Here’s Part 2 Of One Of Worst Family Travel Stories. What Are Yours?

This week, we’re trading our worst family travel stories.  I got a bit long-winded on this one and had to break it up in two parts.  Part 1 covered my utter failure to handle getting to the airport with our newborn.

Family Travel Really Never Looks Like This

After my wife, Michelle finished reading part 1, she pointed out the key detail I missed.  She has a phenomenal memory, considering this was a decade ago.  The reason we couldn’t check-in online and our seats disappeared?  Even though our daughter’s name was on the reservation, the phone agent had never issued her a ticket.  Some things never change, including airline customer service.

Once we had everything resolved at the ticket counter we headed through security to the plane.  While I can’t say for certain, I’m sure I didn’t check my suitcase.  And, I’m equally sure we had a bunch of other items in tow as we headed to the plane.  But, I don’t really remember much from the time we left the ticket counter until we boarded.  Boy, do I remember the next part.

Our daughter had been okay prior to boarding.  She was being a good baby.  Shortly after we took off, she had an uncomfortable look on her face.  Those with more parenting experience than me would have recognized that as the sign that she was, ahem, pooping.  As it turns out, she set her own new personal record on how far she could actually poop.

It was all the way up the back to her hair.  And, it was all over Michelle as well.  Now, at this point, I was still pretty terrified of being a father.  Being stuck in a metal tube for a 2-hour flight with a baby (and wife) covered in poop was a stressful event for me. Michelle was and is a great mom, and she just rolled with it.

We went to the back of the plane and got Catherine cleaned up.  The flight attendant took pity on us and had some trash bags ready for us when we were done in the small regional jet lavatory.

Michelle got Cat changed and fresh clothes for herself.  We settled back in our seats.  Whew!  Thank goodness that was over.  You know what happens next, don’t you?  Yep.

The flight attendant caught on quickly.  For the next hour or so, she was ready with a few trash bags every time she saw us get up out of our chairs and head to the back of the plane.  She dutifully held the door open to the lavatory each time.  She was an absolute trooper.

During this entire time, I think all I did was follow Michelle up and down the aisle, holding clean diapers.  I was desperately afraid of changing a diaper.  If we’re being perfectly honest, it still pretty much freaks me out.  Michelle held it together and Cat really didn’t lose her cool too much.  Me?  I’m pretty sure I still have the emotional scars.

This Was Never Our Daughter During The Trip. This Was Me.

The Final Two Pennies

My wife and I laugh about that trip now.  In fairness, it was 11 years ago.  There’s a lot of water under a lot of bridges since then.  But, that day stretched my patience to levels I didn’t think existed.  That’s the thing about parenting.  There are days where you’re holding on for deal life.  Lots of those days seem pretty funny further down the road.  All you can do is take the good with the bad.  Besides, I wasn’t the one actually covered in poop.  That was my wife.  That makes me the wimp of the day in this story.

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2 Comments

  1. OK…this one might actually get me in trouble with Child Protective Services for bad parenting skills. We were traveling in rural China with our then 5 and 8 year old sons who are so close that they are inseparable. We were assigned two separate rooms on floor 2 and 3 in this small family run pension in the middle of a rice paddy. The kids begged and begged to share a room on their own and we relented. Bad idea. In the middle of the night, our five year old, who hates sleeping in pajamas and undresses himself once he goes to bed every night, decided that he needed me for something. He left his room and the door locked behind him. He went down one floor to our room and decided that he was too tired to knock, laid down and went to sleep on the tatami mat. When my husband got up in the morning to get coffee, he discovered our naked 5 year old son sleeping on the mat in front of our door like a DOG. Very embarrassing. Our boy was totally fine and didn’t seem to care. Looking back on this our biggest regret is failing to photograph the naked child on the mat before picking him up and putting him in our bed.

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