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Pickle Me This

October 25, 2009

Flying Babies and Books

Once upon a time, a plane journey meant I’d get a whole book read, and a magazine or two. In-flight movies were for chumps, and I was the annoying person whose reading light was shining bright when you were trying to sleep. And then I had a baby.

And I’ve had a baby long enough to have a good idea of how much reading I’d get done in transit. Whereas before, I’d bring at least four novels and a magazine (because, I mean, what if we had to make an unexpected stopover at an airport without a bookshop?), I brought just one book this time. And I’ve also had a baby long enough to be pleased to get just the first three stories in Birds of America read during our flight.

Thankfully, we went to visit the grandparents, which is the closest thing I’ll have to a vacation from motherhood for quite some time. So I got two issues of the London Review of Books read, finished Birds of America, and read the wonderful Howards End is On the Landing. On the flight home, I began The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen, and got about 60 pages in, mainly because I read while jumping up and down, rocking Harriet in her Little Star Sling. On the whole, I am very satisfied.

Reading aside, flying with babies is hard work, but I really can’t complain, considering the moms I saw flying alone with two children. Harriet was pretty good, didn’t scream substantially too much of the time, airline staff and other passengers were really kind, helpful and accommodating, and having a baby makes the whole world a really friendly place. Once arrived, we had a really wonderful time. Harriet never adjusted to the time change, and went to bed at midnight every night, and while this made her grumpier and grumpier as the week went on, it’s been no trouble getting her back on track at home.

And I’ve got to get back on track too. Since my last “I’m not buying books” post, I think I’ve bought about seven more books. But no more, of course. I’m done, but it does mean I’ve got some serious blogging to do, and more reading to do, and then I’ll go and read some more.

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