June of 2016, Lenni and I took our first flight alone and what a day it was...
We had just spent a magical 10 days in Florida visiting my birth family, and daddy had to fly out in the middle of the week for a show. The flight to Florida was a breeze(probably because Corey was there to help), so I was feeling confident going into our flight back home to Colorado just us girls.
My grandpa and grandma drove me to the airport at about 9am which was 2 hours before our flight. We pulled up to see the curbside check-in(which I was hoping would be empty) lined up almost all the way down the street. We looked inside at the Southwest line to see it extending down the hall and overflowing into the neighboring airline.
My grandpa helped us inside since I had a stroller, car seat, huge bag, backpack, and a baby. Once we got to a certain point in the line, he couldn't help me any further. I, however, should have been a boy scout because of my perfectly executed traveling skills. With Lenni strapped to me in a sling, the car seat and backpack stuffed in the stroller, and rolling my bag behind me, we maneuvered our way through the line.
I walked up to check the car seat and bag, put my number in the computer, and looked up to meet the gaze of the Southwest employee who was asking me for her birth certificate...which accidentally went in daddy's bag to California. I frantically called Corey asking him to send me a picture, and thankfully, she was able to bestow us our boarding passes.
We successfully strolled up to security, and I had finally put her to sleep in the ring sling since I had to send the stroller and backpack through the line. I was motioned through the beeper thing, and it started going off. They pointed to the ring on my sling and said I needed to take her out of there...so, of course, I had to take my perfectly sleeping infant out of her security wrap and wake her on up. Thankfully, the other security guard could see the defeated look on my face, and so graciously put the sling around my neck, packed the stroller with all of my things, and put my shoes on the ground so I could easily slip them on. Praise Jesus for your kindness strange sir.
We started walking to the shuttle to take us to our gate, and I suddenly felt the cold tile on my left foot. Looking down, I beheld my naked foot and turned around to see my broken flip flop sitting behind me. I tried to tie the severed strap together to no avail. Holding back tears, I snatched both shoes and angrily chucked them in the trash.
Walking barefoot to our gate, Lenni successfully fell back asleep and we were ready to board! We squeezed into a window seat on a completely full flight, and I pulled out my nursing cover for take off.
After we had reached our desired height and she was finished nursing, I began placing her back in the sling to see if she'd fall asleep. She immediately relaxed and laid her head on my chest while suddenly holding her breath...
Then I heard the grunt followed by the sound followed by the smell followed by the growing wet spot on the sling. I calmly reached down to the diaper bag grabbing wipes, 2 diapers, and a onesie. I also snagged a vomit bag just in case. I asked my neighbor's if I could squeeze out to change her, and made my way to the bathroom at the front of the plane.
I reached the bathroom locking the door behind me. I looked around and realized that there was no changing table to be had in the tiny little stall. I took a deep breath and plopped her gently on the toilet seat lid. I slid her pants and onesie off to behold the disaster that had just come out of my daughter's tiny little butt. I threw the clothes into the vomit bag and went to grab wipes...or should I say "wipe". That's right...there was one wipe left. I began to wet paper towels with my right hand while holding her steady with my left.
I finally cleaned her up and did the best cleanup job that I could to the porcelain lid. Somebody had left another vomit bag in there, so I threw the dirty diapers, wipe, and paper towels in there so as not to disturb the next guest with a foul stench from the trash. As I walked out, the flight attendant kindly greeted me with a trash bag and said "I'm so sorry you just had to do that. There's a changing table in the back lavatory."
We arrived safely to our layover city in San Antonio, Texas and I couldn't wait to run off the plane and attempt to eat something. As everyone began to leave, the captain chimed in on the intercom stating that all passengers continuing onto Denver needed to stay in their seats because they were about to let on everyone else board...
Holding back tears, I settled back into my seat, took a deep breath, and prepared for the next hour-and-a-half flight home.
Thankfully, it wasn't as messy, but just as long. We made it safe and sound(lots of sounds, actually, because she cried almost the entire way) and I met my husband at baggage claim with much haste and complete relief.
I walked away that day(still barefoot) knowing that I would never, EVER go on a plane with a kid by myself again.