Friday, December 5, 2008

Pukes on a Plane

I don’t like flying. Which is perfect because I don’t like to travel either…but recently a change in our life has required that if we want to see people we love, we will have to get on a plane quite often. In my lifetime I have only been on a plane about 10 times. Frequent-Flier miles up ‘til now have been wasted on me…

But, not only do I have to deal with MY issues with flying, I now have to deal with two little ones, who not only have the dislike of flying like I do, but they have a very undesirable response to it as well -- puking.

We packed up only a few belongings and moved to a new state so my hubby could attend a doctoral program in business. This move required him to leave first for orientation and to secure our apartment, leaving me to travel alone with two kids to places I have never been. The thought of navigating airports, bags, tickets, and emotions while not losing two kids (who even hate riding in cars) was sometimes more than I could imagine handling.

But, inevitably the day came, and after tears and hugs goodbye, we made it through security and boarded the plane for a 7-hour flight to our new home. Yes…seven hours straight, after which we had a small lay-over and a short, 20-minute flight.

So, as always, I tried to plan as best as possible. I decided a night flight would be best, as sleepiness would overtake my kids and we would arrive without much incident via a dark, quiet plane ride. I brought games, bought headphones for the first movie, and had plenty of hand sanitizer on hand. Everything else, I quickly realized, was out of my control. Here’s how it went, from Shrek III to puking…

9pm: Board the plane, find seats, store all three busting-at-the-seams backpacks, size up the “company” around us and who is gonna bug who, strategically place the kids.

9:15pm: I am holding back tears from the reality of what is happening, which is not hard because the kids are:
Fighting with the seat belts
Fighting with each other
Ripping up the airplane magazines
Asking if we are there yet
Pushing every button they see
Complaining they are too hot/too cold
Opening/shutting the window shade
Pulling everything out of their backpacks
Asking if we are there yet…

9:30pm: The plane takes off. Audrey loves it. Jacob is asking if he can get off the plane, now...fits their personalities perfectly! They are already completely bored with the toys/games we have packed.

10:30pm: Movie has begun. Oh! Shrek III! We…just…saw…this. So, no novelty there, but the headphones seem to be exciting, and they cause kids to raise their voice levels to screaming. Sleeping passengers love us. I am hoping kids fall asleep soon.

11:00pm: Kids have eaten snacks, annoyed most of the people around us, and show no signs of sleeping. Jacob cannot make peace with his headphones. Audrey develops a fever.

11:15pm: I am cursing myself because I did NOT pack the chewable Tylenol in my backpack. Audrey is not well and it is obvious. ARGH!

11:45pm: Movie is over. I am exhausted and needing sleep. Audrey is whining in the aisle seat, and the man across from her ain’t lookin’ so good either. Jacob breaks his headphones.

12 am: I am praying for sleep as the kids kick off their shoes and attempt to lay all over me with pillows, sweaters and the static-filled airplane blankets. Jacob starts to cry that he has no room, Audrey still has a fever, and the guy in the aisle takes off his top shirt to expose his thin white tee and beer belly…oh my gosh is he burping? Is he DYING??? Yes, take more of WHATEVER you are taking! Gas-X, nitro-glycerin…whatever, TAKE IT!!!

1am: Dying Burping Guy stands up in the aisle, with his backside right next to my poor sick child’s head. She is only four, but she is MORTIFIED! As am I. We move and squirm around, trying to position the kids to “sleep” as all my body parts become numb. I am praying I don’t develop a DVT condition.

2am: They are serving dinner. WHAT??? The smell of BAD Mexican airplane food engulfs the plane, and Dying Burping Guy sits down TO EAT! Why, God, why?

3am: Lots of whining and, “are we there yet?”, “I have no room!” ,“get off my leg!”, “I have no blanket!”, and, "I don't like that guy!" statements are made. The kids complain, too.

4am: I realize sleep at this point is never gonna happen, and the five minutes of shut-eye they are getting here and there are only causing all of us to have body cramps. Oh yeah, by this time I have endured “The Bucket List” and “Walk the Line” without headphones.

5am: Dying Burping Guy is back to standing up after eating the Mexican food, and I am praying it just continues to be burps and nothing else...

