As you may have read in Mondays post I'm currently vacationing in New Brunswick, Canada for a few weeks and will be heading back to Toronto about mid-August. While being excited about going to NB to visit family and friends I always have the flight there and back on my mind. I can't help but feel anxious about being squished into a small plane with a cranky and tired toddler.
Since Donnie is a little older than the last time we flew to NB (he was 7 months old and now 16 months old) I thought it would be a great idea to put together something similar to one of those busy bags you see posted all the time on pinterest. I figured that when he starts getting cranky and difficult to manage I could just pull a couple new toys or books out for him to stay happy and occupied for a while.
Over the last couple of weeks leading up to the trip I went shopping at various dollar stores and found some inexpensive toys and such for under $15 and was quite pleased with myself:
- clip board with some blank sheets of paper
- coloring book
- educational ABC book
- flash cards
- stuffed animal
- rubber ducky (Donnie has an obsession with all things duck related)
- a couple toy cars
- story book
…and a nice little back pack to stuff it all into.
Now, fast forward to Donnie and I wrestling in a tiny airplane seat next to a handsome business man trying to do some important work on his laptop. Although I had excellent intentions in creating a busy bag for my son it just didn't work out – and I'll tell you why…
He was too tired to care about any of the new fancy dollar store items I put together for him.
Every single thing would have been something that he would have went absolutely nuts over. He would have loved the duck, stickers, crayons and all the other little things packed up if he hadn't been so over tired from trip.
I was looking forward to seeing his excited little face when he would have opened the back-pack and seen all the little treasures inside. So this was one of my reality checks as a first time mom. In the days leading up to the trip I just thought about keeping him busy during the flight and if hadn't crossed my tired and overwhelmed mind that he might JUST want to cuddle and sleep. He didn't even want to look in the bag!
Busy bags are great entertainment for toddlers and kids who need to be kept occupied during long car or plane trips but when they are too tired out to enjoy what's inside, it's just not worth it. Looking back I should have only taken a couple small items in my purse as a carry on rather than bring this extra back pack with me. The bag wasn't very heavy but it was still something extra to lug around which made it no so convenient. Also, since it was just my son and I traveling together I had no extra hands or arms to help carry stuff!