Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Southwest Experiment

Why is it that everytime I fly Southwest I feel like I am part of an experiment? All my years of flying I could not wait until I had a child and could take advantage of preboarding. Then, right when Carson was born they changed the policy. Travelers with children under 5 could board between groups A and B. So, I diligently logged on to get my boarding pass right in the 24 hour alotted time. I was two minutes late and got number 26. That is right, now they not only have you get letters but numbers as well. I felt like part of an experiment at the airport. They have now placed signs all around showing number ranges. But there are so many signs and the backs of the signs have numbers as well. The confusion on everyone's faces was priceless. Every traveler has a different opinion of how the system works and lines up accordingly...only for a last minute scramble when the system starts to straighten itself out. I kept looking around for the candid cameras. The chaos was apparent at both airports as well. But, I keep flying because not only do they have the lowest prices, but the best rewards program as well. Based off the price difference, one would assume it costs close to $100 to pay someone to actually reserve you a seat. Funny, I think the reservations agents only make around $10-$15 an hour.

Earning his wings

Well, Carson and I just returned from our visit to Washington. I was very nervous to fly with him being so small... but he was a perfect angel. I have decided that all places of business need somewhere where you can go nurse. I was very prepared and called ahead to Salt Lake airport to see if there was somewhere I could nurse. The lady on the phone told me absolutely...they had family restrooms with couches. Perfect. I timed it perfectly so I was there early enough to make sure and feed Carson before the flight. Security was exciting, trying taking down a car seat and stroller and taking off your shoes and putting all on the conveyer belt with one hand. Hmmm. I was smart enough on my way back to bring my hotsling (see pic) and put him in that before going through security or boarding the plane.

Anyway, back to my nursing story.. where was I? Oh yeah, so we searched high and low for these wonderful mystery couches. There WERE definitely several family restrooms. But, nothing resembling a couch or a chair or anything. I decided against sitting on the toilet to nurse and instead laid out a blanket on the disgusting bathroom floor. Of course, little man was very curious with the lights all around and was not wanting to eat much. 45 minutes of trying, I was sweating up a storm and struggling with him... I gave up and figured at least he ate a little. As soon as we boarded though he fell asleep and slept soundly until about 20 minutes before landing. I had pumped a bottle and he was all set. He was excellent on the way back as well. Which makes me very happy... because I MISS MY FAM SO MUCH and think we will probably be flying a lot!

It was so wonderful to watch my family with Carson. My mom always says babies are magic and they are. I think they bring families closer and make people act more human. I used to travel almost every week with my job. But, yesterday was a totally different experience. My little boy brought so many smiles to people who were rushing around. I noticed women over the age of 60 absolutely light up with joy when they see babies. So many people talked to me... giving advice about babies, commenting on how adorable (of course) he is. It was actually a pleasant experience. Too often these days we just rush through life and forget to talk to people. Lay down the cell phones, stop texting, and talk to those around you! I think everyone would be a lot happier. Well, enough of my rant.

It was very weird to realize my baby sister is going to have a baby the same year as I. Being ten years younger, I just never pictured it. I always pictured when I had kids that she would be a great babysitter:) She was so sweet with Carson though and he loved cuddling up to her.

Well, our next trip to Washington will be at the end of June.