July 9, 2009

The Ride of My Life

I interrupt this series of old posts to bring you the story of my flight to California. Almost every mom who has traveled with small children has a 'plane story,' and I only offer up mine because I feel confident that my experience earlier this week puts me in contention for the top prize.

******When my husband announced that he wouldn't be able to join us on our vacation in California right away because of work stuff, I didn't think twice about taking all four of my kids on a cross-country plane ride by myself. My older kids are big enough, in theory, to comprehend the concept of playing quietly, and Cameron is an angel. No problem.

Just to be safe, though, I deliberately sat myself and my offspring in the last row of seats on the airplane, just in front of the kitchen and lavatory.

The flight was booked to maximum capacity and the very last two people to board the plane--a middle-aged couple--had the privilege of sitting in our row. Kellen welcomed the duo to the party by offering them a handful of M&Ms warmed to body temperature and half melted. The man disguised his excitement of getting to rub shoulders (quite literally) with my offspring with a long sigh and a pained look; his wife must suffer from epilepsy because she had what appeared to be a seizure when she counted how many children were within an arm's reach. I assured the couple, as well as the occupants of the row in front of us that they wouldn't even know my kids were there. I had lots of activities to keep them occupied for the 6 hour and 45 minute ride.

As it turned out, I grossly overestimated my children's interest in coloring books and crossword puzzles and simultaneously underestimated the amount of high fructose corn syrup that would be required to induce a temporary coma. My kids consumed their entire stash of candy shortly after takeoff and, with twelve sticks of gum in their mouths each turned to me and asked, "Now what?"

Fortunately, I was prepared for this question and pulled out the electronic babysitter, otherwise known as my husband's video I-Pod. I was smart enough to download several Disney movies onto the contraption before leaving the house. I was not smart enough, however, to remember to charge its battery. The device was so low on juice that it wouldn't even turn on.

About the time that I pointed my kids in the direction of the list of complimentary beverages in the in-flight magazine, Cameron began to cry. In fact, the only time he didn't cry over the next half hour was when he was eating, so I sat him on my lap facing me and fed him, first a 6 ounce bottle, then a jar of mashed sweet potatoes, and after that, a jar of pureed green beans. Immediately after consuming his last bite of beans, Cameron coughed and then vomited up the entire contents of his stomach onto my chest.

Cameron felt much better after his purging. I felt considerably worse. Kellen, who was sitting next to me at the time, began to hyperventilate, not at the sight of a gallon of green vomit pooled in my lap, but at what I was using to mop it up. In the panic of the moment, I grabbed the object closest to to me, which happened to be Kellen's most treasured possession: his special blanket, which he's had since birth.

"You ruined it! You ruined it!" he cried, just as the man sitting in the seat in front of him peeked through the crack between the seats and asked me to ask Kellen to stop tapping the back of his chair with his foot. The man was trying to sleep.

My attempt to keep the events of row 37 on the down low were frustrated further by the couple across the aisle, who, at the sight of so much vomit, began frantically jabbing at all three flight attendant call buttons above their heads.

The flight attendant was a little slow in coming because she had to make her way through the crowd of people lined up in the aisle next to our seats, who were waiting to use the bathroom.

The man standing directly over my head tried to refrain from stating the obvious, but in the end, the impulse to offer commentary on someone else's misery was too hard to repress. "Your baby just threw up," he observed.

"I think a little got on you," I replied. The man's smirk dissolved into paranoia and disgust as he threw himself into a frantic search for droplets of partially digested milk products on his elbows, shirtsleeves and rear end.

The flight attendant finally poked her head over the top of chair and grimaced at what she saw. She returned a few seconds later with a thick stack of paper towels. "I would have wet them," she apologized, "But we don't have any water."

At that, she retreated to her microphone where she announced over the loudspeaker that the ground crew in Philadelphia failed to refill the plane's water supply and, as a result, the plane was out of water. The toilets still flushed, but there was no water in the kitchen and lavatory faucets.

After changing Cameron and cleaning my clothes as best as I could, I returned to the task of entertaining my kids. Although the episode was over, it was made difficult to forget by the lingering scent of bile. "Something smells back here," the head flight attendant stated matter-of-factly, as she passed by my row.

"It's me," I confessed.
The flight attendant laughed before leaning in for a quick sniff. A few minutes later, she returned with a bottle of air freshener, which she sprayed into the air around my seat.

At the top of hour 2, I began to shiver. The vomit had soaked through my clothes and I was getting cold. Real cold. Faced with another 4 hours and 45 minutes of flight time, I thought I would feel better about myself if I took off my drenched underpants and went commando.

I thought wrong.

The kids went to sleep at the four hour mark, leaving me almost three hours to smell myself and plan future husband-free vacations.

The plane landed at 2:30am Eastern time. The plane had barely touched down on the runway when I called my husband, waking him up from a deep slumber.

