I just returned from a truly amazing weekend with family. I want to write deep, thoughtful things about such weekend, but my brain hasn't quite caught up with my schedule. So for now, I'm just going to publish the piece I wrote in my head during airplane travel time.
Since Eli won't take a bottle, I had to take him with me on my getaway. (Who am I kidding? I probably would have had to take him anyway. Leaving all 3 with Daddy at this point seems a bit cruel).
I was sitting at the airport waiting to board with Eli in the front carrier when another mom with an infant approached me.
"Are you all alone? With your baby? Oh you must be freaking out!!! If you need help- anything at all. My husband can help you too. It is so scary to fly alone with a baby!"
I sincerely appreciated the sweetness of her offer. But before she walked up to me, I had been thinking "YIPEEEEEEE!!!!! It's just me and Smalls!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAY! I'm FREE!"
It's then that I started comparing this flying experience to when Addison was my one and only. Disclaimer- I don't speak for anyone else with 1 child or with 3 children. I know many friends who fly alone with their 1 baby, and they are so much more capable and calm than I was when I was in that place. Honestly this is just my perspective on the experience. Having said that...
Flying alone with 1 Baby
First Baby: "Oh my goodness. What if she cries on the plane? What do I do? What if I need to set her down? What if her diaper explodes mid-air? How will I feed her? This is so stressful! I won't relax one single second of this flight. My nerves are about to snap. How will I survive this???"
Third Baby: "I only have 1 baby for this flight. No toddlers to chase down off of other people? No iPad fighting? No snacks being thrown and choked on? No seat climbing and stranger licking? I only have 1 baby for this flight? VACATION!"
First Baby: "I need to dress baby up for this! All of these random strangers are going to comment on how amazingly cute and wonderful she is. She needs to be dressed to impress! Coordinating shoes...socks...kicky skirt...blouse (on an infant)...decorative scarf. It's a baby runway!"
Third Baby: "Look! I found you a clean sleeper to wear in honor of our flight together!"
First Baby: "OH NO! I forgot the burp cloth for the flight at home! STOP THE PLANE! I need to go home and get it. I can't get on that plane without a BURP CLOTH!"
Third Baby: "Eh. I'll just use my sleeve."
First Baby: "Look how close that stranger is sitting to us! Breathing on my baby! I hope she doesn't get sick from germ exposure! I hope the stranger doesn't cough or sneeze our direction!"
Third Baby: "I wonder if any of these strangers will hold my baby for a bit so I can get a nap?"
First Baby: change diaper only in airport restroom on disinfected, transportable changing pad
Third Baby: change diaper on your seat on the plane...while sitting on half of it
First Baby: I need to bring all my gear. I can't possible take care of this baby without every single blessed piece of baby gear I own!!!
Third Baby: I have a front carrier and a boob. We're good.
First Baby: Pack tons of baby toys to keep her occupied on plane.
Third Baby: Hand baby empty water bottle from the beverage service.
First Baby: Everyone is helping me! They're being so nice!
Third Baby: Why do they all keep staring at me and smiling.? Do I have something in my teeth? Oh the baby? Oh right...the baby.
Honestly though- I think maybe I could be so much more laid back this time because Eli was so laid back. He was the happiest when he was smiling and cooing at all the strangers. After our last flight the couple in front of us turned around and said in surprise "there was a baby behind us this whole time?" He is such a good baby. The only times he got upset was when the person he was trying to "talk" to fell asleep and stopped smiling at him. Ha.
Of course, was he more laid back because I was more laid back about taking him? Or vice versa? Eh...guess it doesn't really matter. Just glad to be home sweet home now with my tots (who didn't even miss me, btw) and hubs.
Here's hoping some brain matter returns soon. I'm thankful for a safe trip, incredible weekend, and a happy family to return to.