Some people have asked me how traveling cross country with Isabelle was, and it was GREAT.
Until our last flight.
I’m no stranger to the Internet and so I researched everything on how to make traveling easier. I would like to say that I was prepared, but I was way beyond prepared, bordering dangerously on being PRIMED FOR THE APOCALYPSE.
Our whole travel day to Pennsylvania was wonderful. We kept Isabelle up before each flight so she was just the right amount of groggy and by take off, the bottle in her mouth and the propulsion of the airplane forced her to pass out before ten thousand feet. We had a perfect layover in Atlanta, just enough time to grab some food, use the restroom, change a diaper and board the plane. We even had Isabelle asleep by 8 pm PA time. She adapted well to the time change for the duration of the trip, and thankfully adjusted just as well returning back to California.
She was a delight to fly with, she turned on her magical baby powers and charmed the people all around her with her giant smile and infectious laugh. After her nap, she played with all of her toys quietly, walked in the aisle a little bit, ate some snacks- and the time flew by.
Fast forward to the trip home. The first flight, Isabelle slept the entire time, I’m talking take off to landing, bam, out like a light. Of course, I’d like to think this a reflection on my wonderful parenting skills. Sike. We had a longer lay over in Atlanta which we used to walk Isabelle’s tiny legs all over concourse A, B, and C. Right before boarding, we were told that our gate was changed due to some mechanical part in the airplane failing (wonderful!) and there would be about a twenty minute delay. No big deal, we totally thought we could put off Izzie’s nap for twenty minutes. We get over to our new gate, twenty minutes turned into forty minutes, which turned into an hour. I’m trying not to hyperventilate and just keep Isabelle busy so she doesn’t notice how tired she is. We board the plane. Finally. We push back from the gate. Isabelle is half way done with her bottle, on my lap, just about asleep, and our power fails. And by our power, I mean the ENTIRE PLANE went dead.
Turns out, the pilot was checking the backup power, and it wasn’t working. A little tug-car had to push us back to our gate and we had to wait for the mechanic to come and “take a look” while we all waited in the plane. Me + no air conditioning + confined space = Total panic. I’m trying to hold it together, keep Isabelle awake, and not punch people in the process.
We were delayed another whole hour by the time we actually took off. Isabelle was just a mess by this point, she wanted to go to sleep so badly, but she couldn’t get comfortable, she was full- and we were trying to get her to drink more milk so her little ears wouldn’t hurt by the time we reached out cruising attitude. Crying ensued. We finally got her to sleep, just as everyone was wondering when the hell our row was going to quiet down. Not to mention, we had a non-baby friendly third person in our row. She actually mumbled “Oh, great.” when she saw she would be seated in our area. Thanks lady, I hope you have quadruplets.
I was expecting Isabelle to sleep for maybe two hours if we were lucky. Forty minutes into the flight, our flight attendant offered the first drink service by exclaiming “OH WHAT A CUTE BABY WHAT CAN I GET YOU TO DRINK, PEANUTS PRETZELS COOKIES?”
I casually told her I would be drinking HER BLOOD on the ROCKS since she had awakened my sleeping infant and I had no choice but to STAB HER IN THE EYEBALLS.
Flight time remaining: Four hours.
We went through all of our toys at an alarming pace. Snacks were devoured, more milk was consumed. TV was watched. Peekaboo played. Flight time remaining. Three Hours. We did some aisle walks, some bathroom area hovering, changed a diaper (Dear Delta, how dare you not have ONE changing table on a plane seating 300 people- shame on you.)
Towards the end of the flight, Isabelle was ready for a second nap since her first one was about as long as a sneeze. She just could not get comfortable, she was crying and whining and just wanted so badly to be put down in her crib with her blankie. We kept feeding her more and more milk hoping she would eventually have no choice but to slip into a coma. Our lovely third seat passenger dramatically started shouting expletives at the tv in front of her since the Niner’s were playing sub par. I almost got her address so I could follow her home and scream words at her while she was falling asleep. Again, almost stabbed her.
Finally, the captain tells us we are about forty minutes from landing, seats and tray tables up blah blah all I heard was LANDING since our flight had spanned over the course of about a decade. Isabelle was just about asleep on my shoulder (which she never does) and I passed her over to Jazz, who had a bit more room on the aisle.
It was then that Isabelle thought it would be a perfect time to regurgitate the entire contents of her stomach. All over Jazz. All over herself. The blanket. The seat. The floor. Everywhere. I felt so bad for her, covered in barf, just so tired she could barely keep her head up. It smelled awful. I quickly stripped her clothes off, feeling so thankful I had packed an extra outfit when I realized her clothes were in the overhead compartment. And we were no longer allowed to stand up. Which meant.. Isabelle would be naked, in public, and there was nothing I could do but wrap her in a Delta blanket.
I was that mom I swore I would never be- on an airplane, holding an overtired, crying, mostly naked child.
Eventually we landed and got her dressed- people were so kind, assuring me that the baby vomit didn’t bother them. I think Isabelle just expressed what we were all feeling after our very special flight.