"How was your flight?" he asked, groggily.

I didn't say a word. I let Cameron--who was crying at full intensity again--do the talking.

Think you've got me beat? There have got to be some excellent stories out there. I welcome any and all challengers. Bring it on.


JenniferB said...

I thought my expierence was rough -- you win.

feefifoto said...

I saw your introduction and thought: "Oh, here's another one of those moms whining 'Poor me! The airline forgot our vegan meals.' I can certainly top anything she has to offer."

But I can't. And somehow, being first and best with the worstest story doesn't seem to matter right now.

I hope your husband-free vacation is to somewhere breezy, luxurious and preposterously expensive. You deserve it.

Deanna said...

And THAT is why we stay in little po-dunk Idaho, and I never go anywhere I can't stand to drive. Driving 14 hrs to CA was nightmare enough for me!!!

You poor soul! Your hubby owes you one!

BensonFam said...

Gotta love throw up on a plane. I was flying alone with my daughter a few years back when I came down with the stomach flu - minutes before take off. It was a lovely flight! Complete with the flight attendant finally giving up on air sickness baggies (after bringing me about ten) and just handing me a huge plastic garbage bag. The man next to me was incredibly kind (though obviously disgusted) and kept getting me gingerale and ice cubes. And thank goodness my 18 month old slept through most of it! The best was when we got off the airplane and I had to haul my tired daughter, her car seat, a purse, a bulging diaper bag and my humungous throw up bag the entire length of the salt lake airport.

WriterGrrl said...

It was about 4 and a half years ago. We were supposed to take a family vacation from Los Angeles to visit my parents in Tucson for a week. But my husband's brother was dying abroad, so he left to go see him. And I, not really feeling like I could compete with the whole dying brother excuse, took our (then) three children to see my parents. We got to LAX in the middle of a freak rainstorm to find that our flight was going to be massively delayed. It was supposed to leave at, say, 8:30 and arrive at 10pm.

Well, we didn't board until after midnight. My children at the time were ages 1 (but he looked about 3, thanks to his rare overgrowth syndrome, and he has special needs), 3, and 5. We sat on the ground for another hour, and before we took off, D., the 1-year-old, threw up on me THREE TIMES. The first time, I changed him, cleaned up as best I could, asked for help. The flight attendant gave me an air sickness bag and told me to tell my son to vomit into that. Since he was ONE YEAR OLD, he didn't really follow those instructions. By the third time he threw up, I had no more clothes (remember, it was supposed to be a 90-minute flight), and everyone on the plane hated us.

Airborne, D. began to scream. Not much you can do with a child that age. So I ignored him and pretended I was blind and deaf, which was not so easy given the looks and comments I was getting from everyone else.

When we landed AT THREE A.M., I told the flight attendants that I needed help getting off the plane. I was not able to carry my three sleeping children, car seat, and diaper bag. I know, poor planning on my part to have more children than I have hands, but what are you going to do?

They didn't want to help me, so I got to make several trips up and down the aisles, getting my kids and our crap off the plane.

Is it any real surprise I make my parents come to me now?

Lady Mama said...

Thank goodness these experiences provide good story material otherwise there would be nothing to redeem them whatsoever.

Can't beat that one, no way. My only experience was a 9-hour flight with my first when he was six months. He screamed for 3 of the 9 hours and I basically tried to hide from the evil glares from the other passengers. Fun times!

Tracy said...

Perhaps the only thing other passengers on a plane enjoy more than the smell of vomit, is the smell of baby poop. The kind that squishes all up their back and out the legs of their pants. While there is turbulence. And the flight attendants will not let anyone up to go to the lavatory. Everyone in the rows around turn to glare and cough, wishing the parents of the poop machine would do something. And the people sitting next to the poop machine glare as if to say, don't you dare change that diaper right here. Because let's face it, when there's a bumpy ride and you're elbow to elbow- there's gonna be collateral damage if that diaper gets opened up. Oh, yeah. Good times!

The Shabby Posy {formerly Bows 2 Match} said...

For ONCE I think I may have you beat. While my ride was considerably shorter, it was made much worse when my 3 month old got sick the day before the flight.

While standing in line waiting to board the flight, my husband attempted to open a bottle of pedialite. While pulling the plug part out it exploded all over the gentleman infront of us. It soaked his suit all the way through to his shirt. He retreated to the restroom to attmept a clean up after our profuse appologies. (He even laughed a little)

We got seated on our packed flight and lo and behold the only remaining seat was right next to us. The poor gentleman returned from his clean up attempts and was forced to join us for the flight. (he wasn't laughing anymore) About 5 min's after take off our son pooped.... and it leaked. Forced to change him right there on my lap everyone around us was able to enjoy the aroma of an infant with intestinal problems. He later threw up covering both of us. I was now out of clean clothes for him and he spent the rest of the flight in a daiper and blanket. And.... did I mention the crying? Oh it was lovely!

