While we sit around and wait for Finn’s birth day, my twins, my very first babies, have a birthday on the horizon, too. Here’s a story about them I’ve never told you…
When Sam and Ian were 10 months old, I took an airplane trip with them… all by myself.
Our floors had to be refinished and my youngest brother was due to arrive any day, so a trip Back Home seemed appropriate. I bought two tickets, one for Sam to ride in the carseat and one for me to hold Ian on my lap.
And then I discovered I was pregnant. It should have been my first clue this trip wasn’t a good idea.
When we checked in to the airport, the ticket clerk informed me that Sam had been tagged for an extra security screening. Sam responded to this insult by filling his diaper on the way to the checkpoint. I pulled him out of the stroller and handed him to the TSA guy.
Who held him at arm’s length and was grateful for the rubber gloves he was wearing.
I tried not to grin as the man grimaced and handed me my baby, declaring him free of all terrorist motives. Although that diaper he was wearing could have been a weapon of mass destruction.
I pushed the double stroller with a car seat piled on top to the gate and made sure everyone was freshly changed and fed before we boarded.
This was wasted energy. Ian pooped during take-off.
The flight attendant watched Sam so I could go dispose of the mess (Which, have you people ever changed a diaper in those tiny airplane bathrooms? I had to sit on the toilet with Ian in my lap. I gagged a lot.)
It was on my way back to my seat that I realized flying, baby poop, and early pregnancy didn’t mix. The poor flight attendant took one look at my green face and reached out for Ian. Then she flung a barf bag, some ginger ale, and a wet paper towel at me and shoved my head between my knees. “You don’t look so good, honey.”
Approximately 18 sips of ginger ale and 200 cheerios later, we arrived at our destination. I was asked to wait to unload my little circus until the last passenger left the plane. They said it was so they could “help” me but I suspect it was to keep me from slowing others down.
I sort of blacked out for the long walk from my gate to the baggage claim, but I know somewhere in there I made a pit stop and had to figure out how to pee with one baby strapped to me and another on my hip. And a backpack on my shoulders.
I emerged wearing pants, so that’s a victory.
At baggage claim, I discovered we’d taken so long to claim our bags, they’d been stolen by someone else. Now I had no clothes. And the twins’ nearly-finished scrapbooks, which I had foolishly checked, were gone forever.
Happily, I was reunited with family and got to meet my new baby brother, so the trip wasn’t simply an opportunity to lose my luggage or my dignity.
That was reserved for the journey back…
Our return was delayed because our floors were refinished in the wrong color and had to be re-refinished, plus my lost bags couldn’t be found. By then I’d figured out the trip was cursed and spent a lot of time on the phone with the airline, crying and eating pudding pops.
Eventually, though, I was back on a plane with my two toothless escorts.
Who both found take-off equally inspiring and promptly pooped in their diapers. Again.
Only this time, the flight attendant was a MAN who said it was “policy” not to watch children for mamas who needed to use the facilities. I asked him what he expected me to do for the next two hours about the stench my sons had created. He said he’d hold up a jacket so I could change them right there. In my seat.
I blinked up at him. “Really? You’d rather I do that?”
He squirmed uncomfortably and then said, “Yes.”
I was certainly not the most popular passenger on the plane by the time the aroma of both my boys’ britches had been recycled 800 times mid-air.
The boys really were excellent travelers, except for those excitable bowels of theirs, and never knew their mama was teetering on the brink. We arrived back home, dignity in tatters, and I vowed never to leave home again. Or, at least, to never leave without Andrew…
(That’s my sister holding the boys and not me, by the way. I’m a young mama, but not THAT young.)