Breakthrough Update: We have teeth! Two bottom teeth are peeking out today!
My fears about traveling with Abe were unfounded. It turns out that he saves his screeching and squirrelliness for his mom. Lucky me. I have discovered that Abe is happiest in a grocery store; he's got bright, shiny things to look at and women to woo around every corner. Being confined on my lap in an airplane is for Abe like being strapped down in a cart in the grocery store. He's pretty happy both places.
The flight from Portland to Sacramento was easy enough, even though he didn't sleep at all. I can easily tell when he's found a new friend by the way he squishes up his whole face into a smile that crinkles his nose and turns his eyes to slits. On this flight, he had a whole row of people behind us to smile at the entire time. At one point during the flight, he started saying "good!" loudly and enthusiastically when the guy sitting across the aisle peeled a banana.
While waiting for our flight to Burbank in the Sacramento airport, a nice lady in a business suit actually sat down right on the floor next to us and let Abe play with her blackberry and fancy leather handbag. She was actually giving him these expensive items. Then once we got settled into our seat, two more business-women across the aisle oohed and ahhed over Abe until he passed out upon take-off. After sleeping on my lap for half an hour, he opened his eyes, smiled and immediately started saying "bye-bye." He then flirted with the two women for the last ten minutes of the flight.
We drove with Ted to his rehearsal for the play he's directing in Hollywood since we didn't have time to go all the way home (Friday afternoon traffic in L.A. is a bear). We found a big, empty, carpeted room to hang out in at the theater where Abe played happily until it was time to leave at 10pm. I even got to read a few stacks of old newspapers I'd been hoping to get to for weeks while Abe practiced his yoga poses on all that carpet ("downward dog" is now his new favorite).
I'm sorry if this post gushing about our child is boring. It's just that I never thought I'd say this: spending a day traveling on two airplanes, driving through rush hour traffic in Los Angeles, and biding time in an empty room in a Hollywood theater until 10pm, all with an 11-month-old in tow was not just a tolerable, but an actual fun experience.
Now we'll just have to see what it's like when he's two.