I am so traumatized by yesterday's flight from LaGuardia to Charlotte and I can't seem to get past it. Time heals all wounds, blah blah blah, but our flight back to NYC is 4 days away, and that is simply not enough time for these wounds. Yeah, I know I just said I wasn't going anywhere ever again, but I say lots of things I don't mean.
I have flown with Katherine so many times that I have a pretty decent routine and a few tricks up my sleeve to keep her occupied and happy. Try to schedule the flight to be during a nap time. Fresh diaper right before boarding. Wait until everyone else has boarded so you can be the last people to get on, thus minimizing the amount of time actually spent on the plane. iPad apps. iPhone home videos. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks.
Unfortunately, trying to beat the holiday rush meant waking Katherine up at 5 AM to make an 8 AM flight, and this proved to be detrimental. (Should we have scheduled a later flight and risked the delays? We will never know!). She was squirmy and happy and normal, and we walked up and down the aisles a few times when she lost interest in staying in our seats. When we started to descend, it was time to sit back down, and Katherine decided she was going to completely fucking lose her shit. She was exhausted, and I couldn't console her. (I know you're thinking her ears were bothering her, and maybe they were, but they never have before. The loss of sleep was the real issue). I'm talking out-of-control, throw-herself-on-the-ground, screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs, flailing-like-a-feral-cat tantrum.
Enter the passenger seated behind us: a drunk 60-something hag in a peacock cardigan. The guy sitting next to her later told us she had pounded 5 drinks in the first 30 minutes of our 8 AM flight. She rattled her almost-empty glass of her vodka martini on the rocks and offered it to us to give our toddler. "Haha, no thanks!" We get it, haha, alcohol for the baby will help! Let's all laugh about it.
It turns out she wasn't joking. She kept shoving her drink through the crack between the seats, begging us to take the vodka as Katherine continued to scream. "Please take the vodka! I need to you to take it! For me! It's for ME!" Because the happiness of the woman trying to give alcohol to my toddler was a real priority for me. "STOP SCREAMING!!!! STOP SCREAMING!!! She kept yelling as Katherine kept screaming. It was mayhem.
Derrick finally turned around and yelled, "Ma'am, we're doing the best that we FUCKING CAN!" I thought this was the most polite thing he could've said. I wanted to tell her to eat shit or go fuck herself, or that Santa was still watching her in spite of her being a drunk old hag, etc.
Shortly before landing, Katherine collapsed in a heap on my shoulder and didn't wake up again until we left baggage claim.
Look, I get it. It serves me right, yeah? There is no greater annoyance on this earth than being stuck on an airplane with a toddler having a tantrum. It's too bad we were packed like sardines in a metal tube instead of a restaurant or a mall or somewhere where we could just leave and not have to annoy others with emotional development. But children exist. There's another one born every second! Sometimes they have to go places. Sometimes by airplane. Sometimes kids have tantrums, and sometimes they don't. All of those kids have parents that are, to paraphrase my husband, trying their fucking best. It's life, and life doesn't last forever. Just like a flight from NYC to Charlotte.
I also got my lip busted by a baby with an iPad: