Long story, short: we made it, just three and a half hours late and in a different city than we wanted.
Long story, embellished: things went south before the landing gear were even tucked safely away, as DFW gobbled up our tiny layover in Houston before takeoff. They left us just enough hope for A and I to sprint through IAH, almost taking out a grandma on the tram. I ran–or as close as I could come to running while carrying a 27 lb human and 50 lb diaper bag–and reached the gate while the plane was still there. Sweet! Except for the part where they’d closed the doors and didn’t care that this crying toddler and his crying mama were now stuck.
We got one of the very last seats on the last flight to a nearby airport, and luckily my parents were able to get our luggage before collecting us at the detour.
But before that? I was stuck in an airport at the end of the longest day of my life alone with a toddler who was equally done. And during that three hours, almost everything that could go wrong did, to the point that i considered locking us in a bathroom stall so he’d be contained and I could sit down and breathe for a minute. (That plan went out the window when he licked the inside of a stall door during a scheduled stop.)
Dinner was a fail, with a ridiculous wait and no kid-friendly food (at chili’s, no less) and his predilection for dipping his fingers in ketchup whenever I turned my head.
After dinner was more time to wait, but at least we found some food he’d eat in the form of yogurt and an orange–which he dropped on the floor of the bathroom right before I discovered his diarrhea blowout.
And then discovered that I forgot to pack wipes.
So I strapped him to the changing table and went to rock myself in the corner.
Eventually the second flight boarded. We got moved to the very back of the tiny plane because that’s the only seat with an infant life vest, or because I pissed off the customer service lady who got a piece of my mind about the missed connection. Either way, it was now two hours past his bedtime and he was cranky as hell. So was momma, not surprisingly.
I used all our same tricks and we survived, but it was not a smooth ride like the first flight. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the nice grandpa next to us who was patient and kind. And to send a big eff you with a side of herpes to the eye-rolling teenagers in front of us who politely invited him to move to an open seat so Andrew wouldn’t bother them.
Tomorrow we do it all again, hopefully with less drama. In between the two we did a lot of this:
["This" being a couple of adorable shots of Andrew loving the ocean, but since the wireless connection here is like dial-up swimming through molasses, that's not going to happen until we get home tomorrow.]
And that made it all worthwhile.