Earning His Wings

Blog posts are better with pictures, everyone knows this. But here’s the only picture you’ll be getting with this post:

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Please note the filth on the shirt (which I tried to hide with that clever filter use before posting on social media).

Baby Will and I flew up to DC to visit my parents for a week. He has flown before, but Daddy has always been with us. This was our first solo voyage. Well, by “solo” I mean the two of us, but you get the point.

The amount of crap you need for a week with a baby is astounding. Let me point out that I am a packing ninja. Two Christmases ago, the husband and I went to Italy for two weeks and I checked nothing. Carry on all the way. I did manage to pack all of my stuff and Will’s clothing into a carry on suitcase. However, we still needed the car seat, car seat base, stroller, diapers, wipes, food for keeping baby quiet on the plane, etc. (A smart person would have logged them self into their Amazon Prime, ordered their diapers/wipes/pouches/pacis/bibs/etc and had them shipped straight to Grammy’s. But what can I say? It’s amateur hour up in here.)

Mercifully, the husband took pity on me and drove us to the airport to help us get situated. Thank God we got there with “SO much extra time.” Atlanta was getting pummeled with torrential rain and whipping winds. No covered parking spots were available. Finally, we backed up to a covered elevator area, threw all the stuff on the ground, got Will out, and the husband parked in an uncovered area and ran back to us. I got Will out of his seat and into his sling. Then we rammed the car seat and base into the Britax carrying case. (Pro tip- shove your week’s worth of diapers and wipes in there too. It’s free to check and frees up space in your suitcase.)

After acting as Sherpas and managing to get all of our belongings into the airport, we get the carseat and stroller checked. On a whim, I ask the woman
at the desk to make sure Will is on my ticket. Nope. He’s not.

“Could you please go ahead and add
him then?”

“No, because you’ve got an electronic boarding pass and I need a paper one to add him.”

“Um, okay. Then could you please print a paper one?”

“No you’ll have to go to a kiosk.”

I head over to a kiosk and attempt to add him, but when I get to the very end of the process, it tells me it can’t complete my request. Back over to super helpful desk agent I go.

“Oh, you’re probably in an exit row. He can’t sit in an exit row.”

“Could you please move me then?”

I’ll spare you the remainder of the long and arduous process, but we finally
got him added 45 minutes later.

Security was painfully slow and we arrived at the gate as the flight started to board. No time to change his diaper first (SO very grateful he hadn’t pooped), no time to nurse him, we just had to hop on the plane.

Walking down the aisle to find our seat, I prayed every mother’s prayer: Please God, don’t let me be in the middle seat. as we approached row 18, I ascertained that not only was 18E the middle seat, it was between two men in business suits, both already working on their laptops. You can imagine the delight and joy that was evident on their faces as Will and I approached.

I managed to kick my “personal item” far enough under the seat to appease the flight attendant. At this point Will is starting to shriek because we are about an hour past his normal lunchtime. He sucked down a pouch, ate his bodyweight in cheddar cheese, and was packing away the grapes, but he still needed to nurse. Neither of my seatmates have made eye contact with us, or acknowledged us in anyway. And both have popped on the noise canceling headphones.

I gathered my courage to nurse Will right there in my middle seat. As an aside, let me add that I have no problem with mothers nursing in public. I agree that it’s important to “normalize nursing,” and that there is nothing wrong with feeding your baby in a public place. But when you have a nearly 1-year-old who is like a wild thrashing animal who enjoys vocalizing while he nurses, and your boobs are approximately 2.5 mm away from the strange man on either side of you, it’s a little bit more of a daunting task. So we commenced with the nursing. Let’s just say that I was more than a little concerned that one of the men on either side of us was going to have a stroke.

Shortly thereafter, Will managed to crush a soggy puff into one man’s suit jacket, and spit water at the back of the other man’s MacBook. I’m sure we made an invaluable contribution to the culture of death.

After an hour and 45 minutes of shrieking, throwing food, loud nursing, jumping up-and-down on my lap, trying to pull the hair of the man in front of us, and showing our seatmates all his best moves in an attempt to win a smile, Will was happy to land in Maryland. Not as happy as his mama, though. Still, we got those cute wings.

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5 thoughts on “Earning His Wings

  1. Oh my gosh! I am glad I eased into the air travel with my Will…. We’ve flown a few times since he was itty bitty up until now, when we flew together to NC a couple weeks ago. I laugh at how nervous I was to travel with him when he was 2 months old because he is 100% harder to travel with now that he’s bigger! Why must they thrash around so much? What are they trying to prove?

    1. I don’t know but Will thinks he’s a nursing gymnastics. Upside down, kneeling, spinning…all while alternately shrieking and moaning. It makes for a SUPER comfortable nursing-in-public situation.

  2. LOL! And I thought my story about having to nurse at a park in front of a large stay at home dads group was bad! Hugs, mama! Glad you and Will made it safely, and that is the important thing:)

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