I am so very happy, overjoyed even, to be sitting here in front of my very own personal computer, in my small, but cozy office, in my constantly freezing basement, listening to the
And, I can now say with confidence, that I abhor air travel.
The funny thing is that pre-baby I used to love to travel to faraway lands to explore different cultures, and gain insight and appreciation for how others live.
However, at this point in my life, I could not care less (ok, I still care a little, but not as much).
Flying with a baby did teach me a few things about air travel, safety, and the human condition that I would like to share with you, so hold on to your floating seat cushions.
1. Air Travel. Basically, the entire industry has turned into somewhat of a racket. Why on earth is it that I have to pay to bring luggage? Is it even remotely feasible that I could possibly travel on a three day trip, with an infant, and not have any luggage? Is that not ridiculous? Technically, I guess having luggage is encouraged so that they can milk me for cash ($15 for first bag, $25 for each add'l piece). And, that includes baby items, or so I thought. When we departed BWI en route to ATL, we checked a suitcase and a Pack 'N Play (unquestionably a baby item). We paid for both. We decided to rent a car seat with the rental car, and purchase a $15 umbrella stroller to prevent incurring additional charges. When we arrived to ATL for or return trip, we were informed that baby items are free. WTF?! Why did no one (including Delta's website, b/c I checked!) inform me of that previously? I just left a brand new, perfectly good stroller in Atlanta for no good reason? I carried a 26lb one year old through countless terminals while dragging along a diaper bag, a purse, and a rolling suitcase b/c you failed to divulge the secret baby-items-free-rule? So POed.
2. Safety. This trip taught me that buckling up on an airplane is a useless waste of time. How did I come to this realization? First, the baby is not in a seat belt, so why am I? Second, should my plane, for some unknown reason, be so inclined to drop of the sky and burst into flames as it plummets to the ground, I'm probably not gonna make it anyway, right? Third, apparently, people have a tough time recalling how to actually undo their seat belts in the heat of the WE-ARE-ABOUT-TO-EFFING-DIE moment. I'm of the mind that, if I'm about to meet with a fiery death I'd like to spend the last moments of my life getting to know my fellow passengers as my body is propelled around the fuselage. Way to make a lasting first impression, I think.
3. The Human Condition. It only takes about 15 seconds for the skunk eye to make an appearance. Shortly after we board the plane, people begin to show signs of nervousness as we make our way down the aisle for our seats. Everyone is using their most desperate faces to plead with me to not select the seat next to, in front of, or behind them (because I actually have a choice, right?) with my slightly uncomfortable babe in arms. He was cute in the boarding area, but he has suddenly lost his appeal. While no one wants to be the heartless prick to actually select an alternate seat or comment on his presence, it is visually apparent that no one is happy about being seated next to the exhausted, slightly claustrophobic, understandably upset, toddler who is vocally protesting the hot, cramped, overly stimulating experience that his first airplane trip is providing. Can't say I blame them, but seriously. Have a little compassion a-hole, he's an effing B-A-B-Y. I'm sorry he's crying, I'm sorry he's kicking your seat, I'm sorry we bumped into your fat a** elbow when we got up to go to the bathroom. Suck it in and get over it. It's a two hour flight, so before he really shows you what he's made of, it will be over and you can go back to your perfect little, baby free life!
Another note, that is possibly in all of the above categories, is on a sensitive topic: the size of fellow travelers. I hate to sound callous or prejudice (at least in public), but what ever happened to that people of a certain size have to buy two seats rule? At the very least, the airline should make an effort to sit people hauling a baby away from people hauling a**, because that is really asking a lot of a regular human. I'm already sharing my seat with the baby so I see no reason why I should also have to share with Betty Big Booty. She was one of the nicest (and hugest) people I have ever met (meet for coffee, yes. sit next to on plane, hell to the no), but we rode the entire way with her left butt cheek literally on top of Mimi's thigh, which meant we were wedged against the window with barely room to breathe.
Aside from all of the above (oh, and me arriving to ATL sweating like a race horse, covered in those Biscoff cookies Delta gives out) the trip was only slightly horrific.
He cried bit, he fussed a lot, he got super hot and super angry, and right when I was about to commit hari kari by throwing myself from the plane, he fell asleep in my arms as I walked him up and down the aisle.
And, the pilot announced we were making our descent to ATL the very moment my sweaty butt hit the seat.
No rest for the weary.
At least the trip back was better since all of the focus was taken offa us by some random fellow travelers who got into a fight.
That's right people, a fight.
It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
P.S. click here to see a recap of our time in Atlanta