Traveling With Offspring.
I am 99.9 percent positive that the preparation it takes to travel on a plane with kids causes ulcers in most parents. Ok, moms. Let’s be real. And that’s just the damage BEFORE the actual trip. The voyage after the holes attack your innards cause a brand new medical condition that varies depending on the ages of these little joys we are so blessed to bring along with us.
this past weekend my husband and I flew back to my home town in California to celebrate my grandpa’s amazing life. He was truly the sweetest human being I’ve ever known. There was nothing you could do to make him angry. He was a living angel. And what’s even crazier about that is that he had 2 daughters. He went through every stage and phase of 2 kids and yet remained solid, consistent and loving at all times. I am ashamed to announce that his insane gift of eternal patience did not pass down to his granddaughter. Truth be told, I lose my cool in a day more than the amount of hairs I have on my head. I am fine one minute and then that one extra “MOM!” shoots my vocal chords into a deep Darth Vador growl and I’m lost in a spinning vortex of doom and destruction. How can someone like me come from someone like him? I had to have been adopted.
My husband and I decided that bringing all 5 of us on a quick 3 day trip was going to be the end of the world as we knew it. So, we kept our older boys at home with family and brought our 10 month old baby girl with us. This third baby of ours is freakishly easy. She is by far the happiest baby I’ve ever come in contact with. She is always smiling, content where ever she is, easily goes down for naps, (but if she doesn’t get one, she’s cool with that too) sleeps through the night, eats whatever we feed her, gleefully sits on 2 hour plane rides like she’s getting paid for it, and melts the hearts of those around her. So, of course it made perfect sense to bring the easy one with us. Plus, in airport terms she’s a lap kid, which equals free and we could afford that.
Everything went off without a hitch. The flights went perfectly. The hotel stay was wonderful. The non-stop errands we ran were laughable in her sleepy eyes. She was a gem. Except for that one thing. After my grandpa’s celebration of life ceremony, the family decided to go out to dinner. It had been a long day, so we were all ready to chow. We arrived at the steak house of choice, and as soon as we were seated, Nora started grunting in the highchair. A couple family members said, “Hey Tasha, we think she’s working on something over there”. Well, little did I know that what she was working on was, in fact, to break the “Guinness book of world records” for biggest blow out of all blow outs.
When the grunts stopped and her perma-smile commenced, I picked her up and headed for the bathroom to change her. By the Grace of the Good Lord, the changing station was in a private stall. I didn’t realize at the time, but what happened next needed to be shielded from these poor, carnivorous by-standards. So, I carefully laid her on the changing table and looked down. That was all it took for me to know this night was taking a sharp turn into a wine binge-er. There before me, on my new, maroon sweater sleeve, was a mound of smeared sh*%. And my rose gold bangle bracelets weren’t spared either. There was fecal matter squished between all 15 of them. How does that happen? I didn’t even get a chance to assess the damage she did on herself before I had to whip out the wipes and scrub myself down. I quickly realize the wipes are only pushing the crap further into the threads of my sleeve, so I do what any other self respecting mother would do and just roll it up. Poo and all. Out of sight, out of.....well, not out of my mind. That’s actually all I could think about the rest of the night. But my mission wasn’t complete yet. I lifted the baby’s legs and she some how managed to get crap all the way up between her shoulder blades. This was a shower worthy offense. (For both of us) But that wasn’t an option. There I was. In a public bathroom, covered in and surrounded by a dookie storm. Luckily I had packed an empty zip lock bag in her diaper bag. So I slipped my nasty bangle bracelets into there, stuffed her poop covered clothes along with them and used an entire container of baby wipes to make it “look” like we didn’t just come from the depths of a sewer. And Grandpa was looking out, because I never remember to pack a change of clothes for her, but underneath the zip lock bag was a fresh outfit. By this point, it felt like 20 minutes had passed and tears were welling up in my eyes. I was so starving, tired and mad that I got stuck with this disaster while my husband got to sip his vodka soda and reminisce about the good ol’ day’s with gramps while I was trying to channel his inner peace between my panicked gulps for air. Once the chaos was finally cleaned up, I took the mountain of stank to the garbage, set Nora on the counter, and scrubbed our hands with soap while she screamed in anger at me.
Back to the table we went. The baby was in a whole new outfit with no socks on. It was raining out, but it’s a miracle she had any clothes on at all, so glare away other parents who are perfect and always prepared for any and all scenarios!
My family asked if everything was OK. I imagine my face looked exhausted and my neck was covered in hives, because that tends to happen to me in high stress situations. I shared that we had a bit of a blow out adventure in the bathroom but I wasn’t going to let a little (or a lot) of sleeve poop ruin my bacon wrapped, filet Mignon with Gorgonzola cream sauce. So we finished dinner, I hugged everyone goodbye (with my clean arm) and went straight to the hotel so I could sanitize the baby, myself and the entire diaper bag. I scrubbed my sweater and her adorable doo-doo stained dress and hung it over the shower door to dry.
What a night. But it wouldn’t have been a “traveling with kids experience” without at least one story to remind us of why traveling without them is ideal. I love her to pieces and she is truly the easiest baby. Just not in the poop department. So, to all of you who have been in a shitty situation, hands in the middle! Bombing at momming on three...