react in the flight and also how would I restrain my non-stop runner 3 year old one. So a day flight would be a good option. Our flight schedule consists departure from San Jose at 9 AM with a layover of 1 hour in Phoenix before heading to New Jersey.
Surprisingly, my wife always manages to push the limit on the check-in baggage weight. I don't know where she manages to get so many clothes and other things to pack, but she always does go almost neat 50lb on each bag. We had 3 seats reserved, hence we could take 6 bags checked-in. My wife managed to make 5 bags with two of them bordering at 48lb. Plus 2 car seats and one sit-n-stand stroller.
While driving the SUV, I had this strange feeling as if I am moving from California to NJ. May be that's how the future is going to be and I am slowly getting used to it. After reaching the airport, the check-in etc. went smooth and we were near the gate by 7:30AM. The flight took of on time and the time has come to test the patience of the kids.
As much as afraid I was about the kids being cranky in the plane, I was surprised that everything was going extremely smooth. The Phoenix flight was short and we landed at 10:52 am at the Phoenix airport. This is tough part to take the transit flight. Two babies, a stroller, diaper bag, my daughter's back pack, laptop and add to that the "Murphy's Law"! The Murphy's Law suggests that if you have one hour to take a transit plane and you are not very efficiently mobile, then you would be assigned the farthest gate for your transit. And that's what happened in our case. We were assigned get A29 which was on the farthest in terminal A. We were literally running because we had to reach there earlier enough to do the following: change diaper of my baby and get some food to eat. We did it thought we got some funny looks from the people who were walking past us. But that's life when you have two kids and I bet everybody behaves the same way the way we behaved.
It was not a bad affair at Phoenix airport either. To be honest, I never felt that I was traveling with two babies besides the point that my right arm was aching because of carrying my little baby on my shoulder. But that's acceptable.
By the time we landed in NJ, we were not cranky or tired, neither were the kids and nor were the passengers. Everybody had a smooth sailing. Another thing I noticed during the flight that there were many kids that were of same age either to my daughter or my baby. But none of them were fussy either. Does that mean this new generation of kids are already plane-savvy? If so, then we are all saved. If so, then gone are those days when we used to get deaf by the crying and screaming of the kids when the planes used to take off and land. If so, then hereafter we would always have peaceful plane journey even on red-eye flights!
The bottom line is as much as I dreaded about the travel with my kids, at the end I realized that it never affected anything during the flight. It was as if I had only one kid to fly with. But then the part I am dreading now is the return to CA after 3 days and travel back again in August to pick my family back. I hope my ear drums would stay intact!