Jennifer said...

And this is why I refuse to fly with my kids. I'll do a road trip any day of the week! My heart goes out to you -- but hopefully you have an uneventful trip back!

~ Jennifer

Amanda said...

Holy smokes--I can't compete, but I can tell you that a good friend of mine was on a flight from SLC to PHL a few years ago and was peed on by someone else's baby. She loves a good story, though, so she didn't mind too much...

Tiffany said...

I do not have anything even remotely close to that. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation. I went to SLC earlier this summer and loved the weather (being from Las Vegas, it is not hard to impress me with weather). I am hope you get plenty of understanding and help up there.

EBPitcher said...

That will definitely make me rethink ever taking a trip alone with my son! I hope your vacation gets better!

Rachael said...

I do not have a story to beat that. No kids yet (still 4 more weeks!!!) and the worst flight for me involved me throwing up - but I didn't get any on myself :)

I did want to tell you, the video Ipod is a joke. You pretty much have to have it plugged in and charging to watch a video. I loaded Juno to mine especially for a flight, I didn't even make it through the credits before the batter was drained!

Emily said...

Oh. MY. I cannot imagine. I had a really bad experience before I had kids, but the fact that it was just me and my husband and no kids makes it not even worth mentioning. So sorry.

Sims Family said...

Yeah, you win. But last year, we were in Salt Lake ready for a LONG drive back to Phoenix when my infant and 5 year old started throwing up. My husband refused to drive home with vomitting children, so her purchased last minute plane tickets for the sickies. We took off and flew back home.
When we landed I called to whine about how horrible it was to fly with barfing children. He was not sympathetic at all. You see, my 7 year old and my 8 year old nephew caught the flu, too and were STILL throwing up. THE WHOLE DRIVE HOME. hahaha. Is it mean to laugh? Poor guy. I would take the plane any day.

Jo's girl said...

as much as I would like to fly to see family we just met at my parents a mere 5 and 1/2 hours drive. but in those wonderful, dare I say, spectacular 5 and 1/2 hours... it literally takes a whole year to forget the horrors to plan another visit.

and the 1st time I drove minus my husband... yeah I got 2 speeding tickets (one on the way up and one on the way back) totaling $1,000.00 dollars cause well. I just wanted to be out of the car.

one kid was screaming while the other was throwing up and I was the only one a straight road while a cop going in the other direction caught sight of my blur.
I have since learned my lesson and no longer speed but pull over to the side of the road and calmly count to 20 before issuing threats of their lives.

but at least I never had an audience. public commentary is just the best!

Corbett Family said...

Just getting ready to fly with four kids next month (6, 4, 2, and 3 months). Can't wait!!! (At least my husband will be with me.)

Red She Said said...

When my daughter was in her terrible twos, we flew from San Diego to Las Vegas, the flight is only about an hour. But my daughter didn't seem to be feeling good and it only got worse once we were on the plane.

I have always had problems with my ears, constant infections as a kid, surgery, you name it. Doctors have explained to me that my ear canal is very small (and also has scarring) which explains the constant infections and also why, when fluid fills up in them, I can't just "pop" them by drinking something or chewing gum. Flying for me can be very painful at times and honestly, I'd rather be in labor than have severe ear pain on a plane.

That said, once my daughter and I were on the plane and it took off, she started rubbing her ear and screaming/crying. Knowing full well she was probably in a lot of pain, I felt HORRIBLE for her. Especially given my experiences, I know there isn't much (if anything) that can be done to relieve that kind of pain. I tried giving her something to drink, something to eat, nothing seemed to work and after about 20 minutes I realized that we just needed to wait it out and so I just sat there holding her. This didn't go over well with the other passengers or the flight attendant.

Aside from the constant dirty looks I got from the other passengers, one flight attendant in particular would not leave me alone. She would approach me every 5 minutes - "Did you try giving her milk? What about apple juice? Give her some apple juice." I had already tried everything, it was her ears. The flight attendant didn't believe me which was apparent because she continued to approach me with "advice" on what I "should" be doing. This woman clearly didn't have children.

At one point, on the verge of going insane, she took a barf bag and drew a face on it, trying to make it into a puppet to show my daughter. This face she drew was one of the creepiest things I'd ever seen. It looked like an insane/angry muppet character or something. She shoved it in my daughters face which only made her scream louder. It was at that exact minute that I became secretly glad that my daughter was clearly driving this woman crazy.

My daughter cried the entire flight. Only an hour long flight and while I don't have you beat, I know exactly how it feels when you're on a plane and each minute itself can feel like 3 hours. Since I've had my experience, I don't even flinch anytime I'm on a plane and hear a little one start crying. I have been in that mother's shoes . I think I'm a more compassionate person for it and only wish others could feel the same.
Hang in there during your next flying adventure! I hope you'll update us all on it, ha ha. Love your blog!

CountessLaurie said...

