Monday, May 16, 2011

The adventures of Mia the Traveler

In a few days, Mia and I will be flying back to Dubai. It will be our first trip alone and I have to admit I am a little bit worried. It is true that so far, Mia's traveling record is a confusing 50-50. 

Indeed, the very first time she flew from Beirut to Dubai, she was only two months old and slept throughout the whole trip. Everything went so smoothly at the duty free too and we had absolutely no issue at the airport. It actually turned me into an overconfident (and proud) mom who believed her daughter was a regular little Ibn Battuta

And then we decided to spend Easter in Lebanon which quickly prompted Mia's second trip, only two months later. Well, let's just say Gulliver's misadventures are nothing compared to this experience! 

Thank God my baby brother who's not so much a baby anymore but more like the most responsible and loving uncle a niece could ask for, accompanied us. Because honestly, I don't know what I would have done without him; with the handbag, Mia's stuff, carrying Mia, feeding and changing her, rocking her, giving her colics medication and so much more!  

Basically, from the moment we entered the duty free to the moment we landed in Beirut, Mia did not stop not only crying, but mostly screaming for even one second! She broke our hearts! It was obvious she was in so much pain and unable to sleep or even rest despite the medication. She was so inconsolable I literally cried when we got home.

We were so worried and overwhelmed we forgot our camera in the plane! Honestly, with all the things one needs to carry by hand when traveling with an infant, let alone with a screaming infant; forgetting something seems almost a requirement. Thankfully, Emirates Airlines are highly professional and reliable and we promptly retrieved the camera the next day from their offices at Beirut Airport.

In any case, we are scheduled to return back home this week. And let's just say I am not really looking forward to the whole "traveling experience" especially that this time, Mia and I are on our own. She's a month (or so) older, much more aware of her surroundings and people; hence much more frightenable. 

It will be challenging. That is to be expected.

But my previous experience has taught me a few lessons; the most important being: LAYERS. This will be my main strategy.

Last time, Dubai airport was kind of cold and it seems her colics started there. It is only when she moved from mere discomfort to actual pain that I decided to give her medication. It was a bit too late and it was obvious, Gripe Water, legs exercises and massages were not enough to control her pains anymore.

Unfortunately things went from bad to worse when we boarded. The minute we got in the plane, a horrible smell hit our nostrils so hard we almost fainted. We inquired about the matter with the cabin crew and they said they were going to raise the air conditioner's thermostat to get rid of the smell. Not a very smart move. We were all freezing and all the children on the flight were screaming their lungs out. 

Mia was wearing a pajama and was wrapped in her blanket. That obviously was not enough so I asked for an extra blanket from the crew. No improvement.

Hence the new strategy/resolution.

Since the temperature in Dubai promises to be burning hot upon our arrival, I cannot overdress Mia. And since both airports, and in-flight temperatures will most certainly be borderline Alaskan, I cannot under-dress Mia. So the plan is, dress appropriately for Dubai's weather and add a layer for Beirut's. Then upon arrival at the airport, add a layer, two if necessary. And add a third layer upon boarding as the "weather" in airplane cabins is always wintry. 

Also, I will watch carefully for any sign of discomfort and immediately remedy to them should they occur. This time, I'm not waiting until they're so unbearable and painful they become unmanageable even with medication.

Hopefully, this will be enough to keep Mia from suffering and shift the balance in our favor to get closer to an almost perfect "Travel Record"  :)

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