Sunday, March 27, 2011

A comedy or errors at 30k feet

We just returned from a lovely family vacation (to my parents house) in Florida and I have about 10 posts started in my head, so I figured I would begin by sharing my adventure traveling home with you first!

I could get used to this
My husband had to return earlier in the week due to work, so I was flying solo with M from West Palm to Boston. I was already anxious about having to deal with all the luggage, the car seat on the plane, and keeping a 15 month old entertained for 3 hours...but then our flight was delayed 3 hours. There was no way I was going to go to the airport with a toddler at 10 PM at night, so I decided to change our flight to the next day. Thanks to my mother who forced me to call JetBlue a second time in hopes of getting a sympathetic employee, I was able to change my flight free of charge (it was going to cost us $540 when I spoke to the first mean woman).

But now that I was coming in during the day, my husband was unable to pick me up at the airport, so I would have to deal with 3 pieces of checked luggage, a stroller (checked), a car seat (on the plane), a giant LL Bean tote full of in-flight entertainment, oh and a toddler. It would be just me getting all of that from the baggage claim to the car service - up an elevator and outside. I was not happy about that.

So we get to the airport and since I changed my flight so late I was unable to get the extra leg room seats on our flight that we had on the way down. Since I had our GIANT Britax car seat with me, and my daughter has crazy long legs, my anxiety increased as I had visions of her kicking the seat in front of us...which she ended up doing the entire flight (and I kept doing the "sweetie stop kicking the seat in front of you or the man is going to get mad" loud mom talking).

Fast forward to boarding the plane - they didn't pre-board for families for some reason, so I was in the cattle line getting on the plane and was sweating like a pig. I couldn't get the car seat down the aisle (it was on the GO-GO-Baby wheely thing - more on that later) as it was too wide, so I had to have the first flight attendant I saw carry it back to row 15 for me. The flight attendant man gave me MAJOR 'tude as he was carrying it saying that it was way too big, it won't fit in the seat, etc., and I ensured him that I had flown with it before - it would fit. We get settled...M falls we go.

She wakes up after about 90 minutes of sleep, and we have some lunch. I go back to change her and realize that she has peed through her clothing, but thankfully I had a change of clothes for her. We return to our seats in our Boston-ready clothing (long sleeves, jeans and sweatshirt). Literally as soon as I buckle her in, she projectile vomits all over the place. It was a disaster - all over her car seat, her clean clothing, the seat in front of her (thankfully not on the man's head in front of us as he was not happy with the seat kicking to being with). I pick her up and carry her at arms length back to the back of the plane as everyone is staring at me. Thankfully the other flight attendants were nothing but helpful and gave me stuff to clean her off with, and something to put her puke clothes in.

So now we are back in our Florida-summer-pee-clothes. Better than naked at 30,000 feet!

I apologize to everyone around me as the smell of the vomit is horrible, and thankfully everyone is understanding as now I am that "poor mother of that sick child" on the plane. Thankfully it was just that one bout of throw up.

The poor guy next to me didn't talk to us the whole time, but at the end of the flight just tapped me on the shoulder and said "I have to tell you, you are doing a really great job with her, Mom." It was just what I needed to hear at the time.

So now we are deplaning, and I am slowly getting my things together and waiting for most of the plane to leave, as I start to try to unhook the car seat. With no luck. I had made it too tight and the buckle was out of reach. Now I am on an empty plane with M, the flight attendants are cleaning the plane, and the Captain of the freaking plane is trying to get my car seat out - which thankfully he did within 10 minutes. Apparently this happens all the time, so they were completely understanding of the situation.

I exit the jetway in a complete sweat, M under my arm wrapped in my giant zip-up because she only has short sleeves on and it is 30 degrees outside, and I am greeted by hundreds of frustrated travelers who are already queued up to get on the plane that I was delaying due to my stupid car seat.

I get to the baggage claim, rent one of those baggage carts and find my place around the carousel when I hear "hi family!" I turn and see my fabulous husband, and just start to cry. I was so defeated, frustrated, mentally and physically exhausted that I just broke down. He had left work just to come and help us get the bags into the car that was waiting for us. It was the thing I needed the most - to see my wonderful husband, my best friend, come to my rescue like a night in shining black-suit.

So lessons learned:
- Listen to your mother...sometimes she has good ideas that will save you $540
- If you travel with a Britax Boulevard car seat, on JetBlue, with a baby with long legs, make sure you get the "Even More Legroom" seats
- Always bring two changes of clothing with you on the plane for your babe

1 comment:

  1. BJ showing up at the end was like a scene in a movie! I love it! Way to go hubby! :) I'm impressed Jess...that was a crazy flight. You are such a great mommy!