Sorry for you, but you win! OY! After my one flight with my children, I thought they should offer a kids free flight. Then, if someone chose to take a flight with kids, too bad. I love that the guy had to point out that your baby threw up. Really? Ya think so?

Carrie said...

My friend is thinking about traveling on a plane with her 3 year old twins. I think I might pass this along. I won't travel on a plane with my daughter until she is 8, 6 more years to go.

Katie Farmand said...

I can't imagine how awful that was for you! I'm not a mom yet, but I do have a baby barf on a plane story.

When I was younger, my parents and brother and I were flying to London for a summer trip. My then-3-year-old brother came down with a stomach bug the night before we left, but it was way too late to change the trip, so we went anyway.

He seemed ok as we boarded, and my parents sat him and me together. Within 10 minutes of taking off, he leaned over to me as if to tell me something, but instead barfed right in my lap and all over my chest (thanks, dude). I haaaate vomit, so I started gagging, but when looked at my mom, she gave me one of her looks, and said "not you too." Her serious tone scared the urge to puke right out of me!

Luckily we carried on our luggage so I could change, but the smell didn't really leave for the rest of the 10-hour flight. Ug.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I am so, so sorry. Bless your heart. I think you should let your husband take the kids and you go solo for the return flight!

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

That story just confirms to me that I'd never go on vacation wothout my hubby. The kids and I get motion sickness very quickly, and I can't clean up puke. So never will that happen. :)

Crystal said...

Yours beats mine but I thought I'd share anyways.

When my eldest was about 9 months we flew from NC to CA. On the flight home it was snowing. We left for the airport a day early knowing the roads would be closed if we waited. So our 12 hour trip ended up starting Fri at about noon and getting us home Monday morning about 6 am. We a 18 hour layover, a 9 hour layover and a 3 1/2 hour drive along with the flight time.

On our last trip my youngest, 6 months at the time, screamed 4 of the 6 hours on the first flight. *Sigh* good times :-)

Katie said...

You so funny! (I like how you pointed out that the man might have vomit on him also (even if you know he didn't, you go girl)) I do not care for those "obvious situation pointer outers" not on a bus not in a car and especially not on a plane, Sam I am.

These old folks act like they never had children.

Amanda said...

I am flying next month with my twins for the first time. I only HOPE they sleep, don't puke on me, and keep their poop in their diapers!

Tanna said...

Certainly can't top that. At least YOU didn't throw up too. When I was little, I threw up all the time on planes (and cars, and buses), and on occasion the smell would make my mom lose it too.

A Musing Mother said...


M.O.T.B said...

This is why I have NEVER braved going anywhere with my children that involves a plane....I am a huge CHICKEN!

Unknown said...

And that is why I have not visited my family, and hometown (and made them come to me) in 5 years. Good luck on the flight back!

kandra said...

I don't know if I have you beat but this last Christmas our 8 hour trip turned into a 4 day journey. You can read it at my blog here, http://conaryfamily.blogspot.com/2008/12/our-vacation-adventure.html

Now this coming saturday we're doing it again! Wish me luck!

April said...

I might have you beat...I was traveling with my one yr old and my brand new 8 week old baby. I was exhausted from being a new mommy again and the sleepless nights and adjusting to having two kids. (I have three now). We were flying from CA to VA to visit my parents. My husband WAS with me. On the way to the airport DD threw up in the car. I thought it odd because she didn't seem sick before we left. I grabbed some clean clothes out of the suit case and changed her on the side of the road. She seemed fine after that. We got to the airport and everything just fine, got in our seats and took off. After take off DH began throwing up!! In all our years of marriage I had never seen him throw up or even sick! He was in the lavatory a lot and was little help to me.
Then DD began having horrible diahrea! We not only ran out of clean clothes but also DIAPERS!!! So I was taking care of my husband who was throwing up, my daughter would couldn't stop pooping and a newborn who wouldn't stop screaming. It stunk! Literally! I was a new enough mom to not have brought extra clothes or ample diapers. I've learned since then!
On our layover we cleaned up as best we could and I searched the airport for diapers. I soon realized that it's impossible to find diapers in airports. I never found any, but was able to borrow ONE from a stranger. It didn't stay clean for too long. All the while searching for diapers, DH was in the bathroom throwing up and he was so loud that EVERYONE could hear him outside of the bathroom. People walking by kept making faces and feeling sorry for "whoever it was". I pretended I didn't know who it was either. We finally made it to VA and the remainder of our trip we spent very sick. We even had to go to the ER a couple of times with DD because she was dehydrated. It was a nightmare of a trip. Fortunately, I was more prepared for our return flight, but all was well by then. Everyone slept the entire flight home. I refuse to fly by myself, EVER!

Kiki said...

