We flew to Grand Cayman today for a much-needed week of sun and relaxation. This was your first flight with your own, purchased seat (as was forced on us by you turning two, darn it). We’re new to the world of you having your own seat, and did some research and decided to bring your carseat with us on the plane. Your dad got it installed and it worked great in keeping you confined on our first flight. When we got to Houston, where we had what seemed like a comfortable hour and a half layover, your dad tried to unbuckle the carseat from the plane and we could not get it undone! There wasn’t enough clearance behind the seat to fully open the buckle to release it.
We tried and tried, than eventually we got a flight attendant. We all tried and tried, we leaned on it to try and free up some tension, we tried everything. In the meantime you were having a great time climbing over the seats in the adjacent row, stating, “I like plane!”. The entire plane emptied, and we were still there. I was beginning to worry about making our connecting flight (which, incidentally, ended up being the exact same plane!). Finally the flight attendant called a mechanic, who I thought would be able to release the seatbelt from the seat fairly easily, but in actuality did nothing but stood and stared at it. Finally after the flight attendant and mechanic talked about it for a while, and he left to get ‘a tool’, she tried one last time, leaning all her weight onto the seat while trying to release the buckle, and was able to free it from the seatbelt!
By this time you were loving playing on the seats, and it was a struggle to get you off the plane. The flight attendants were sick of us being on the plane, and apparently none of them can leave until all passengers were off, so they all helped carry our stuff off the plane so I could carry you (screaming that you wanted to stay on the plane) off. We grabbed some food, then dashed back to re-board the same plane, this time opting to gate check the carseat. We learned, however, that without the carseat you find it great fun to simply unbuckle the seatbelt and get up. So during the rest of the boarding process I held you, we read you a book, and you immediately fell asleep (it was naptime, after all). The flight attendants were preparing the cabin for takeoff, saw you in our lap, and proclaimed that if you had a purchased seat you must be sitting in it! Despite me telling them that we had a carseat, but that we had some complications and had to gate check it, and therefore you couldn’t sleep just sitting in your seat (you’d just fall over with no support), she forced us to sit you down and strap you in, which was ridiculous. There is no way you are safer in that big seat, with one seatbelt around your teeny self, all flopping around, than you are bound tightly in our arms. And on top of it, you of course woke up when we put you in your seat and tried to prop you up with blankets, and didn’t sleep the rest of the flight. So, thanks very much, flight attendant! Luckily, you weren’t fussy and did great on the flight, and we learned not to have you fall asleep in our arms until after takeoff.
We made it to Grand Cayman, got our car and navigated to our hotel without any more drama. We immediately threw on our bathing suits and headed to the beach for sunset. You loved looking at the ocean and watching the waves, though didn’t want to go touch the water. We kept prompting you, trying to encourage your first little dip in the Atlantic, but it wasn’t going to happen tonight. We grabbed dinner, enjoying the live music by the pool, then headed in for bedtime.