Toy Maker, Mother, Feminist, Frequent Flier

Name: Lorna Brett Howard
Occupation? Toy maker, Penelope Peapod, feminist political activist
I went to the Penelope Peapod website and couldn’t help but think a doll that size would fit perfectly inside a travel bag! So where do I get one? Penelope Peapod is a take along toy, a doll in a wicker basket handbag that turns into a bassinet. The “handbag” can hold other things so perfect for travel and then Mom does not have to carry their daughter’s toys, as so always happens. You can order a Penelope Peapod at If someone writes Heather Poole sent me in the “notes/comment” section I will send them a free outfit and blanket set….after all, half the fun is changing her clothes!

That’s so nice of you! Thank you. I’ll be ordering two. You mentioned on the flight that you travel often with your child. How often is often and what’s your secret to making sure everything goes smoothly?I have been in a commuter-marriage for five years and my son is four. We travel every week, Sundays, to and from New York to Chicago. Hauling a baby through security is hard, toddlers worse. At four, it is easier now. The secret is, of course, organization. Having the right snacks (non-sticky, easy to eat) and distractions, books, figures to play with….and I must admit, a portable DVD player. Once an older man lectured me on how bad it was for kids to watch too much TV/movies and asked why I didn’t just read to my son on the plane. I gave him a kind smile and said I did and left it at that. I wanted to ask him if he ever had traveled with his children every week but then I thought, of course not. He had no clue. JUNE CLEAVER IS DEAD I wanted to say. And I am sure June did not have to get on a plane ever

Yeah, I remember seeing a kid watching a DVD at a nice restaurant years ago and thinking, I’d never do that. I have since learned never say never. Now when I travel with my son we never leave home without the ipod with the screen for watching Handy Manny, Curious George, Caillou…you get the picture. Number one travel tip for parents? Have a bloody mary, just one, when you get on the plane! Ha, just kidding…sort of. I would say to keep calm even when they fuss as it just makes it worse. Check whatever you can and have lots of distractions. Sometimes a brand new book or little toy goes a long way.

When my son was between the age of 3 months and two years, I couldn’t live without my Sit-N-Stroll. What’s your favorite travel item when traveling with your son? I had a Sit-N-Stroll and it was great. It was difficult to get down the aisle sometimes, depending on the type of aircraft we were on and how wide the aisles there were, they have become more narrow as the seats have become wider and more comfortable. Other than that, a good organized bag with everything easy to find – that fits under the seat in front is essential.

The Sit-N-Stroll only fits down the aisle on a widebody aircraft. I hear you on the organized bag. I bought an expensive diaper bag and ended up never using it because the Diaper Dude was much easier to travel with due to all the pockets and the messenger style, allowing hands to be free. How many miles have you flown this year? I don’t know! Every Sunday back and forth, haven’t added up. In addition, we travel a lot for vacations. So my son is a platinum member already and he knows all the clues – buckle up for safety, no portable electronic devices until the captain says so!

Much respect! Last flight? May 10th

Check it or Carry on? I try not to check anything because then you have to wait, and at O’Hare and LaGuardia it can take a while. But sometimes it is better to check when you have too much to haul from Gate One Million, which is always where we seem to land in O’Hare…I don’t think I have ever been at Gate 1!
Window or Aisle? Window for my son for sure.

Something to Drink? He always has a Sprite, a flying treat.

Beef or Chicken? We are both vegetarians so we rarely eat the food offered.

What exactly is in your carry on bag? A “milky”, a juice, cheddar bunnies, raisins, fruit roll ups (a bit sticky), two books, a few airplanes, my son’s “lamby” which he can’t fly without, wipes, DVD player and few DVDs, magazine or book for me

Any packing tips/tricks? Light!


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