Below is an excerpt from an email to my friends Sheila and Tricia (sisters and moms of two) last summer after my son and I experienced our first flight together or travel SNAFU without Daddy’s help. My son and I fly out for the same family vacation later today. My husband meets us later this week. I am optimistic the travel experience will be smoother for us today than it was last year…
“It is so hard to get organized to leave the house especially for an extended period of time! We finally left in a taxi for the airport, but had to turn around for my sunhat – I had the baby’s. I was so stressed the entire time my heart was racing and I was a mess.
When we finally got to the airport, the kiosk didn’t read my card, so I checked in at the desk. I felt very parched as the agent processed my ticket so I took the nipple (training Sippy cup) off and gulped it down… That’s when she yelled, ‘Mom!’ I explained to an ear agent they would’ve pitched his water at the gate, anyway.
I proceeded to an extremely long line at security (wish I had more water). We somehow looked suspicious as two agents frisked Andrew and me… After we were both violated, I went to pick-up everything that went through the scanner. Always trying to save a few bucks, I didn’t check luggage so had a lot to carry-on that was all displaced.
I got my shoes out of the small box you use to put your personal items on the belt (watch, belt, purse, shoes, etc.) and decided Andrew would fit perfectly in there for a change since he normally squirms so much. Some other travelers exclaimed ‘Gross, we put our baby bottles on that.’ Note to self; do not put anything in those trays! They should’ve known that, too! Another agent was also there. She pulled me aside and helped me put the baby carrier back on (wish I had a handy umbrella stroller!) and told me to ignore the hecklers.
Despite the fact that we got there more than an hour early there was no time for me to get breakfast. So, we raced through Starbucks to get my coffee, water (in a large cup) and a parfait yogurt. We finally boarded the plane with not a minute to spare. Unfortunately, the granola from the parfait flew all over the aisle and the yogurt exploded on the floor in front of me and in my diaper bag, too. The flight attendants were not helpful, but the other passengers were (they probably didn’t want to hurt themselves on the mess, but the flight attendants should’ve had the same concern…). Others on the plane also took turns helping with the baby to distract and entertain him when his screaming got too loud.
I tried to run off the flight as fast I could as soon as we landed. I kept dropping items, but empathetic travelers helped us. We finally made it in one piece to the bus, which dropped us off at the ferry. It was a huge challenge keeping Andrew entertained and in one place with all my lose items on the ferry as I fought him with sun screen.
The ride was finally over and I was ecstatic to see my parents who picked us up. I was exhausted!”
We soon had a chance to relax and enjoy the calming sound of the waves and fresh sea breeze. My travel traumas were worth it!