Wow! You win the award for BEST MOM EVER! I would have lost my marbles, have hysterical crying fits and a breakdown. I only have one child and we have flown on one flight together almost two years ago. He was ill and I pumped him up with Tylenol and Motrin. He slept all the way from NC to TX and did the same on the way back. I hope I never have a horror story. Have fun in CA. Will Hubby be flying back with you? Take care.

Amelia said...

I pray that I will never, EVER compete with that story. You take the cake, Jana! And you can have it. ;-)

Foursons said...

Yikes! That's all I can say.

Liz said...

Oh my goodness. And you lived to tell the story. I think that you have any and all airplane ride horror stories beat.

Jean said...

Ohhhhh my gosh. I feel for you. I will never again complain about flying cross-country solo with a toddler.

And a note to Captain Obvious -- I kind of hope that a tiny bit of baby puke got on you. You wanted to chime in -- why not join in the fun all the way??

Missy said...

Oh my. I certainly feel for you and you definitely win, hands down, for the worst plane trip story.

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

There's no way I have you beat. You are amazing.

Meagan and John said...

OK, I do believe I have you all beat--I was a flight attendant so I have a lot of flight horror stories, and because I got ot fly stand by we traveled quite a few times in a short period to go to weddings and my high school reunion, I think ew flew a total of 4 times in 2 to 3 months, but could be wrong, most of the time It was just me and my son, the first trip should have been the last.

IT is one thing to have a screaming baby, it is another thing when they are screaming profanity, my son had a major issues and so when he screamed Push, what came out was PUSS and he screamed it the whole flight, and then the first hour of the 2nd flight.

the trip I did take with my husband and son included a more than 20 hour lay over, a change of destination (our luggage had already been flown to Utah when we finally flew caught a plane to Vegas) suprise visiting the inlaws who then took us sto the greyhound bus station--YES, I said greyhoud, from Vegas to Fillmore, Ut (which they don't stop in Fillmore anymore, so we had to request special service) we barely got there in time to shower before having to go to my high school reunion--oh and did I mention the day before we left Domnic drank bleach--in addition to not being able to find diapers in an airport, you can't find diaper rash oitment either. I will have to take the time to blog about it one day, but as for now I am still trying ot overcome it--that was the last time I ever visited my mother's house


oh and by the way that is just 2 trips, and doesn't include any where I was the flight attendant, like when the souldier blue chucks all over the plane, or when I fell, oh the stories I coudl tell, i coudl probably make a blog dedcated just to my flight stories

Holly said...

"Row 37" coming soon to a theatre near you.

You win. Even these people who think they have you beat, don't.

Does it help for me to say that I am always the one who is offering to take the crankypants kids and attempt to entertain them? Because no one offered but be glad they didn't. Kids on planes do NOT want to be entertained by ANYONE other than Mom. Barf and all.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Oh, wow. Now that was a crappy flight. You definitely win!

Desiree said...

The fact that there was no water on the flight puts you over the top. That is ridiculous. I would ask for my money back!!

Sorry you endured that. Hope your vacation makes up for it!

Brooks said...

That sounded eerily similar to an experience my oldest sister had with her children, a plane, and a case of food poisoning. Well, all except for that she had help in the form of a scantily-clad "dancer" who offered the shirt off her own back.

I seriously think that, once old, those who once had children, forget what it's like to travel with them. I can't wait.

Kudos to you for being able to put a brilliantly funny spin on such a traumatic experience.

The Mother said...

I think you have a decent shot at winning that one. I have nothing that can touch it.

Olivia Singleton said...

Unfortunately, I think I might win:




Anonymous said...

This doesn't trump your story, but points out that elements of your situation could have been worse...

I remember when I was about 8, my mom and I boarded a plane from TX to FL to visit my grandparents. The flight really wasn't supposed to be very long, but there was a freak snow storm in FL that caused the flight to be delayed for hours - with no food on board. We finally were re-directed to another airport where we had to stay the night at a local hotel. While there, my mom and I had a big argument that ended in my running away from the hotel, and my poor mother searching the streets of a strange town for her little girl. (Don't worry, I didn't get far.)

The next morning, the story on the front page of the newspaper left at our hotel door announced a major airplane crash that had occurred in the night. Not the most encouraging message as you're on your way to the airport.

We eventually made it to FL and to my grandparents', and the trip actually wound up being great! But now that I'm an adult, I have a real appreciation for moms who fly with kids. It's road trips for us, baby!

ME said...

you get the award!...bless your heart! Only those of us with small children on a plane understand what the other mommies & daddies are going through at a time like that and offer our sincere condolences...thanks for your fantastic recap of the flight!

Francie said...

you win! hands down!

likeschocolate said...

