WARNING: this blog post contains no warm fuzzy moments or cute pictures, just a series or horribly funny events happening to a woman traveling alone with three small children. Do not read if you are about to embark on plane travel, it might make you stay up late worrying about what might happen to you.
If you've read my blog for awhile or have known us for more than a couple of years you know that we travel, a lot, considering we have such young kids. Mostly, our trips revolve around seeing family or fulfilling a family trip, but we have certainly had our share of misadventures and I would recommend strongly to never, ever take more than a 2 hour flight with children under the age of two. I've missed flights, experienced delays, endured 2 hours of in-flight screaming (more than once), and a certainly had other stressful moments, but this last trip takes the cake.
A few weeks ago now, I took Myles to Colorado to visit my sister and had a fairly easy go, in-spite of the first flight being cancelled and having to leave the next day. Security was tricky,but let's admit, unless you are traveling with no shoes and no bag, it is a juggle. I considered this my dry run, before the scheduled trip with all three kids alone to Tennessee.
The night I got back from Colorado, Haydee started complaining about her stomach being upset, little did I know the whole week in-between trips I would be spending almost one whole night in the ER with her, hours of cleaning up puke and other bodily functions, three hours in the doctors office with all three kids trying to get her to drink Pedialite, and then the moment she felt better Payge would take her turn. The week was spent in haze of vitamins and prayer hoping we would still be able to make our trip. I honestly would have canceled, but my grandma was visiting in Tennessee all the way from California and I really wanted her to meet Myles and see the girls. The day of our scheduled flight everyone seemed better; my throat was killing me and I had an horribly infected toe (maybe TMI, but its part of the story), but "gosh darn it!" we were going on this trip.
I had hoped to have Spencer take us to the airport, but he wasn't able to get off. So, a friend who has babysat for us was glad to earn a little extra money and drive up with me, so I didn't have to park and then try to transport all our luggage and the kids to the check-in alone. This was a smart idea, because even with help I was a sweaty, exhausted mess when we arrived to the ticket counter. I had Myles in the Bijorn to aid in the transportation, the girls, three bags plus a diaper bag, laptop, and two small backpacks that the girls were carrying. Immediately, I asked for assistance to get our boarding passes and luggage checked since I was going to need an infant boarding pass and such. The lady at the counter wanted to know if I had the "little one's" birth certificate. I didn't, honestly, I haven't even sent for it yet. I had his SS card though, would that work? She gave me a long hard look, and said she could not issue me a boarding pass for him, since I had no proof of his age. I explained I had just used this airline, at this airport the week before without any question, coming or going, without proof of his age. I mean, I know people might take advantage of the system, but he certainly looks older than 14 days and younger than two. She spent five minutes typing and grimacing acting as if she was not going to grant me the boarding pass. Finally, she did and we proceeded. Then, due to a large gift I had packed one of my check-ons was overweight. She allowed me a chance to shift things, but you can imagine how tricky that was. My hands full and Myles hanging in the front carrier, I put everything down and started repacking. Finally, after a couple trips to the baggage security area, we were ready to head through security. I had dreaded this part, but I figured we would just take it slow and we'd be okay. We were doing just fine until I realized my wallet was not in the diaper bag. Oh boy, don't panic, but I did a little. In the back of my mind I could vaguely remember setting it down to repack the bags. CRAP! A very helpful TSA lady made a call for me and yes they found it at the ticketing counter, but they were too busy to have someone bring it so I would have to go back up through the security line, since I had not cleared the final security checkpoint. Shoes half on, carryons hanging on every arm and Myles somewhat secure in my arms since I had to take off the Bijorn to go through the xray machine machine.