We’ve been lucky enough to take several trips with baby in tow in his first year on Earth. And totally lucky that he is an excellent flier – relatively quiet, sleepy, calm. We have the scheduling thing down: plan flights around feeding times, feed him on take off, enjoy the long nap for the majority of the flight. NAILED IT.
Until the FAA steps in and furloughs the crap out of your best laid plans.
$^%@ you, FAA.
Last week, Little A and I stepped up to the gate in Minneapolis just as they were announcing the 1.5 hour delay. The plane was at the gate. AT. THE. @$#%^ GATE. Delay was caused because of the Air Traffic Controller furlough, blah blah blah. So now there’s a hungry, tired baby who will be forced into a short fast. Otherwise, he will be a wide awake, flailing, screaming baby at 36,000 feet. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. No one wants that. God doesn’t want that.
I wandered the terminal for over an hour, back and forth right and left there and back and over again. At least I got some exercise in. I really wanted a beer. Finally, I could not stand NOT feeding that poor beast so we sat near the gate and he ate. As he finished, boarding began. This might work out okay.
I ASK THAT YOU TAKE NOTICE OF THE MIGHT.
I had the row to myself. That never happens! My luck was turning! Except it was bulkhead so the trays were in the arms so the arms didn’t raise so it didn’t @#!%! matter anyway. #!%! you, luck.
Little A pounded on the window for awhile, tried to engage the ladies behind us, continued his quest for the perfect lap triple axle. And we sat at the gate. Because they needed fuel. BECAUSE THEY APPARENTLY DECIDED NOT TO REFUEL WHILE THE PLANE SAT LONELY AND DESOLATE AT THE GATE FOR TWO HOURS. They didn’t turn the air on so it was stuffy as shit and I was left praying that kid wouldn’t decide now would be the time to M his Bs.
Finally we get up in the air; kid immediately konks out. I follow suit. And we sleep through beverage service, beverage clean up and whatever else happens on a two hour flight (the answer is nothing).
HERE’S WHERE IT GETS FUN AND I HATE FURLOUGHS.
Being home with my parents already wonks his schedule. Flight delays increase the problem. Not to mention, by this point I’m the hungry one, not to mention tense from an awkward position with an aching back because I swear the woman behind me found a way to UNrecline my seat every time I fell back asleep after REreclining it.
So let’s review. Hungry baby who loves to crawl who hasn’t touched floor in five hours. Hungry mom who hasn’t been comfortable in five hours. A few dollars saved at the government level to delay a flight two hours.
THIS IS FUN. YAY.
The MINUTE the seat belt sign comes on, Little A goes berserk. Squirming, crying, flinging, back bending, practicing every evasive technique he learned in night school. I can’t stand up to soothe him, I can’t make a bottle, he refuses everything I offer. Blanket? Nope. Rattle? No. Teething ring? Oh, hell no. This is his first melt down on a plane. And I’m trying not to stress cry.
What finally shuts him up? Sitting him between my legs on the floor for the remainder of the descent. My legs were wrapped around him, my arms always underneath him, I’m practically in crash position. Safest decision? Probably not, but no less dangerous than the chances of him flinging himself out of my arms. As we neared ground I put him back in my lap. Magically, on the ground, he went silent.
SERIOUSLY, @!%!% BABY? F YOU.
Those smiles and “sweet baby” comments I got at the beginning of the flight? Gone. I got grimaces and glares and a few “bless her heart” eyes. A snide “well he almost made it” passive comment from the Seat Unrecliner.
I was never one of those damn-it-there’s-a-kid-on-the-plane type of people. Sometimes it was annoying but I could usually dig up enough sympathy to ignore it, even in my bitchiest state. When my kid ended up being the master flier, I internally gloated. Well, so long to that.
Those people hated me for fifteen minutes, FAA, and it’a all your damn fault.
Don’t blame the parents, dammit! Blame the government.