So, as you may have guessed, this will NOT be about some racy sex novel from the 70s. There is too much spit up and too little sleep in my life to be talking about racy sex novels. This is about our trip to see my parents, and the required plane trips. On our way out, Darwin and I stopped in Charlotte, NC to change planes. On the plane from Chicago, Darwin had been kind of fussy, and I was very proud of my mess-free, in-the-lap diaper change that I did during descent. But then, when I went to retrieve the (self-contained) diaper and diaper bag from the floor upon exit, I scraped Darwin’s head against the wall of the plane without even realizing it. I hope no one saw. The good thing was it just scraped off a nice row of his gross scaly cradle cap.
In the airport, the Bjorn wasn’t really working for most of the trip, and didn’t make him the chillbaby that it had done before. So, I just had to carry it, along with Darwin, and the diaper bag, and by then my coat, because who can carry all that stuff and not sweat buckets? We had about 2 hours in between flights, and came into the same terminal where the next flight left, so it should have been a piece of cake. Should have. Of course, I got a little crazy and decided to have some lunch. So, add a chicken Caesar salad to the list of the Bjorn (which, when carried, is a little like carrying an octopus, with all those straps straggling around, waiting to ensnare your ankles), baby, bag and coat. And then there was the trying to eat it, while Darwin wriggled around on one of the airport seats, and I tried to keep him from falling through the back. And the picking out the cherry tomatoes from the salad. They pop in your mouth like seedy zits. Ugh.
When Darwin got fussy, I thought maybe I’d try a bottle, instead of the boob. That was when I realized I had forgotten the bottle somewhere. He had been crying on the plane, so I had it out there, and then in the airport, the diaper changing station was in this tiny cubby in the ladies room, and so it was a comedy of errors of dropping everything (except the baby!) trying to pick it all up off the floor without letting Darwin roll off the table or letting anything important touch anything bathroom-related, so the bottle could be there, too. By this time, there was about 45 minutes until the flight left, so I thought I’d change him again and look for the bottle in the changing “nook,” (calling it that makes it sound cozy instead of completely inconvenient.). No bottle there, but boy did I have to pee, which is quite a feat when one is traveling alone with a baby and many pieces of baby paraphernalia. And nothing, of course, can touch any part of the bathroom. So there’s a lot of prioritizing what might be able to touch the bathroom (the outside of my coat), and using that as buffer against everything else, while trying to unbutton and unzip jeans with one hand. While zipping up my pants and stooping down to pick up the diaper bag (without losing my center of gravity and having to catch myself by putting a bare hand down on the bathroom floor), I somehow scratched Darwin’s head with my fingernail, making him wail in a way that echoed very nicely off the tile walls. Then the blood started to drip (but again, at least I had scraped off some cradle cap), and I tried to staunch it with some toilet paper. A woman coming out of one of the stalls gave me (I think) a sympathetic look, but I became the harried mother and blew right by her, trying to hide my child abuse from her prying, nosy eyes (can eyes be nosy? Hmmm….).
We made our way back to the gate, and everyone was gone. Ack! I went to the ticket desk, and indeed, the plane had boarded. So I ran (sort of) to the door, dragging the Bjorn-octopus, diaper bag, bleeding baby and my coat, and somehow fished my ticket out of my back pocket. We boarded the plane — since it was such a small 2-propeller deal, you just walk outside, not through a jetway (“It’s really cold out there,” said the ticket lady. It was 53 degrees. North Carolina. Sheesh). We got on the plane, Darwin bleeding, me sweating and bonking everyone in the head with something every step. “Oh, what a cute baby!” a woman said, and tickled his foot. I might have smiled, but I might not have. I have no recollection whatsoever. I wanted to get him away from her before she saw that blood was running down his head, and get to my seat before the plane took off. I probably just bonked her in the head with the diaper bag and sweated on her and snubber her.
We finally made it to my parents’, where life is considerably less exciting than at an airport, thank goodness. Across the street from a sod farm, in the middle of Lower Delaware, there is not a lot going on, so we had time to recoup before our trip home. Going back to Chicago was much less eventful, despite going through Philly and having to take a shuttle from one terminal to the other, a 3-hour delay, a gate change, and an ultimate flight change, with a 40-minute wait for baggage at O’Hare. Must have been the piece of cake part that got me to let my guard down and think I knew what I was doing on the trip out. Ha. Something tells me I won’t know what I’m doing for, oh, the next 50 years or so.