You could safely say we’re frequent fliers. I’m trying to reflect back on how many planes I flew on last year but I honestly have lost count – I’m thinking at least 12 at a minimum – so it’s a fair assumption that we are pretty familiar with airports, checking in, security – the whole she bang. I’m quite stingy so generally we just take carry on for our domestic adventures. Everything is normally fantastic and goes quite smoothly.
Not this time.
It was a standard Sydney to Brisbane flight. Though this time, Daddy was working so it was just me and my just turned four year old, A on this adventure. We were coming from Bathurst, NSW and due to a series of delays which were out of our control, we were running very late (think oh crap, I think I’m going to miss my flight sort of late). Our lovely friend in Sydney caught the train from Ryde to Domestic and tried to calm me down as I checked my phone every 30 seconds to observe the time.
Thank the Lord, the airport gods were with us that day. We made it with 3 minutes to spare before check in closed and ran like hell to our gate. Crisis diverted, right? So we sat. And sat. And sat some more. The they announced the words that no passenger likes to hear – Flight Delay. So much for the airport gods being on our side, right?
We were both tired – me 11 weeks pregnant, and A as a very little child, was obviously exhausted. She’d traveled all day, she wanted her bed, her Daddy and her dog. That’s fine – we could deal with that. Until she started saying “I feel really sick, Mummy.” Her temperature spiked on the plane after we finally boarded and she quickly passed out, half laying on her seat and half on me. Then I felt it.
A wee. Definitely wee. Not my wee, either.
Picture it – a mother sitting with her small wee covered sleeping sick child in the window seat desperately trying to figure out what to do next. Thoughts like, how am I meant to carry her? What do I do with our baggage? What if someone steals it? For those of you who haven’t experienced waking a sick toddler up, I’d recommend you don’t ever experience it if possible because it involves many tears and banshee like screaming. Other people on planes don’t tend to like that, I discovered.
We dealt with the wee and back to sleep she went, on me, later relieving herself again. So, we both had wee on us. Only a small amount – but wee is wee. This happened right as the seatbelt sign went on for us to begin our descent. I popped her jacket under her seat so we wouldn’t have to clean up more wee on the plane and wrangled the sleeping child into her seat and strapped her in.
I silently chanted in my head: I am never flying with out B again. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever again ever. Never. As we landed I breathed a sigh of relief – the flight from hell was over. Lol, jks – now I had to figure out how to get off the plane! We had a backpack, a handbag and a Trunki case. Barely manageable by itself, but not so much with a sleeping three year old who would scream the plane down if she was woken up to walk off. She was so tired and felt so yucky she wouldn’t have been able to walk anyway. The other passengers noticed my conundrum and asked a flight attendant to carry my bags off while I carried the child – only to be told that she wasn’t allowed to get off the plane. Two men stepped up and offered to carry either the child or the luggage. I almost cried with gratitude as I gratefully accepted their offer and carried my bags off while I carried A. When I saw B, I handed him the baby and took the bags and we hopped it to the car, where he had the privilege of changing a wee covered child.
Then I bawled. I bawled my eyes out. Call it pregnancy hormones or just being incredibly tired, but it sucked. I didn’t want to be an adventuring mama anymore. I didn’t feel brave or empowered doing it alone with my babe, I just felt tired, smelt of pee and wanted to shower and go to bed.
Mama and Daddy – this happens to the best of us. No matter how veteran or experienced we are. Even if your child has been on more flights than most adults things crop up and happen. One day, you’ll be able to laugh about it. Keep on exploring. You’re giving your little ones the most amazing life experiences. Get on the plane.