Always eager to cross something masochistic off my bucket list, I took Katherine by plane on my own to visit family in North Carolina last week.  It was sort of like knowing you have to get a root canal at your next dental appointment: the anticipation is probably worse than the event itself, but unfortunately there were no pain meds involved in this case.

Getting to the airport, checking in, and going through security with an infant was surprisingly pain-free.  Curiously, staff at LaGuardia were much more helpful and friendly than at the Charlotte airport, where Southern hospitality failed me.  Don't be fooled: New Yorkers are actually a very friendly people.  Just don't cross them.

The painful parts of infant airline travel are really centralized on the plane itself.  Katherine, for those of you who don't know her, abhors being held by someone who is sitting still.  And really, besides hijacking, what is there to do on a plane other than be required to sit still for the duration?  She wanted to stand on my bladder, lean this way, lean that way, turn upside down, look over there, smile at that stranger, and eventually, get angry that she was sitting still.  

She eventually fell asleep in my arms, and I wanted to keep her sleeping there until we landed, but the urge to pee became more overwhelming with every passing minute, thanks to Katherine's earlier bladder stomping.  "Are we descending?  I can wait.  Maybe I can't.  If I move she will wake up.  Did I just feel us start to descend?  No, maybe not.  Why didn't I look into getting those astronaut diapers for myself, like that crazy lady who drove non-stop for hours to stalk that one guy... no, I can hold it.  No I can't.  But I can't move... Okay, I'm doing it."

Naturally, as soon as I stood up, the plane started shaking and I swayed around like the drunk sorority girl I once was.  I figured it would pass quickly so I didn't sit back down.  The plane shook violently the whole time I was in the bathroom, changing Katherine carefully, praying she didn't hit her head on the wall.  I also can't tell you how many times during a regular day I tell myself, "Thank God I'm wearing yoga pants right now," but this was definitely one of those times, because I managed to successfully pee while holding an infant in a violently shaking airplane bathroom and hike up my yoga pants without the hassle of zippers and buttons.  

When we finally emerged, both of us dry and injury-free, I expected a vigilant flight attendant to rush over with a drink, a smile, a warm towelette, a pat on the back and a hand to carry something.  What I actually really wanted was a Cool Runnings-level slow clap from the other passengers, but unfortunately, I could only cheer for myself in my head, and head to the finish line.

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