I’ve been flying on my own with the girls since Kaia was three months old.
We would travel to Florida to visit with their grandparents almost every three months. You know how awkwardly close you feel to the person next to you on most planes? Imagine breastfeeding, you almost feel rude not offering them some with it being so near their face.
For any adrenaline junkies out there: I find that; breaking down a stroller while managing a toddler and wearing a baby, removing all of your shoes, and getting everyone safely through security, really gets the heart pumping. I’ve had a couple of Good Samaritans help me out over the years, but for the most part people at airports genuinely resent anyone traveling with small children, particularly infants. We block up the lines with all of our bags and bottles, and the chances are pretty high there will be screaming. I
’ve been through the gamut of possible plane scenarios with kids. We’ve had mid-air Poopsplosions (if you don’t know, good for you, it’s something they don’t tell you about before you have kids, most people would opt out if they knew), we’ve had meltdowns during air pressure changes, and we’ve learned the art of all fitting into the bathroom together, it’s sort of like an amateur Cirque du Soleil performance.
Sometimes I get a sympathy drink from the flight attendants out of the whole ordeal. Well, it’s either sympathy, or fear to approach me while I’m giving the Devil's eye darts and hissing things through my teeth. Either way I'll take it.
One trip I decided enough was enough; I needed a better system of managing everyone. It was too hard constantly holding Elliana and keeping a close eye on Kaia. I’m sure there’s a better name for it but we all know what it actually is…the baby leash.
I went to the local baby store and tried to find it on my own, it’s an interesting thing to look for when you really think about it. What department describes physical restraints and toddlers? It’s much easier with the dogs, there’s only one aisle for them. I finally gave up.
The next roadblock: how do you as a mother describe a child leash in a way that doesn’t scream leash.
10 minutes later I departed the store with a cute little monkey “backpack”. I felt guilty from the moment I sold the concept to Kaia through the entire security process. Once we reached our gate however; I started feeling justified.
Sometimes as a parent you just have to do what you have to do. I bought Kaia and Elliana apples at the little food stand. Because that’s just the kind of good mom I was; sure she’s wearing a leash but I’ll be damned if she eats junk food.
As we stood waiting in line to board our plane and I started feeding Elliana her apple, my newfound confidence really began to sink in. I happened to look over at an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair staring at me in complete revulsion. In a defensive rage I thought to myself
“Don’t judge ME about the baby leash old lady! You don’t know what I’ve been through, the things I've had to do. Did planes even exist when you were raising your kids; you bitter old Bitch?”
I began to slowly shake my head in complete disgust at the nerve some people had. That’s when I noticed that Kaia had managed to get the monkey tail completely wrapped around her neck and that it was beginning to choke her. I knocked the apple out of her mouth, and unwound her. Sweating and beat red I immediately removed the monkey from her back.
Avoiding all eye contact with that judgmental old Grannie, I wiped the apple off handed it back to Kaia and corralled my family onto the plane.
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