Seriously guys? The airlines seem to be getting worse. Few airlines do pre-boarding for people with kids anymore, and even the beverage service is getting skimpier. I kid you not, on one of our (four) flights, a flight attendant literally slowly walked down the aisle with a single bottle of water and a stack of cups waiting for someone to raise their hand for their ration. I felt like I was on the Battlestar Galactica (that point where they're running out of water and they take water shots out of crystal glasses), only probably worse because the cups were plastic.
Bonus: In-flight movies. The first one, The Soloist, is supposed to be pretty good. I wouldn't know, because during that film I was sacrificing myself for the sake of the other passengers. Apparently part of Ethan's Put Myself To Sleep Ritual is flailing his legs; my clavicle can attest to it. Although on the plane, it didn't work. Instead, after a few minutes of kicking my bad collarbone (staircase, fall), he climbed my ribcage and yanked the headphones off. The rest of that flight was spent surreptitously slipping him Coke to keep him quiet—which sounds counterintuitive, I know, but that kid will do anything for a forbidden soda.
On the first flight back, we gave Ethan a little Benadryl on the advice of a pediatric nurse. So if you'd like to criticize, please send all comments to her. Trust me, though. It was better for all involved: Ethan could relax enough to take his nap in-flight, and I didn't have to stress about being That Mother With the Kid On the Plane for a couple of hours, and I even got to watch the movie. Which was...wait for it...Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, starring Matthew McConaughey as That Same Guy He's Played In Every Movie Since 1999 With Maybe One Exception. It was possibly the stupidest movie and worst bastardization of a Dickensian theme I've ever seen. It's certainly the worst movie of the year. I'm so glad I got to watch that one, and not The Soloist, which I could tell was really good, because it featured many tight shots of Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. looking at each other with great seriousness and intensity.
There was also the ferry to and from Catalina, which wasn't bad at all really. We even got to see dolphins jumping out of the water on the way there, so I had Noah get the camera out for the ferry ride back to the mainland to capture the wonders of nature. And boy did he ever:
This is what Ethan looked like minutes before boarding the ferry on the return trip:
And this is what I looked like minutes after Ethan fell asleep on the ferry, when Noah almost woke him as he jostled past to buy a Snickers that he just couldn't do without on the hourlong boat trip:
And that, in a nutshell, is what it's like to travel cross country with a toddler.