Tuesday, April 17, 2012

flying solo...

...with two boys.  
I flew.
By myself.
With both boys.
And we survived.

Oh man it was an experience for the books.  I guess that's why I'm blogging about it, eh?  

So let's start with some back ground information, shall we?  Set the stage a bit?

Lincoln, Caedmon and myself are all sick.  We had gone to urgent care on Sunday to get some antibiotics for the trip.  Caedmon had his first ear infection :( poor boy!  So that led to him being up every 2 hours Sunday night (the night before we flew home by the way).  

So we were all tired and sick going into this whole flying thing.  
The Dr. had told me to give Lincoln a little Benedryl to help his ears on the flights.  I was a little leery to do that but since she suggested it, I went ahead and gave him just a little.  Hoping that it would also make him a little sleepy and mellow him out just a bit.
Boy was I wrong!  
But we'll get to that in a little bit.

To start things off we should've arrived a little earlier than we did.  We ended up having to walk farther than we thought to get to the airport....hauling ALL our luggage and kiddos.  And by the way, if you are a young man following two women who have their hands full of luggage and pushing two kids UPHILL, please offer to help them out.  They will really appreciate it.  Especially since you weren't carrying anything but a small carry on case.  That's just what a gentleman would do.  Which apparently you weren't.  Just sayin'.  Can you tell I'm a little bitter?  

So we get there and the line was SO long.  We got in line to check in and I proceeded to get Caedmon out of his carseat, so we could wrap it up and check it, and get him in the baby bjorn.  We get all situated and get up to the counter when I learn that even though Caedmon is obviously under the age of 2, that I needed to bring a birth certificate or shot records to prove his age.  My mouth hung wide open as I tried to control myself.  My mom had a few words for the lady and she ended up letting it slide just this one time (thankfully!) but now I know that I'll always need to travel with his birth certificate.  I never had this problem with Lincoln when he was obviously under the age of 2 so I didn't even think about bringing his birth certificate.  

So then we moved on to the very long and slow moving security line.  Mom stayed with me as long as she could and then said her goodbyes.  I'm so grateful she came in to help me.  There is NO way I would've been able to manage all that on my own!

So of course I picked the line for security that all the flight attendants and pilots also picked so that slowed us down a bit too.  We got through security, no problem.  Which is usually where I have the most problems by myself with kids.  Even when Tyler is able to travel with us I'm still by myself through security so I guess I've learned how to maneuver it with the least amount of temper tantrums (by the 2 year old, or myself for that matter! lol!)

I should've seen that as a sign.   

We got to our gate just as they were boarding the "A" section (we flew Southwest so no seats are assigned....that information will be valuable in the story)  We boarded in the family boarding which is towards the beginning.  It's so nice because then I have tons of seats to choose from and if it's not a full flight I try and get a whole row to ourselves.  We were at the end of the terminal and I got Lincoln out of the stroller to fold it up so they could gate side check it for me when my worst nightmare happened.  (I had no idea this would be my worst nightmare when flying but it now is)  My stupid stroller wouldn't fold up!  The button that pushes over to release the latch was jammed.  I tried for a good minute or two before the nice flight attendant saw my struggling and asked if I needed help.  She came over and tried it herself for a few minutes.  No luck.  

She had to get back to helping passengers on the plane so she got the pilot to come help me.  He tried and tried and couldn't get it.  While on the phone calling maintenance, multiple nice guys stopped to try their hand at it.  Nothing.  The nice flight attendant looked over at me at one point and asked if I was ok and I lost it.  Started crying right there.  Ugh.  I got it together and finally maintenance got there and he worked on it for about 5 minutes.  I was on the phone with my mom asking if she would just come back and pick it up for me when the maintenance man got it!  They folded it right up!  

HUGE sigh of relief.  Holy moly.  
But now we are the last people to board the plane.  
Yep, that's right....we were holding up the flight.
I felt so terrible.  I could just picture all the people who don't have kids
uttering profanities at me in their heads.  Annoyed at me and my stroller as I walked down the 
aisle.  And I almost started crying again when a different flight attendant asked if we needed to be seated together.
unless one of those people who are already annoyed with me, 
want to take care of my 2 year old throughout the flight!  

