1. You must never ever act like you know how to break down a stroller. The bigger the better, as easier to convince the security person that you require a "self-check."This is a non advertised service by the TSA. A stern faced agent walks your stroller through a gate and uses a hand held scanner. That may be my best secret.
2. Airplane flights are not the time to get pious about electronics. Nope, wear blinders and valiantly ignore the children reading or playing cards, singing together or sitting quietly. They have been likely given copious amounts of Benadryl and you are better than that.
3. If you are late for the plane and there is a long security line, then beg for family privilege. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
4. Do not be ashamed to change a diaper on your lap. Don't let the man in front of you who screeches, "What is that smell?!", hurt your feelings.
5. Always travel with extra clothes, just a generic t shirt that could halfway fit any one of your kids. I have spent entire flights trying to dry pee-pees pants or shirts drenched in juice. The tiny blower above your head is useless.
6. Remember the 3 ounce rule regarding baby food in jars. I have suffered an intimate pat down in the name of mothers everywhere, all in a dispute over .3 ounces of overage.
7. No need to take the time to read the fine print regarding airport rules. FYI, nowhere does it say that scooters are not allowed. Yep, you will see my three older children whizzing by on their old Razors while airport security people grimace.
8. Never ever move from your seat once you are on the airplane. There was a person who had been assigned the same seat as me and the gate agent wanted me to disembark so we could "talk" about it. I was polite, but very firm. I stayed and the uniformed court Marshall fled.
9. You must learn to lie and lie very well. It is a necessary evil when traveling with children and you just swallow your valiant pride. All's well that ends well for the traveling mother.
10. Ignore the seatbelt sign at all costs. Only during takeoff and landing should you enforce the measure that for me, requires a headlock, m&m's, and excessive screaming. Allow your toddler to travel up and down the aisle, despite the gawking from other passengers, while you pretend to be asleep.