Well, I have never traveled with 4 children and certainly not with all three alone. However, last year when we were coming back from Germany I thought we would never make it. Actually the two oldest of the three were angels. It was the baby. He was good for the first hour and a half maybe two hours. There was a baby next two us who was miserable and I even gave the father who was traveling alone with him our extra pacifier because I was afraid his crying would wake up our son/baby. Well, it didn't help and our son was awak and nothing was going to make him happy. The man behind me was yelling at me and telling me to drug my child. I just apologized to the man and told him that my son had a heart condition and that I couldn't drug him. My son also threw his only pacifier about three rows back and we couldn't find it. Nothing helped! He wouldn't eat anything yet he was starving. I vowed after that flight never to travel on a plane with a child under 3.

Anonymous said...

uh, you win. Terrifying.

Please, I never want to win this game.

mintifresh said...

Um, yeah, you totally win!

Parenting Ink said...

Jana, you FOR SURE win. And you make all of us laugh, too.

When my daughter was 2 1/2 and my son was 5 months old, I flew with them to visit my parents. My daughter had a freak-out as we boarded the plane. I was the mother about to get kicked off the plane with a screaming toddler.

Some lady took pity on me and offered to hold my baby for me. She did for half the plane ride as I held my terrified toddler. And then my baby pooped ....all over her.

Just goes to show you, you try to do something nice for someone and they shit on you.

Diane said...

You win all the prizes!

Totally Taylor said...

Note to self: NEVER FLY ALONE WITH CHILDREN! and don't forget to charge electronics.

You are a saint.

Teresa said...

I cannot top this - thank God! I'm actually on a trip now with my six year old grandson. This is not the first time I've flown with him (alone) and he's been great each time. The first time he was 2.5 and the most difficulty I had was trying to get him and his car seat unloaded when he was asleep. One of the other passengers ended up carrying him off the plane while still sleeping in his seat. What a gentleman!

This trip, we landed in Seattle at 11:10 PM, but our bodies felt like it was 1:10 AM. Isaiah was sleeping so while I carried him and one carry on, a female passenger who had sat behind us carried the other carry on. Isaiah did wake up and was able to walk, so I ended up taking both pieces of luggage. He was a true gem on each of the trips I've taken with him.

I also flew with my other grandson (not alone, though) in February. He was 18 months and was a bit more difficult but not impossible. The hardest part is taking a kid, car seat, stroller, diaper bag, carry on, etc. and deciding which one you're taking on the plane first and which one you're leaving at the door. Thank God there have been helpful people each time I've needed them.

mummyof6monsters said...

OH MY GOD!! That was awful, What a horrible flight. The joys of kids:)

Joy said...

I do NOT have you beat- not by a long shot, but here's my version of your story... flight from Oakland to JFK with 8 month old son in a car seat (which give lots of height when pitching pacifiers, toys and bottles) and 2.5 yr old son. My "big boy" would screech to get the baby started and then laugh while the baby yelled. So I tried to quiet the baby- songs, pacifier, but really snacks and bottles of milk. During the descent, (almost there!) the baby started really crying. I unbuckled him and as I put him on my lap facing me, he vomited all over me and then smiled just as we touched down. Someone else's irritating child in the row next to me yelled, "EW! THAT BABY THREW UP!" Then once I had the baby undressed, she weirdly wanted to tickle him- to which I said, "Do not touch my baby." I put my jacket on and zipped up right over my vomit soaked shirt. But here's the thing- I now have such a mommy world view that I staggered off the plane with car seat, baby, toddler, and assorted crap and thought, "Gosh- that was so lucky- the vomit was only on me, not on the car seat, and it happened at landing, not at take off." I remember when lucky used to mean a bump up to first class!

Anonymous said...

OK. You definitely win. My story cannot compete but I will tell you anyway. I was travelling with my 18 month old son on a short flight to visit my parents. My son sat in the middle seat between me and a business man who looked less than thrilled to be with us. Back then meals were served and we were fortunate enough to receive breakfast which included scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. My son enjoyed most of his meal except for the sausage apparently. After chewing a large chunk for quite some time he decided it was not acceptable and spit it out in his hand. Before I could grab it he gently set it down on the buisiness man's plate!!! I was mortified and quickly removed the pile of chewed sausage. Immediately following this my son filled his diaper with poop. Because it was a short flight we were preparing for landing at this point so I was not able to change him. I felt badly for the man beside us!

Mariah said...

That was so good, not only did I laugh out loud I actually threw my head back and guffawed. Love it

Sandra said...

3 words.


Seriously (ok that was 4).

Melissa Berberena said...

I just flew to Noth Carolina with my 4 kids and was so pupmed that no one ralphed in the plane... my youngest waited until we were in the cab.
Better luck on the way home :)

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

That was fantastic! Fantastic in that REALLY God just knew you needed the BEST story ever.

Unknown said...

4 day weekend trip to visit family. 3 hour flight, alone, with cranky, crying 2 year old. 14 weeks pregnant and nauseous. \

Woke up in hotel room next morning unable to pee. Spent an agonizing 3 hours in out of town ER while my parents entertained the toddler in the hospital parking lot.

