Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Have Baby, Will Travel

Unwittingly, I own a rental property in my home state of Colorado. My previous tenant decided not to re-lease, prompting a quick weekend trip home to check on and prepare the house for the next occupant.

The problem? I couldn't stand the thought of being away from both of my kids for two days, so at the last minute I convinced myself to take one with me (after all, it's free, right?). Maybe in dollars and cents.

Once we made it to Colorado, the trip was great and I was happy I had Quin with me. It was getting to and fro that was the problem.

On Friday morning, I arrived at the off-airport parking lot at about 4:30am. I waited in the cold with my stroller, carry-on bag and suitcase at the back of the car for the shuttle dude to spot me. He quickly did, so I grabbed a sleeping Quinlan out of the car and attached his car seat to the stroller. Then I stood in bewilderment as the shuttle dude stared at me rather than helping me. So I schlepped all my baby paraphernalia onto the shuttle with no help. No tip for you, shuttle dude.

In the ticketing line, I answered questions about "my baby" from passengers who were both too chipper in the early AM for me, and too afraid to assume the baby under the blue blanket is a boy.

In the security line, I was disappointed to find that those family security lines I'd heard so much about over Thanksgiving were apparently only temporary additions. In case you didn't know, families only travel with children in November. I did get help from a TSA employee (hallelujah!), but forgot to take of my belt and thus set off the alarm. Not awesome.

Once at the gate, I desperately needed some caffeine so I made a beeline for Caribou. Then I sat down and let it go cold because Quin was awake now and needed a bottle more than I needed caffeine.

About five minutes after sitting down, it was announced that boarding would begin in five minutes, and I quickly realized that I'd forgotten to get gate checks for the stroller and car seat. So, as on lookers watched in amazement, I packed up my baby, stroller, car seat and cold Chai, fought my way to the counter for those pink tags, and fought my way back to my seat. Except this time, I needed to get the car seat into the car seat bag (why didn't I check that stupid thing?). I must've been quite the entertainment as I found a place for Quin to chill while I wrestled the car seat into it's bag, and headed back to board the plane.

Once I arrived in Denver, I realized I had been awake for nearly six hours and hadn't eaten a thing.

You can replay that entire scenario for the trip home but sprinkle in security's need to test the water for Quin's formula, a packed concourse with no where to sit, and a snow covered car in the off-airport parking lot.

Someone mentioned to me on the shuttle that I was a "very brave woman." I am conceding now, she might be right.

Stay tuned in April when I must fly by myself with both children. Not sure if we're all going to come out of that one in one piece.


mom24boys said...

Glad you made it back--I once traveled with my oldest, then a baby...he announced loudly after changing planes at O'Hare, "THIS plane is not going to stay in the sky!" The guy next to me almost deplaned! (Did I mention we had missed our first connection bc some idiot attendant after my original flight was delayed and did not hook up with the originally scheduled connecting flight thought I could manage a 1 1/2 year old, a carry-on, and a stroller as I ran through 2 terminals. And this was pre-9/11! You ARE a brave woman! Air travel is merciless!

Have Baby Will Travel said...

If that was your first trip with a baby and you were by yourself, then you are braver than most and come out just fine.

With 2, you'll just have to be that much more prepared.

Good luck!