He said they were going to have to make an announcement to ask someone to give up their seat so we could sit together but that they couldn't force anyone to move.  
THANKFULLY though he had overlooked two seats together at the very back.  

Insert hungry baby to that equation and we had quite the scene.  Trying to get situated, get Lincoln 
buckled in his seat and situated, getting myself buckled, trying not to sit on this woman's leg and getting situated to nurse Caedmon.  How we did it, I still don't know.  

Lincoln watched a movie on my itouch but of course didn't understand why he had to 
turn it off when taking off and landing.  And now is when I want to smack that Dr. for telling me to give him Benadryl (but I know she meant well, she had no idea it would do this to my child).  It made him so crabby and just not like himself.  He threw the biggest fit I have ever seen him throw.  I was trying to entertain him with stickers, animal figurines etc but he was just doing and saying things that weren't like him at all.  

Now if you are thinking in your head, wow things can't get any worse than that can they?
Oh friend, how I wish that were true.
Now if any of you know me I can get motion sickness quite easily.  
I had forgotten to take Dramamine (and actually not even sure if I could take it while
breast feeding anyways).  So of course it had to be REALLY windy day and the plane ride was bumPY.
It was seriously the bumpiest flight I have ever been on.  I had to just ignore Lincoln's tantrum 
for a little while and focus on keeping my lunch down.  Man it was a rough 20 minutes.  

But you all will be happy to know I didn't toss my tators....it was sure close. 

When we finally landed safely, the pilot came on the intercom asking, "Who's the man?!"  
At least it made me chuckle and forget for a minute how sick I felt.

So we're in Chicago and guess what happens when we board the next flight?
The SAME thing!  That stupid stroller wouldn't fold up!  

So repeat everything that we just went through basically down to a "T," bumpy flight and all.  

And to make it even more crazy....not for me, just the flight in general, 
while we were in the air, a little boy either had a seizure, or choked on something or lost consciousness (they never told us for sure) but all of a sudden we hear a flight attendant asking if there are any doctors or nurses on the flight.  In no time there were 6 people up and to the aid of this boy!  I was so glad that there were so many people skilled to take care of him.  He was ok after awhile and we didn't have to do an emergency landing but there was an ambulance waiting when we landed.  

So glad he is okay!

I was so tired by the time we landed that I was huffing and puffing as I carried Caedmon 
and pushed Lincoln to baggage claim.  We got in early so Tyler wasn't there yet to help me out
but a nice lady grabbed both of my suitcases (one of which I'm SURE was well over the 50 lb limit) and the carseat and set them aside for me while we waited for Tyler.

He was my knight in shining armor coming to my rescue.

I almost collapsed in his arms.

I was so glad to be home :)


  1. oh man, that's rough!!! hope you've recovered mentally and emotionally now!

  2. So it was a little crazy. You survived. Don't you feel SOOO Empowered!!?? Like you can do anything now!!? Rock star mama!

  3. You are one brave mama! Eric and I are flying to Salt Lake this summer with Jack. And my mom. And my dad (on one leg). And I am still soooo nervous about how Jack will do. If anything goes wrong I'll be sure to keep it in perspective and remember this story! I'm impressed you only cried once. I would have been a complete mess. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Marie, you are super-mom! What a crazy, emotional, draining day:-( At least you have a good story to tell now:-)

  5. Oh my goodness. How exhausting! I can't imagine. I have two girls close in age to your boys (oldest will be 3 in June and the baby is 12 weeks) so I love reading your blog because I can relate to much of what you post!

  6. Oh my goodnes Marie...I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry after reading about your crazy flying experience! You are awesome!!! It's good to know that it's okay to cry in an airport...i'm getting ready to fly tomorrow with just one and a little anxious about it...and I'm debating whether or not to take the stroller! Love you! Karla

  7. I'm still cracking up over that pilot...who says that?!?! What a rough day though...good on you for getting through it in one piece! For the motion sickness you should try SeaBands...they are amazing...without the drowsiness of the Dramamine...
    I always keep an extra pair in my carry on just in case I forget.