Traveling with kids 2: when it all goes wrong.

I put the kids to bed early tonight. My oldest complained that it was still morning because clearly the sun is still up. I needed a break. Im going on one week, working’ it all alone, single mom style. I’ve been meaning to write every night but as soon as its quiet around here I automatically get to tired to lift a finger. Unless its clicking the remote for an episode of the #Richkids and lifting a glass of wine to my face.

We’ve been back in the states just at a week and I’m so exhausted. I always have this plan to “go, go go!” as if it would just X out all the jet lag somehow. The first night back I fell asleep sitting up on my In law’s couch. I don’t remember what even happened. It was like drinking a bottle of wine and taking a Xanax all at once. ( boy, that sounds good right now) My body went into crash mode. I don’t remember anything. Maybe that was my brain’s way of coping with the PTSD I incurred after 26 hours of travel. From the moment I stepped off the plane I had this rocking sensation, as if I was at sea on a boat. I couldn’t focus on what people were saying, I didn’t even know my own name if you asked me. When I saw my Dad in law, I started crying. It was like seeing help right before drowning.
Physically and mentally I had to shut down and this is why…


Sharing a seat. Here we go.





I’ve talked about flying with kids. I do it all the time. My kids do it all the time. We are so damn amazing at doing the unimaginable. Except the unimaginable happened for ME. So here we are, 15 hours into actually flight time ( not to be confused with travel time) This is literally hours spent stuck in one seat with two kids not leaving my lap or side. This is 15 hours of adjusting headsets, handing out snacks, fluffing pillows, leaning to one side to hold a sleeping baby, digging through my overstuffed bag looking for a crayon or some other random item that will soon be lost, changing diapers on my lap, and praying time would move faster. I’ve realized with two hours left in our second out of three flights that we only have about 2 hours left. We start to lower ourselves from the 40,000 feet in the sky and the most earth shattering moment starts to unfold. I had just given my airplane ice cream to Cruze as some sort of treat that I thought would get him through the last hours. That ice cream then ended up on my feet and his. Zane wakes at about the same time Cruze has finished his ice cream so I hurry and hand him and type of food I can find. He’s like a dog that one, eat anything you give him. Then at 35,000 ft Cruze starts to whine. Zane also starts to whine. “Okay shhh, its okay we are almost there! Hey! You want to watch the same disney movie you just watched hours ago? Please? Oh god, PLEASE?”
He does not.
He also says his ear hurts. Im pretty good at the ear stuff. I apply water and snacks at just right times. I gauge my ears to theirs and stuff lollipops and anything in their face that will make their ears not hurt. Something is off at this point because my children never have ear problems. At around the same moment I realize that my youngest hasn’t pooped. In 24 hours. The one who poops 5 times daily. I reach for his stomach and see that its extended so far he looks like a pregnant baby. I know what’s happening. I could see the world stop spinning. In a blink of an eye, Cruze’s whining went from shear screaming. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Then he yells I have to poop! At this point, its time to be buckled up. I leave Zane crying softly in his chair and run Cruze to the bathroom. Its locked. F-ck. He’s crying so hard that he throws up all that ice cream all over us. (I should point out I never got his shoes on but carried them with me.) I look over at the two flight attendants eating their pleasant strawberry salad and gabbing, hoping at any moment one would say, “Oh no honey it’s okay we will help you.” I physically had to get up ( I mean I’m literally in front of them on the galley floor) and say “HEY um could I get some napkins?” She gave me the one dainty napkin she was holding that accompanied her salad. I wiped my finger with it and threw it on the floor. The bathroom door opens and I rush in. “I have to poop!” he says. “Well do you have to poop or throw up?”
He does not know.
I make a quick decision I can’t handle poop on clothes so I throw him on the toilet. He poops, I turn him around he throws up. I clean us off and he is standing there, bare footed on the disgusting airplane bathroom floor. Battles, pick my battles. I remember my other kid is alone in his seat. We walk out and Cruze is still wailing. Zane is wailing. The throw up is still all over the galley floor. The ever so sweet flight attendant left a bag for me. She should totally win an award. (For being a f-cktard) I use an airplane blanket and clean up the puke. A sweet Nigerian woman whom I had spoken with earlier on the plane picks Zane up and brings him to me, leaving her quiet sweet 3 year old in her seat. “Thank you so much” I mumbled with tears in my eyes, “They’ve never done this before…” She said not to worry she totally understands and tried her best to quiet Zane but there was nothing to be done. Im standing in puke, with two crying kids. I make it to my seat without crying myself. I hold the bag up to Cruze’s face as he pukes into it while screaming. Zane is struggling to get out of my arms. He’s got to poop. I know it. I can always tell a “hard poop” cry.
I can’t look anyone in the eye. There’s a lot of men around me, I assume mostly young American contractors traveling home. None offer any assistance, and why would they? I’ve totally got this handled. I’m a Mom of Dragons afterall! They must have read my blog…
Zane finally lets out a grunt as we near the runway and the smell is overpowering. Cruze must have smelled it too.
He pukes again.
Suddenly a flight attendant appears. “Excuse me miss, but he’s not to be buckled with you, safety regulations don’t allow it. I mean, you are the parent but I do not advise this type of situation.” I felt anger rise so high I had to not look directly at her. “Do you have child attachment belts like every other flight I take?” “No, Delta does not carry them.” 
“Oh, well those would be useful wouldn’t they?”
She struts away huffing. I could have strangled her with my bare hands. Literally strangled that bitch. Did she not see the distress signals coming from me? Did she not see what was happening? Did she not think to herself, “this mom looks like she’s in hell. I would imagine she doesn’t need a lecture. I’d also venture to guess that her kids is strapped to her to keep him from jumping out of her lap. Best to leave her alone.” 
Her comment was my last straw. I let my eyes well up. I let my defeat show. I thought at that moment at this very blog post I would soon write. I thought of how NOT funny it would be. It wasn’t funny. I couldn’t even make this funny. It was the worst of the worst mommy moments. I let it all slip away. I cant imagine what those people thought of me. I hope in my heart they felt pain for me not put hate for two screaming kids and the smells of puke, poop and Mom fear.

I got off the plane finally and turned around to face to wall and let the tears come. I hear the man telling me they cant find my stroller. Everyone else got their stroller. I knew Id miss my next plane. When traveling international back to the states you are required by customs to obtain your bags just to re drop them off again. I knew I couldn’t do all that and carry both (Still screaming) kids through the airport. The man took one look at me and said, Don’t worry. I will help you. I will be forever grateful to that man who carried my bags and told me it would be okay. He saved me. When I needed it the most. I knew then I wouldn’t write a bad review on the witch flight attendant because for every one person bad at their job, some angel does his better than he should.

The last plane felt like a breeze. Cruze yelled “Khalas” for 30 minutes on the flight. Thank god no-one seemed to speak arabic. Who knows what they would have thought my kid was yelling “finished” for.

I made it through. Maybe it was all worth it. Seeing our friends and family. They’ve already has a summer to remember just after a week.
Maybe next time will be better.
After all, I get to do it again in 2 months.
Pray for me.

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