And, obviously, many people were thinking the same one. We sat down, all five of us, with our backpacks (1 per kid), camera bag, purse, computer bag and a couple coats. And those were just our carry-ons. I could feel the thoughts of some of the single, young fliers thinking 'Oh great, I'll probably get stuck next to THAT family. With ALL those kids. I should have checked in earlier . . .". I could feel the stares of the single and/or childless travelers as they tried not to let their near disgust of the possibility that they might have to sit next to us show on their face.
We flew southwest and boarded between A and B group. The older 2 were excited and the baby had no idea what was going on. We found our seats, settled in, and luckily my husband was left with one of only one or two empty seats next to him. Obviously, everyone was avoiding us, the family who brought three kids on the plane.
There were a variety of other families with children, most with just 1 little one, so I'm sure people weighed their odds that those kids would be better luck than my force of three. Well, they were wrong . . .
My kids were great! My oldest daughter slept a bunch, my son was quiet, and the baby was a bit terrified during take-off, but was fine after that, especially with the empty seat next to Daddy. A baby in the back was screaming for quite some time, and numerous children were being walked up and down the aisle (which is totally reasonable). I had no problem with any of that, but had to laugh at the people who thought we were going to be the troublesome ones.
The flight back was just a good, although the baby was a little more restless. A baby a few rows up from us threw up (I felt so bad for Mom and offered her some smell-reducing baggies), and several other kids were screaming. And, we received the same looks at the airport. "Oh, great. I hope I don't get stuck next to THEM"!
Overall, a few toys and some snacks go a long way. My kids were pretty good, and we survived! I'm not super excited to be flying on an airplane with three under 5, but it was much better than I expectd! I'm not going to avoid flying because of what anyone thinks, but that doesn't mean that I don't notice the looks and REALLY hope for peaceful travel!
My best advice for plane travel:
1. SmallsSnacks that take awhile to eat: animal crackers, puffs for little ones
2. A few new toys: we traveled the day after Xmas so that was easy, other wise the dollar store is great for quick, easy stuff that is easy to dispose of in case they are destroyed or lost
3. Video games (ipad or small video game device)
4. Lots of prior excitement, preparation and discussion about wha