New Parent Tip: Travel with a night light

Night light When traveling with a small child, parents often make due with sub-optimal accommodations relative to what is typically enjoyed in their homes. One case in point is the inadequate lighting often encountered in hotels and guest rooms that make it difficult for late-night/early-morning child care. What is desired is dim, unobtrusive ambient light. What is often provided are bright bedside lamps and harsh ceiling lights with inconveniently-located switches.

One inconsiderate solution involves turning on the ceiling or lamp lights at 3:27 AM to tend to one’s crying child. Babies and significant others love that. Non-green options include leaving the bathroom lights on overnight with the door slightly ajar. Neither of those options appealed to us.

After a quick trip to Target and $5 from the change jar, our travel kit is now equipped with an LED nightlight. After two states, ten days and a couple dozen late-night admittances to the Owen opera, I wholeheartedly recommend a night light when traveling with small kids. A small flashlight also works but remember where you put it and don’t forget the batteries.

Keith Commits a Rookie Mistake

TB and I were all packed and ready to head out to Philadelphia for my fraternity brother’s wedding this weekend. As we backed out the driveway and headed toward the expressway, my spidey sense told me something was not quite right. I ran through my mental checklist one more time making sure I had all the important things for the wedding. Suit? Check. Tie? Check. Belt? Check. Camera? Check. Etc. Etc.

We made it to Sea-Tac, parked at MasterPark lot B, took the shuttle to the US Airways stop and made our way up the escalator to check-in. Midway up the escalator, a streak of utter shock jolted through me. My spidey sense was spot on. Something indeed was not right. Without even checking for the forgotten item, I called to TB and told her I needed to return home. I had left my wallet and had no ID.

puppy If you have been following my blog, you know TB has a complete repertoire of looks she gives me based on the situation at hand. By the time we reached the top of the escalator she had hit me with disbelief, dismay, anger, sympathy and solace. I just gave her the puppy dog look since I earned them all. She quickly switched into problem solving mode (one of the things I love about her) and about 30 minutes later she had salvaged our trip and finagled better seats on a later flight. I don’t know how she does it but I’m grateful to have her quarterbacking the home team in such situations.

The trip had been smooth, almost perfect until that moment on the escalator. It was as if we had just ran the kick-off back for a touchdown only to discover a flag on the play. Illegal procedure. Back home we came. Dang rookies.

The sad thing is I have flown over 400,000 miles and have never, ever, ever arrived at the airport without my wallet.

I thought about having TB call in a bomb threat to delay the flight long enough for me to return home but we figured five years in prison and a $250,000 fine was a bit steep. Not only is the Seattle man who tried something similar on Wednesday in police custody, he still ended up missing the flight.