Why, yes, baby and I DID recently take a trip. On an airplane. Alone. And, oh, it was quite the adventure! It began early in the morning when I realized that OMG BABY, why do I need to pack so much stuff? This was a 6 day trip and normally I would have taken a carry-on and a backpack, but with a baby suddenly I was checking a car seat, stroller, jungle gym, playpen, crib, and ten suitcases.* My BFF, having no idea what she was getting herself into, drove us to the airport and helped to roll all our stuff inside. Thank you, Sleepy Wrap, for allowing me to be hands-free! And then Abe fell asleep as we walked to our gate, which was, of course, at the other end of the universe. He slept through security and getting a snack, and gate checking the stroller, and woke up just in time to board the plane. Yikes!
And because a baby makes things take forever, I was one of the last people to board. And because Southwest doesn’t assign seats, there were only middle seats left. Crap. I was so nervous about being THAT WOMAN with the crying baby that everybody on the plane would hate. But luckily, I sat between a reasonably friendly but uninterested woman and a very friendly, on her way to visit her grandbaby woman who chatted Abe up the whole flight. Luckily too, my baby is awesome and did not cry much. Mid-flight, though, he decided it was lunchtime and I nursed him! Awkwardly! In between two strangers! His custom as of late is to also empty his bowels during mealtime, and I was literally praying that this would not happen. But then I felt the rumblings. And my sweet, darling, precious son proceeded to have the longest, loudest poop known to man. My prayer quickly changed to just PLEASE let it all stay in his diaper. But no dice. I pick him up only to find a yellow crescent on my jeans. And because there was turbulence, I couldn’t get up to change him. For the rest of the flight. So there we are, sitting between two strangers, covered in poop, for the next hour. Hooray!
Then we had to change planes, which was fine. I had our schedule all planned out: after the immediate changing, feed me, play, feed him, put him to sleep. Just in time for the next flight! Which was then delayed! Luckily, he slept through most of it anyway, until the descent when he woke up crying probably due to ear pressure. I glanced anxiously around, hoping no one was giving me an evil stare. Instead, they gave me advice! Rub his ears! Give him a pacifier! Yay for nice strangers!
The trip back was somewhat better because 1) I knew what to expect and 2) there was a stop, but we didn’t have to change planes. But the poop escapade repeated itself (seriously, baby?), except we got to use the changing table in the tiny, gross bathroom. Which really wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be. The table was very sturdy. Then later, when the crying began, a flight attendant took him and walked him around the plane! Walking and being held are his two favorite things, so this worked out quite well. She even sang to him! It was pretty great, I have to say. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it also takes a flight crew.
*Warning! This post contains a slight amount of exaggeration.