Friday, March 2, 2012

{ traveling with a toddler: the departing flight }

our little family recently took a trip to costa rica, where i am originally from.
i decided to write a couple of posts about the subject of traveling with a toddler.
somewhat hoping that it helps other moms and dads attempting to do the same,
but mostly as a way to analyze the entire experience.

for the whole sha-bang!, click here.

this is the tale of our flight to costa rica on february 11.
i wrote this post while i was still there but am just getting around to publishing it now.
it was traumatizing and life changing. i'm not exaggerating, friends.
read on to find out why.


 it’s been 6 days since our flight to costa rica
a flight that will undoubtedly go down in our family history as the flight from hell.

Even thought it’s been almost a week, the memory is still ingrained in my psyche. 
It was that bad. Ill tell you the whole tale.

It was 3:45am when our alarm went off. My sweet husband came upstairs to wake me. He had stayed up all night finishing up some work. We had to arrive to the airport by 5am after picking up my brother so he could take the car back home with him.

we woke jake at 4:15am, gave him a cup of milk, and put a jacket on him. It had started to snow.

i had laid awake when I went to bed (a mere 4 hours earlier) worrying about the snow. 
i thought how unsafe it would be for my brother to be driving back by himself in a car 
with tires that are in terrible shape. I worried about a flight delay. I worried about our luggage and whether or not we’d be charged for excess.

little did I know those would be the least of my troubles.

jake started whining on the line to check in. no big. i thought. 

we checked in. No luggage fees even though we had to move some stuff between suitcases. 
my brother texted. he got home just fine.

the next challenge: security. we had a stroller and two bags with computers. a baby monitor that we took out of the suitcase. a music box. etc. etc. shoes off. belts off. 
clink clink. our change fell out of our pockets.

after trying to pry himself out of my arms 100 times, jake and i made it through the line just fine. shoes back on and off he went… running through the airport hallways.

we bought breakfast and attempted to eat it 
while wrangling the boy who was at the same time clingy and eager to get away
he is teething so I gave him a bit of ibuprofen.

eventually we were called to board the plane.

okay. let’s do this thing!! 
5 hours. Maybe he’ll sleep for 1.5 of those. 
playdoh, movies, cars, food. we’re ready.

while we sat waiting for the plane to take off I gave my boy a cup full of orange juice.
he downed it.

not even 5 minutes later. my little guy was puking his brains out. 
it was the smelliest puke i’ve ever smelt. the girl next to us was gagging facing the window. 
phil and I were in shock, not even thinking to grab the paper bag slipped behind the seats for this same purpose. we grabbed his blankie instead… the blankie he can't fall asleep without.

after telling my family this story...about the milk and the juice...
i found out you're not supposed to mix the two.
while i agree that this deadly mixture definitely affected his tummy enough to make him puke
i don't think it was the only reason. you'll see why.

i think my exact words were “what’s happening?” and i repeated them 100 times.

a woman finally handed us a bag. too little too late.

in that instant i had to make a very conscious decision not to cry. 
i had no way out of this plane.

gosh that sucked. i thought. 
now let’s cuddle with our sick baby for 5 hours. He’s sick so he’ll fall asleep.


take off.

another puking episode. and another. and another.

five total.

people around us were oblivious but the three of us stank horribly even if just to ourselves.
the girl next to us moved to a middle seat a few rows back
but she really wanted a seat by the window to see when we landed in the country she would spend three months in. so she came back an hour later. 
she had left germany the day before and had been traveling for 30 hours. 
i don’t blame her for being excited… but i also don’t get why she would sit through the stench.

the last clean onesie we had, i decided i needed to keep clean for when we left the plane.
we ran out of clothes so my son was in his diapers the majority of the flight.
the flight attendant gave us a blanket to cover the barf soaked seat beneath me 
but when we asked for another one he said that 
he shouldn’t have even gotten the first one for us because they are reserved for first class.

mere peasants we are. clearly undeserving.

my kid wouldn’t sleep. he wouldn’t sit. he wouldn’t lay. he wouldn’t watch a show. 
he wouldn’t play. he just wanted to be miserable. hell, he didn’t want to... he just was.

the minutes dragged by. the flight seemed forever. for-e-verrr.

finally the plane was descending. an end was in sight.

we had survived… but not before one more round of throw ups.
i’m still not sure what caused it.
i gave him milk and then OJ... yet, I know he’s had both together before.
could it have been air sickness? Perhaps.
likely? i don’t know.
a virus? stomach bug?
That’s more likely since we 11 people got sick upon spending time with him in CR 
– phil, my dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, cousin, his girlfriend, 
my aunt, my other 2 cousins, my uncle, and myself—  

my son had never EVER thrown up before. i couldn’t have imagined that he would during this flight.

as much as I prepared for the trip by making lists and packing everything i could to make it go smoothly, i couldn’t possibly have foreseen or prepared for this.

the only thing that seemed appropriate was to get a grip and accept the moment.
accept that we were going through an inescapable experience…
that we had no option but to embrace it.

jake is better now. he’s returned to his old self and is getting used to the strange territory he’s in.

yet I can’t shake the nerves of making our flight back by myself next week.
just jake and i.

i’ve started praying for God to spare me from another one of these experiences. 

1 comment:

TicoTina said...

oh my goodness gracious. that really was a nightmare!!! wow. when we're on our flight home that feels like it's taking forever with 2 squirmy kids I will be sure to remember this, lol.


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