6am: The end is in sight! Soon we will be in a terminal waiting for the last 20-minute leg of our journey! It has not been easy and…

6:30am: Audrey has to go potty. Now. NOOOOOOOOOOO! If there is anything I hate in this world, it is a germy, dirty, small airplane bathroom. I must take both kids in at the same time. Have you SEEN that Jodi Foster movie? Come on, now…

Here we go…
I choose the bathroom Dying Burping Guy has NOT been visiting…point for me!
We barely fit
Jacob is whining
I am trying to keep the hand sanitizer close by
Stewardesses hear repeatedly from our stall, “put your hands on your heads! Don’t touch anything!” Is an arrest taking place?
I am lining the toilet with ten layers of TP
I am trying to protect all parts of Audrey’s clothing and body from the toilet, as I squish poor Jacob against the door
The girl…has…diarrhea
Paper is as thick as air
Jacob is NOT happy
I can’t move to do anything without exposing us to MORE germs
I am now in my own horror movie…Jodi, you got nuthin' on me…

This happens one more time, by the way…

7am: Getting ready to land, Dying Burping Guy made it, and so did we.

In the terminal, Audrey seems a little better fever-wise, but is complaining about her tummy. I am trying to hold it all together, and as we wait, I provide sprite and fish crackers, which both kids down very quickly. Audrey says she feels better, I explain we have a 20-minute flight left, once we find our gate.

At this point I am weary from no sleep, BUT I am sure I have not developed any clots in my legs AND I am able to navigate the airport and the shuttle ,with all of my precious cargo, to the next plane, a 20-seater, which has about as much room as the bathroom in the previous jet.

8:30am: I am trying to keep the kids motivated by telling them that they will see daddy very soon as I struggle with their seat belts and position myself in the seat across the aisle from them.

8:35am: Plane takes off…this, even in my little experience of flying, I know is not a good take-off. I am thinking LOST at this point.

8:40am: In the air! I am thinking , "woohoo, we are almost there!" I look across the aisle at my two kids. To my horror, Audrey is PUKING up buckets of fish crackers and sprite, conveniently into her overall bib pocket. Jacob is frozen in fear, not able to take his eyes off of her, and begins to heave...

8:41am: I am out of my seat, with wipes and the puke bag, trying to contain the endless vomit streaming from my daughter’s mouth, AND empty the chunky bib pocket contents neatly into a bag as she manages to say,“I’m sorry mama” again and again, which breaks my heart.

8:45am: How is the flight attendant, who is like, 2 feet away, NOT noticing me out of my seat, or the smell that is permeating the entire plane? I ignore that we are now preparing to LAND as I take Audrey’s shirt off, throw it in a bag to discard, clean up her overalls as best as possible, and hold a puke bag for heaving Jacob at the same time. The people across from us just sit with enduring looks on their faces. I realize we are worse than Dying Burping Guy.

We land and everyone around us is relieved, though no one dared help or even look at us during this time. I hand the carnage to the attendant who says, “oh I’m sorry, were they OK?” Whatever lady. Just get me off the plane.

I give Audrey my cardigan and we limp into the terminal to find my well-rested hubby, all bubbly and excited to see us. I have not slept now in almost 24 hours. We smell like puke, and I am missing home. I cried for the next 5 hours straight.

I now know to pack extra shirts, lots of baggies, and to be ready for the inevitable during a flight. I hope Dying Burping Guy is OK.


Anonymous said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA BWHAHAHAHAHAAH GUFFAWWWWWWWWW *wipes eyes* Phew, that was entertaining. No wonder you don't like planes.

My daughter, Addie, got car sick EVERY SINGLE TIME we went on a car trip until she was 4. We have been in every single Cracker Barrell restaurant from here to Florida cleaning up puke in their bathroom. I feel ya on that one.

w said...

dude. i'm so tired from that flight.

and hahhahahha - whenever i'm forced to go into a public restroom with my toddler... she immediately walks in and says "hands up!"

we've taught our kids well.

StudiusMaximus said...

What a horrible day. And it was raining when you guys arrived....

Unknown said...

*wipes tears from eyes*

I haven't gone through what you're going through YET (my boy's only 10 months), but my sympathies are with ya! ;) At least now you're prepared for trip #2!

What a thoroughly entertaining read!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Wow...I'm exhausted now. :)

When we came back from Hawaii last year, on a VERY CROWDED red eye flight, the guy behind me (and next to my husband) said 6 words you never wanna hear when you're trapped in a tube flying over water....."Can I have your barf bag?"
That was a TERRIBLE flight.

Insanitykim said...

Please, CC, let's make sure we are never on the same connecting flight...the people we attract would cause the plane to implode!

Cheeky Greek said...

Wow! Yeah, that's all I can say. I wanted to say more, but, wow! And many lol's.

Unknown said...

OMG! I am exhausted after reading that! BTW, my daughter's name is Audrey, too.

MrsDixon said...

OMG! You poor thing! I think I did this once poor mommy!! This was too funny!

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