So, our first adventure with airline travel, with traveling alone, with attending a conference with each other in tow. It went pretty well, I think. For one, O is an incredibly agreeable lump. He slept through most of our time in the sky and on the convention floor. I think he would have slept even more if I had never had to sit down or unstrap him to spare my back. Oh, my back! The worst was walking the mile+ to the hotel with a bag of books and the big backpack of supplies when the shuttle didn’t run as late as I’d expected. I basically wore him non-stop for five days, which is doable, but a bit rough. There were many times when I had to run out of things, usually not because O was crying, but because he’s discovered his vocal cords and often seems to have something to say. Charming, high-pitched, and poorly timed.
He surprised a lot of librarians, both through his presence and his quietness. I wonder if I would have gotten more judgement if I’d been a mother in the same situation, since some of the thrilledness seemed to be about engaged fatherhood on top of O’s cute head. I did get questions about where his mother was, but I’m getting used to them. The best one was actually with the driver of the shuttle back to the airport, who just forthrightly and respectfully asked how I was able to be a single father.
It was also interesting to interact a bit with my childfree friends, people who are not at all charmed by babies. It gave me a new appreciation for how crap I can be at conversation when O is being distracting, and combined with the plane rides, how much I want to make us small and unobtrusive. While O will go everywhere with me for a time, I don’t want to make every space about his needs only. Although changing tables in the men’s rooms would have been nice. As would have some conference-provided childcare. But we were fundimentally in adult space, which he can do until he’s verbal, and I respect that. It’s why I run out of the room as soon as he starts making noise, even when people have told me they didn’t notice it. If I can escape and not inflict O on people who didn’t sign up for him, I will.
I tried and failed to rent a car seat for the shuttles, but it turned out not to matter; just as I anticipated, we were just fine.