Left the hospital with a catheter and spent two days walking around with a bag of pee strapped to my leg. ER costs after insurance were 3 times what I had paid for the hotel and discount airfare that had been such a great deal.

The 2 year old screamed all the way home. Debated leaving him in the airport during a layover, but too many people had seen us together...

And I still can't even come close to your trip.

Anonymous said...

From now on if I ever get the urge to complain about traveling with my son I will do my best to remember this post, and shut my mouth. You definitely get the Grand Prize!

Anonymous said...

I think I win,
Here are the gruesome details: 6 months pregnant with 18 month old daughter and hubby stayed home. Trip to Toronto at Christmas holiday rush.
Shortly after take off Preggo starts throwing up and can't stop (later diagnosed with food poisoning) her daughter poops in her pants and takes off by herself to the potty room which was right beside us and gets locked in by herself, takes 45 mins of pleading and banging on door to finally get the door open. Turbulence occurs and I fall and sprain my wrist and then remain in seat with daughter screaming beside her because she wants her buckle off until the wheel skids on icy tarmac and breaks causing minor injuries, me no worse than my sprain except a bruise on my daughters head from luggage falling on her, causing us to use the emergency exit slides in which my daughter was terrified of and had to take her with me screaming in my ear still hurting a feeling nauseous. Spent the night in observation at ER and vowed to never use the power of flight ever again!!

Travis and Heather said...

Wow, I have no words...except....WOW! I wish you were my neighbor and I could sit and listen to all your stories. You are so medicinal!

catt410 said...

Why in the world do we think traveling with kids would ever end up with a happy ending. I applaud you for even thinking this would be a good idea, bravo. :)

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...



You've got me soooo beat.

I've taken my kids on a lot of flights, and I have one again this Saturday to fly across the country. But never alone. Alone is bad. Very bad.

Anonymous said...

Flying home from Portland,Maine to Portland OR.

Flight delayed .

Plane we were on was running out of fuel so we had to refuel in Detroit.

Miss connection in Chicago.

Next flight out in 3 days.

No room or comps because it was weather related.

Luggage went on without us.

No formula.

2 diapers.

Took a 2 hour subway/ bus ride to downtown Chicago to buy diapers and formula.

Left diapers on the bus.

Repeated the bus/subway/diaper trip.

Stayed in the nicest place I have ever stayed in and will be paying off my credit card for years.

On the airplane 3 days later,baby cried until she puked and pooped all over the same clothes I had been wearing for 4 days and then fell asleep.

I was not going to wake her.

Man next to us repeatedly complained (LOUDLY)about his seat.

I made sure to fan the smell of baby poo in his face whenever I thought her wasnt looking.

Stampleigh said...

Well, mine is not as good and doesn't involve kids. However, on a flight home from Florida to North Carolina we as well sat on the back row (not by choice). The AWFUL smell from the bathroom was so bad, I was gaging for most of the two hours. The pilot kept trying to "do a dump" as the flight attendent informed us, but it was not helping. As we were pulling up to the gate in NC the flight atttendent came across the intercom and announced, "Due to the terrible smell coming from the bathrooms at the back of the plane, we are going to let the back two rows exit the plane first." As we exited the back of the plane first, we got all of the pitiful looks from the other travelers as they sat in their seats and watched us pass.

My, then 4 year old daughter, did get sick on a plane once. But, we were able to make it into the air sickness bag. I closed it up nice and tight and when I tried to hand it to the flight attendent he said, "What is this and what am I suppose to do with it?"

pan x 8 said...

And I thought flying stand-by with 5 children ~ 2 under the age of 1 ~ with split seats in 3 different places the 4 hours to Hawaii was bad... Nah, you got me beat story wise but I think I'm a close 2nd! I did walk off the plane vomit-free. You are Wonder Woman for surviving that plane ride!

Piedmont College Nursing Students said...

Wow. That about does it. I don't know anyone that can top it. You win mom of the year!

Alison said...

My friend Brooke is my hero...as she was struggling to get stroller, gear, small toddler and baby through the metal detectors by herself, she was getting the sighs and complaints from behind her because she was taking so long. She turned around and said sweetly, "Oh, I'm sorry. Is it stressful traveling ALONE????"

Kirsty said...

My sincerest sympathies for your trauma, although I believe I have you beat.

Picture this if you will: Sitting on the runway (for 2 hours) waiting to take off for a 19 hour (which turned into 22 hour) non-stop flight from JFK to Johannesburg South Africa, my eighteen month old (who incidentally did not have his own seat) turned upon my husband and puked up the entire contents of his stomach, liberally marinaded in orange juice. Then my 3 year old fell asleep and woke up having peed in her seat.

The 18 month old apparently had an ear infection on the way home because he screamed for approximately 16 of the 20 hours much to the chagrin of the New Yorker couple in front of us. The woman appeared to be particularly highly strung due to not having eaten in recent months and too many encounters with her plastic surgeon. Her husband tried to exact vengeance for the disturbance by forcibly flinging his seat into recline position in an apparent attempt to "whack" our kid (who was seated on my large husband's lap into a state of unconsciousness.)

