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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Art of Flying With a Toddler- What Not To Do.

On my first flight with my daughter, I was extremely nervous about how she'd handle things... Would she be able to contain her incredible amount of energy for the sake of sitting on my lap and reading her favorite books? Maybe, maybe not... But I had the ultimate foolproof plan... Sesame Street. Thanks to her impeccable taste, my daughter is fantastically in love with a shortened version of the show called Play With Me Sesame, which is far easier on the eyes and ears than some of today's young children's shows.

I fed her with snack after snack and peered discretely at the man to my left who now had a little patch of cheesy Cheeto-type crumbs imbedded in his suit jacket sleave. I debated whether or not I should flash a charming smile as I brush it off him, but then he may take that as a bizarre come on and respond... I decided against it, but guilt drew my eyes back to it repeatedly.

My little one soon tired of hearing her favorite books over and over again, but I wasn't going to lose my cool. I had the DVD player packed up and ready to go. All I had to do was attach the battery I had made sure to charge the night before. (Actually, the night before my ORIGINAL flight date, as well as the ACTUAL flight date). There was only one small problem.

When I had been turned away by the strike on the original date of my flight, we had driven back home and got stuck in an incredible bad traffic jam (nine car pile up, no less) and so when my little one started to get royally pissed off with all this pointless travel in the car, I rushed to pull out her favorite DVD to put into the minivan's DVD player. Little did I know that in doing so, I spilled the battery out onto the back seat where it would happily stay while I was rifling through my stupid bag 30,000 feet in the air the next day and very rapidly beginning to lose my cool faster than an ice cube on Angelina Jolie's ample bosom.

I sat back down with her and tried to distract her with other bits and bobs I had brought along. I soon felt a warmth on my lap as I realized she was peeing into her diaper. I didn't panic at first, because I had often felt that heat spread and had previously learned that it was all safely sealed in those amazing multilayered wonders. The only problem was that it felt a little... Warmer... Than usual.

I recalled my attempt to change her diaper earlier on in the flight... There was no changing table on board and I couldn't do it in between the two poor passengers who already displayed their sheer horror at being sat next to the youngest passenger on board, so I balanced her on the closed toilet seat. Badly. Understandably, she had squirmed the whole time and I had failed to notice that her Huggies were only hugging one of her butt cheeks.

Hence the warmer sensation spreading across my lap. I looking down to see a dark crescent of dampness on my jeans. Great. I stood up, with Cheetos falling off my lap and half a Ritz cracker with cheese stuck somewhere in my bra and went to try to change her again. This time I used the stewardess' seat just behind us.

Enjoying the feeling of flying in the face of danger, I didn't take any motion sickness pills on this particular flight. I have no one to blame but my stupid self. As we descended, the bumps and jolts were enough to bring up feelings of illness along with my lunch and I tried desperately not to puke on my sweet little girl. I managed to keep most of it down. Most of it. To my credit, neither passenger on either side of me seemed to notice the tiny bit that escaped me and joined the party of bodily fluids on my jeans.

It was then that I realized Dante had left this whole experience out of his novel when describing the various levels of Hell.

I looked back at the small smudge of orange on the man's navy sleeve and laughed.

Fuck him! Fuck him AND the plane he flew in on!

4 comments:

jjs mama said...

I'm just going to keep telling myself that my experience is going to be totally different from yours. Wish me luck.

TeacherLady said...

If I prayed, I would do it for you. Instead, I'll do a naked happy dance.
I was just unlucky. My daughter was quite well behaved. It was the outside world that was conspiring against our happiness.

Sam said...

ah reminds me of the first time i flew with my 2monsters alone..but now 20 flights later they do great on the plane..of course i had my beloved dvd player and the coolest invention on the face of earth..a leapster hand held game..omg a life saver on flights

TeacherLady said...

I imagine it'll get a little easier once she's able to be entertained longer by things, though I must admit, over all she was pretty damn amazing. It just required my constant entertaining to keep her happy, so I was sweating by the end of it!
I remember how attached I was to my good old black and white Gameboy, playing Tetris any time I wasn't reading a book or puking in the bathroom. I was fun to travel with as a child...