check your sugarcoat at the door


storytime: calamity on a plane, part II
August 29, 2011, 6:30 pm
Filed under: kiddo, wah

Part I

Soon enough I missed the west coast and redacted my statement on never flying ever, ever, ever again. And I was running low on diapers. I was dropped at the airport in Orlando, armed with slightly more plane travel knowledge than I’d had the week before, which doesn’t count for much. The stand-by flight that was to get me to LAX in one shot was booked solid, BUT OF COURSE. My only option was to wait three hours, hit a flight to Newark, transfer planes and head straight to Los Angeles. It was like someone tried to sum up a massive trigonometry formula in a short sentence. DOES NOT COMPUTE. So I was like, that is hilarious, please step aside ‘cause I’m going home now.

This is so much like my early college experience. How do so many people DO this? How do they know what to do and where to go and when to do it and how to do it and in what order. I have nearly thrown my hands up and given up trying on so many occasions. And then I pop a Zoloft and skedaddle to class.

Turns out they were serious and I was stuck. One might have thought the apocalypse had shown its first signs of dawning if they were to hear the voicemail on my parents’ answering machine (‘member those?). It was all sniffles and choked sobs. I was being held against my will and would never, ever break free from the evils of air travel. Woe was me and no one else. No one had ever experienced such horror in all their days. Why did I ever leave the state? Ad nauseam.

After a month or so of waiting in the terminal, I boarded for beautiful Newark, New Jersey. I was warned that I’d need to rush to my next flight as it was departing very shortly after it landed and I stabbed the informant with my eye daggers and also a nail file. It was a short flight north and it involved a small, wet sandwich. The flight attendants were of the nicest variety, stocking me up on a little extra juice for Kiddo and letting me bring the carseat on board with me to sit in empty space next to me. The nightmare began again when we touched down in Newark and I was ready to sprint to the next gate with no direction. Maybe the panic on my face was so physically apparent and maybe the person I asked did not trust this wild-eyed child with a smaller child on her hip. She used a radio to call for a gentleman driving a little golf cart to pick me up and rush me to where I needed to be. When he arrived I loaded my backpack onto the seat of his cart and he drove away. I don’t know if he thought it was the weight of my body or if he just hated me but he drove away. With my backpack. And y’all… I sat down on the floor in the airport and I cried.

It isn’t my proudest moment. But it’s up there.

The same lady that had called for backup found the calamity shaped heap with the stunning blue-eyed baby and quickly called the gentleman again. She called him with a vengeance. And he came back, sheepish, and drove Kiddo and I with every last one of our possessions over to the next gate at a whopping 11 miles an hour.

The flight to LA was quiet, dark and calm. It was deep breathing and relief. It was all almost over.

And then Kiddo pooped. And the thing about her having this one last rank diaper of the trip was that the unexpected three hour delay before New Jersey had utilized the last of our travel supply of diapers.

An aside: I do not enjoy corn. Only within the last year have I taken to liking it on the cob. My kid loves her some corn but I didn’t know that yet because it was just not in our kitchen. While in Florida my aunt fed Kiddo some corn. A lot, apparently. And this is how I learned, and I am very serious here, that the whole corn-in-your-shit thing was not a big joke.

At this point I’d changed 450,000 dirty diapers though never in the not-so-generous space of an airplane changing table. Imagine my surprise when I opened that diaper FULL of corn. The initial shock of it was almost enough to LOL in the confines of that rank little bathroom. She couldn’t continue sitting in this mess but I had absolutely no options. So I changed her into some fresh, footed pajamas, went back to our seats and wrapped her up in the tiny square of an airline blanket in hopes that it would not be used to absorb anything but if it was? Don’t bother me to care. Had we run out of diapers at any other point in the trip, I simply couldn’t have handled it. The running theme here is that I couldn’t handle much of anything. But we were going home now and I’d be damned if there was any stress left in me.

We descended into LA and I was so relieved that I nearly burst into tears. I hobbled around with our belongings through the airport until I reached Josh’s arms. Fucking home.

And then Kiddo, perched on my hip, peed right through those pajamas and all down my side.

I didn’t travel again until the summer of 2008 and a few times since then. It’s the easiest thing in the world. I am without the melodrama and I used up all my freak-outs during that initial trip. Unexpected layovers and last minute changes are met with a smile. I love to fly. Kiddo continues to be the easiest child in the entire world to take anywhere.

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1 Comment so far
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I was DYING reading this, in a laughing-at-you kinda way (sorry). Right down to the corn, giggling and snorting at my desk. Certainly it was far less enjoyable to experience but dang I loved reading about it.

Comment by paigelgoit




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