The Downside of Traveling for Free
Earlier this week, our family flew to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii for my uncle’s funeral service. We were only going for the day but since we were traveling stand-by, we had to make sure we brought along a few essentials just in case we couldn’t make it back home.
You would think it’d be a piece of cake considering that I travel for a living. However, I just couldn’t get my act together. How in the world can you put all your 3 oz liquids into one quart-sized bag? And what do you mean I can’t pack those bottles of Vitamin Water in my rollerboard? Do you know how expensive it is to buy water in the airport terminal? Oh, and even the baby’s shoes need to come off while going through security? *sigh*
But the worst part was when we were trying to get back home and found out a later flight was canceled. They were moving all confirmed passengers up to earlier flights making it almost impossible for non-revs to get on . . . and we had a party of 6. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it were just us grownups because we’re familiar with the pitfalls of traveling for free, but I had Girlie Girl and Baby Bug with me, too.
To make matters worse, I committed the #1 parental cardinal sin. Yup, this professional traveler and supposedly organized Mommy didn’t pack enough diapers. As I used the very last one, I prayed to the Airplane God to PLEASE let us get on the next flight. It must have worked because it was music to my ears when I heard our names called. Unfortunately, they only had 3 seats available and Dad insisted that we take them. This just goes to show that no matter how old your children get, you’ll always sacrifice for them. Thanks Dad & Mom!
Now I’m sitting on the plane and congratulating myself for making it this far without too much incident. Girlie Girl had to sit by herself but had fallen asleep right after take-off. Baby Bug played with my iPod for most of the flight and didn’t even kick the seat in front of her. She did spill juice all over her dress but I was able to change her clothes. Things were looking good.
When I saw the lights of the Honolulu International Airport, I breathed a sigh of relief. We made it! And as the tires touched down onto the runway and I watched Baby Bug happily licking her lollipop (don’t judge me) it happened. I felt a warm liquid spreading in my lap and down the side of my legs. I sat their in disbelief. Baby Bug just peed all over me.
My mind started racing. I could use the burp cloths in my diaper bag to construct a diaper but realized that I didn’t even know how. Sad, huh? Maybe I could find some duct tape in the galley and just tape the whole thing together? And what about me? Would it be too obvious if I walked off the plane with a blanket tied around my waist?
I made a decision. As soon as the plane parked and the seat belt sign went off, I made a mad dash to the lavatory. Luckily, a really good friend (and fellow Mommy) was working the flight. I asked her to leave Baby Bug’s diaper on but change her back into her juice soaked dress (juice is better than pee, right?). I woke up Girlie Girl and told her to stay in her seat until I came to get her. Then I went into the lavatory to clean myself up as much as possible. Luckily, I was wearing black slacks so the wet stain wasn’t too noticeable. I just hoped I didn’t reek of pee! I ripped off the wet seat cushion and replaced it with the extra one we always carry on-board, apologized profusely to my friend, and made a hasty exit with my pants stuck to my butt.
I think it will be a while before I travel with the kids again.
Anything like this ever happened to you? It would be nice to know that I’m not the only one.
|About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii. She is also the founder of the group review site - Family Review Network. Follow along on her adventure of a lifetime this Winter as a member of the Vaseline Dry Skin Patrol!