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Travel

What Happened When I Flew with My Baby for the First Time

airplane

Subject: Complaint 

Dear Flight-Attendant-in-the-Ladies-Room-in-the-Delta-Sky-Club, 

1. Hate. You. A lot. 

From, 

A-mommy-with-a-first-time-baby-flyer-trying-to-get-her-Delta-wings-pin-in-the-most-pain-free-way-possible

So, here is what happened that drove me to this almost sanctimonious complaint.

When my family of three was making plans for the holidays a.k.a. baby’s first flight, it was like a coin toss: one side was “night flight” and the other side was “day flight,” and I wasn’t sure which side I should flip to, being a first time mama. So I did a day flight on the way from New York City to San Francisco and a night flight on the way back. From what I gathered from my “mommy research,” I was more nervous for the day flight.

Well, day flight was heads in this situation because it went well. Night flight—well, that was a different story. A tail of it’s own—pun and wrong spelling completely intended by the way.

So this was our car ride. My 10-month-old was catching some z’s, I was reading on my Kindle, while my hubby was chit-chatting to the driver—all of us pre-gaming for our 10:45 p.m. flight back to NY in our own way. The wrong way, because we all should have been taking shots of vodka—baby included. But we weren’t aware of that yet.

Everything was going smoothly—then security. I had to take my baby out of her car seat, waking her, so we could walk through together. My baby is on the Most Wanted Babies List (apparently) and could have been smuggling in drugs or bombs, so it was completely understandable and necessary to do this. I mean babies have a tendency to be sneaky like that. I get it.

Yep.

My poor sweet baby who had been up from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.—whose sleep schedule was all out of sorts going from Eastern to Pacific standard time, from days of traveling, and new faces—was not too pleased about being woken up. She didn’t just cry, she started screaming like a person coming into contact with a demogorgon or worse, an unhappy baby who got woken up for no damn reason. Wailing frantically. 

Tears were falling down her cherub cheeks and onto my chest as I bounced her through security where they accosted my hands.

“What, my palms?” I double-checked, trying to hear them through my little girl’s screams.

They scanned them while I sing-songed, “It’s OK. It’s OK.” Bouncy, bouncy, bounce. Not working. Tried “The Wheels On The Bus” followed by “Old MacDonald” to calm her down. Then, in a last attempt, screamed “sumo, summo” like a maniac because it weirdly makes her laugh, like it comforts her inner sumo wrestler. Nothing working. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Once through, I put her back in the stroller—maybe she would fall back asleep? Instead, she continued screaming as I zigzagged her around the airport. Shit. Then I took her out and started rocking her with lights blaring, so many people around, staring at her and me with pity—that damn mom, she can’t even handle her screaming baby. I could hear all of their thoughts, making me even more anxious.

My little girl was looking left to right, hand stretched out, reaching for—what the hell was she reaching for? Irrelevant right now. So I did what any mother would do. I went to a remote ladies room and turned the lights off, not giving a shit who was in there—and started rocking her in the corner.

What seemed like 20 minutes of squats and shushing later, she was finally calming down—falling back to sleep again. Holding her in my arms I hated every parent that suggested even attempting the night flight as the best traveling method for babies. Liars!

Then Miss-Cheery-Flight-Attendant came barging in with her rose-colored cheeks, blush overload, and a wide smile that spanned from cheek to cheek.

I heard her mumble to herself, why are the lights off? as she switched it on so blasé, which made my face have an actual spasm of irritation.

Then she saw me in the corner singing and rocking my baby. My little girl’s eyes were finally shut and Miss I-Travel-The-World-Without-A-Baby-So-I-Believe-Babies-Are-Dolls screamed over to me like she was on the edge of a cliff yelling for help. “Oh your baby is so cute!” Echo. Echo. Echo. 

Shhhh. I motioned. Pleaded.

Silence.

Then, she realized, I should be quiet, and cutely giggled to herself and loudly said, “Oh, right,” and then motioned to her mouth, copying my shhh.

Shit. Stop talking! I thought, my eyes trying to communicate that to her. 

She repeated loudly, “So sweet,” as she slammed the bathroom door. She might as well have sounded an alarm or rang a loud doorbell. That bitch.

My baby opened her eyes in one last attempt to fight the sleep. The sleep struggle was real AF. She let out one last scream and then was fast asleep, quivering noises still coming from her mouth, her eyes puffy and wet from getting herself so riled up.

I carefully left the bathroom and found myself shaking, needing a Snickers bar to release my inner Joe Pesci like in the commercials. Shaking because this mama bird was stressed already. It didn’t end there, too.

Take when we landed…

Subject: To-the-dude-that-decided-to-bend-over-my-baby’s-car-seat  

Dear Dude,

When you bend over to a baby that is sleeping and scream YOU WERE SO GOOD THE WHOLE FLIGHT. I DIDN’T EVEN HEAR YOU she is going to wake up. Her look will say it all—wide eyed like, “Seriously Mr. Random Stranger.” Come on dude. Was that necessary? 

From, 

A-mom-that-has-a-Mommy’s-Most-Wanted-List-and-deserves-at-least-two-Delta-wing-pins-now. Oh and by the by, you made that Most Wanted list. Reward: Two free WubbaNubs, a whole pack of Similac, and a three-hour nap. I know what motivates my mama demographic.


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