I felt the warmth spread across my leg, watching in disbelief as my 5-week-old son peed all over my lap. It wasn’t just a leak, it was a full-on stream of pee that left a puddle on my left thigh.
An auspicious start to my 2.5 hour flight home from visiting family in Washington state.
It had already been a long morning. I was running on 3-1/2 hours sleep and I realized as Cora jabbered away in the backseat on the way to the airport that my hopes of her sleeping on our 6:30 AM flight would most likely not become reality.
One mom, two kids, a travel system, car seat, diaper bag, carry-on suitcase, Boppy, and Dora backpack struggled through the airport. Boarding passes in hand we headed toward security, joining the swarm of people being herded through the rope maze. A kind TSA employee informed me that I was in the slowest line, but it was the right one for me…great.
Finally, after having our sippy cup water tested for illegal substances we were on our way again. I glanced longingly at the Starbucks as we rushed by, the line thwarting my plan for breakfast in the terminal.
Even with that sacrifice we arrived at our gate too late for pre-boarding. Walking through the plane door I was greeted by row after row of full seats. As I bumped and stumbled my way to the second-to-last row I felt like I was traversing my own personal Green Mile. I could feel the eyes of all my fellow passengers boring into me and my two small children. I could see pity and sympathy in some eyes and fear in others. I felt like a “dead man walking.” The eyes of the twenty-something man unfortunate enough to be our seat-mate were the most fearful of all.
Finally I sat down in my seat, Boppy and baby in my lap, and tried to get settled. That’s when the pee happened. After the initial shock wore off I changed Silas’ diaper and clothes and placed my burp cloth on my lap to keep the Boppy from soaking up the urine.
We were cramped, hungry and now I was wet.
Fortunately, things started to look up after that.
Silas fell asleep.
We bought extremely overpriced breakfast sandwiches from the flight attendant. Cora calmed down and eventually slept as well.
And it turned out that the 6-year-old boy in the row behind us was the loud and obnoxious child on the plane, freeing my children from feeling obliged to fill that role.
The anticipation of being in my own home after 16 days away and getting to see Josh and the boys again also lifted my spirits. My only worry was that Josh would be put off by his wife smelling like a wet diaper.
I wrote this on the plane as the kids slept. Apparently I’m not the first parent to be baptized while traveling with an infant. A discussion on Twitter this afternoon revealed similar experiences by my fellow mothers.
And I’d love to hear about your story if you have one…after all, misery loves company.
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