Today, we were those people.
The ones taking up way too much space in the very back left row of the 737 with our half-zipped carry-on bags spilling over with teething rings, pacifiers, and over-sized stuffed animals.
The ones with a screaming baby that smelled strongly of turd. And although this aforementioned baby was overly-exhausted, her stamina for cringe-worthy, throat-ripping screams was on point. While the gentleman to my right was doing a pretty fine job of pretending like we weren’t there as he nursed his Bloody Mary and practically smashed himself against the window so as to avoid my daughter’s flailing arms and feet, there ain’t no way anyone in a 50-foot radius didn’t smell the little gem she was hiding in her diaper. Trust me, few people are quicker than me at changing a poopy diaper, but it was time to land and the seat belt light above my head was on, so I just had to sit there while I tried to calm an extremely livid baby that smelled like a truck-stop bathroom.
I’m going to go ahead and own up to the fact that this is around the time I started feeling really sorry for myself. I had literally slept one hour the night before (New Year’s celebration plus a 4 AM trip to the airport does that to ya), I was hungry, and I was starting to feel this internal heat work its way from the inside out, causing my face to get all red and hot. The screams grew so loud that I could barely hear the pilot make an announcement that there would be a brief delay because he had to loop around in order to land properly. I wished that the plane would open up so that I could disappear out of sight from the 100-plus peeved passengers directing their frustration at my little family of three.(Which, I’m sure most people just tuned her out and didn’t think much about it. I was just having a self-centered moment, okay?!) I thought about how simple flying was before the days of having to lug around a diaper bag and car seat/stroller combo. How easy it was to sit on a plane and just read a book. How I sometimes wouldn’t have a carry-on with me at all because I don’t like having to keep track of any extra bags. (Ha!)
As soon as we landed I took my little red-faced, tear-streaked, bundle into the super cramped bathroom at the back of the plane and knew instantly that she was having such a hard time because she was constipated. (I know. Mentioning constipation in two different blog posts is such a party foul, but that’s mom life for you.) That’s when I realized that I’d only been thinking about myself and how hard the flight had been for me. My poor little Elise was rudely woken up four hours early that morning, changed in variety of airport bathrooms, downed an ice-cold bottle without hesitation, and was now being forced to sit on our laps for the duration of two different flights when all she wanted to do was play, play, play. And on top of it all she was struggling going poo. She was having a far worse day than I was, and I felt bad for indulging in such a pity-party. I mean, it was still probably my least favorite thing that’s happened to me this year, (get it?) but getting to take Elise to Texas to mingle with all her Jones cousins and Nana and Papa made it massively worth it.
So, here’s to turning in to the person you try to avoid at all cost whilst traveling…in the name of motherhood!