Hey Remember that time when Matt and I left China with a newborn like bats outta hell?
We came home for Christmas this year and it was a fantastic trip. It was great to introduce Benton to so many people that love us and now him. Leaving for the trip did not go exactly as planned. The day we were scheduled to leave Matt had school. He was at work and I was working on packing at home. I had nearly everything laid out to pack but was waiting on Matt’s shoe decision before I began putting stuff into bags. The driver was going to pick us up at 4:00pm which would put us at the airport 3 hours early because we wanted to make sure we got the bulkhead seat that had a bassinet and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time for error having not traveled with a baby before.
Matt text me around 10 and said that our flight was delayed 2 hours which meant that we would miss our connecting flight in LA and we would have to stay the night there. I was so sad. This meant that we would miss nearly a whole day at home. Matt got on the phone with United and after getting cut off their Skype connection more than once he THOUGHT we could get on a 1:30 flight. This was great news…. Only it was now 11:45 and we live an hour from the airport.
Now picture the scene from Home Alone when they are late for the airport. That was us. Run run Rudolf should be playing in your head right now.
We packed stuff in 15 minutes. After about 10 minutes of us running around like crazy people Xiao Ma said “you leave now? You leave 4:00?” When we said that we leave now she laughed at us and helped us get our stuff. She had to come with us to the airports so she could bring the carseat back to the apartment.
We weren’t able to get the driver on such short notice so we had to get a cab. We had 2 large checked bags, 3 maximum sized carry-on bags, 2 personal bags, a stroller, a baby, an Ayi, two adults, and a partridge in a pear tree. Matt didn’t think it would all fit and I kept insisting. Finally, Xiao Ma and I rode the hour to the airport with the stroller on our laps. Who needed to see out anyway?
When we arrived at the airport Matt ran in to try and get our seats. The cab driver pulled up to the curb in the nearest lane, which was three lanes away. The inner two lanes cleared while we were getting organized so me and my 55 year old Ayi were dragging 50lb. bags from the middle of the street to the curb, meanwhile Xiao Ma is yelling. “get the baby inside, it is too cold” (it is 48 degrees) This all wouldn’t be such a problem with roller bags but Matt insists on using duffle bags for maximum packability. ‘It won’t be a problem Bri, I will carry them’ he says. I digress. Matt reappears just in time to push the airport cart into the airport. I had just enough time to strap Benton in his Ergo baby carrier. “I think we are going to make it” Matt says. We are rushed to the front of the line and our bags are checked. We then have to go through immigration and security and our flight was boarding. Matt, Xiao Ma and I are running through the airport. We paused outside of customs to tell Xiao Ma she couldn’t come with us any farther. She kissed Benton’s head and says “I love you baby boy”. I think she wasn’t sure if we would survive the trip.
We made it on the plane but we didn’t have seats together. Benton was starting to share his general displeasure of the situation loudly as I found my seat. When I wiggled my way to the window seat I unstrapped the carrier and what I found was no surprise. My entire midsection and Benton’s whole lower half were covered in poop. Matt had the diaper bag. We resolved that situation while I profusely apologized to the man sitting next to me.
Matt lost his ticket stub and was sure I had it. While I had a naked baby on my lap the flight attendant was on the intercom saying ‘there is a red bag and brown North Face jacket placed in an incorrect seat, please come collect your items or they will be removed from the aircraft’ Those are Matt’s things I think. Matt is trying to make his way against all of the passengers trying to find their seats. He is telling me to look for his ticket because he doesn’t know where to sit. The man next to me offers help and he digs through my purse to find Matt’s ticket stub. No luck. Eventually they figure out where he should be. (Matt finds his ticket in his pocket later)
Matt switches seats so we are able to sit next to each other for most of the flight.
Benton did amazing. It was as if he understood that it was just temporary. I used my nursing pillow on my lap to hold him. He slept fairly well. When we arrived in LA Matt tried to get coffee for both of us and I was going to hang out by the gate. Benton woke up from his nap and was hungry NOW. I was struggling to get the nursing cover from the bag below the stroller with a screaming baby. I finally got it out and was nursing when Matt came back with his pants speckled in coffee. He saw the stressed look on my face and we both decided not to leave each other again while traveling. He had dropped his coffee all over himself and it was time to board. I interrupted nursing to get in line and when we got to the front there was a problem. Matt was shuffled between two counters trying to get the ticket situation figured out. Finally, 15 minutes later I was burping Benton and Matt noticed white stuff on the carpet, then there was more. His eyes made their way up and I had spit up all down my back. Matt later said that he couldn’t believe that we were ‘those parents’ that just can’t get themselves together. We finally made it to Denver where we were greeted by my Dad and Jackie. We made it to Denver 6 hours earlier than our scheduled arrival. It was worth the craziness for an extra half-day at home.