Unfortunately, he did not quite manage to knock him out cold, but he did hurt him enough to raise his howlings by a few decibels and octaves. After a while the entire plane of New Yorkers turned openly hostile and started having loud conversations to each other about how they drugged their kids and why couldn't we (because our kids, unlike most other human beings, get all hopped up on Benadryl-apparently we did something very very wrong in the pre-existence).

After this delightful 22 hours in the air, we found ourselves, shaking with exhaustion, dragging four sick crying children under the age of 6 through the streets of New York with ALL of our luggage (nothing more pathetic then a sick tired eighteen month old having to drag his own little suitcase after flying and crying for 22 hours) because they refused to transfer our luggage to the domestic terminal. (Eventually a porter literally risked his job to help us along on our pathetic sojourn).

After this fun adventure we spent the next 9 hours riding the little train and lying on the concrete benches in the JFK airport, because they refused to put us on the next flight to Detroit, which would have been only 3 hours later. No real reason. JFK is just like that-apparently we needed some toughening up.

Good times, fond memories. (I'm twitching a bit just recalling it)

Unknown said...

Haha, this reminds me of that episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight (back before they hated each other) when they're flying to Utah but they have to go to Idaho and wait out a storm and they're stuck on the plane and Kate has a nervous breakdown and starts crying about how they're never going to leave the plane, and she is surrounded by her eight children, all crying about something.
We never flew anywhere as children, and I don't have any of my own to experience these joys with, so you definitely win.

Tasha said...

We were going to do a one way 4 hour flight to SLC from Dallas and decided we had better get a layover so the kids (18 mo and 3) didnt get too anxious. I don't think it helped at all. We went from one very overstuffed plane to another. The kids were miserable, therfore WE wer miserable, as was everyone within three seats in front or behind us! You'd think people would be more understanding of kids, after all at one point in their lives they were also obnoxious children and someone else had to put up with them!

Maya said...

OK, after reading most of these stories I am terrified of flying alone with my 6 month old from CA to WI to visit my mom in 2 weeks!!!

He's flown cross country twice OK, but he was 2 weeks and 3 months on those trips. Jana, I hope I don't come back with anything close to your story!!!

Becky said...

I made the flight from Denver to Phoenix with my two year old daughter and infant son. Just before take off my daughter says her stomach hurts just before she unloads her lunch on the snake skin boots of the man sitting next to us. He was a Doctor and a nice man, thank goodness. I was mortified.

The Millward Family said...

It is shocking to me how horrible people can be to people with kids sometimes! Just a few months after 9/11 I was traveling alone with my 18 month old son, and while the trip went mostly smoothly, I was pretty anxious that at any moment he was going to melt down. So while we in at the Seattle airport for our layover, I was letting him stretch his legs just before they wer about to begin boarding our plane, just letting him walk around.

I have his stroller, his humongous Curious George riding in the stroller, a backpack on, the diaper bag hanging from the back of the stroller, and our winter coats (we were traveling in the winter from sunny CA to Montana) stuffed wherever they would fit.

I was handling everything pretty well, just following him, when he wandered right past a guy who looked like an airport employee taking a break, down a little hall. I followed my son down the hall, while the airport guy watched us the entire time. After about 25 feet down the hall, my son turnewd around and started coming back, with me following him. As we started past the airport guy, who had never let us out of his sight, he said, "You can't come back this way, that hall leads out of the airport, you have to go back through security." I couldn't believe it, I smiled and said "You're kidding!" He said no and began to physically block the way for my son who was trying to get past him, the little terrorist! I began to explain that he had seen us the entire time, we never got 20 feet away from him and he says he'll have someone escort me from the airport if I don't go back down the hall and out to the security line.

I am practically in tears, knowing I am going to miss my flight, when this wonderful airport lady sees us and asks what the problem is. He "explains", she rolls her eyes at him and tells me to come with her. She leads me back down the hall which after several turns, takes us to the baggage claim, and then to the security line, which was SUPER long. She takes me to the very front of the line and gets us through in record time, just in time to catch our flight, while the rest of the people in line glare at us cutting in front of them.

I hope that airport guy gets to sit next to a family like yours someday! :)

Maree said...

WOW! Such great stories I wouldn't even try to compete. You guys have me beat, hands down!

Jana, I sincerely hope the return trip is completely uneventful.

Your saga is why we ALWAYS drugged our kids in the waiting area--either Benedryl (which DID make them sleepy) or cough medicine w/ codeine (when I was really lucky). I will gladly endure the criticism (5 years later still) from my F-I-L for drugging my kids unnecessarily. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Rocket Ma'am said...

At least the trip back is sure to be easier!
I'm not sure I have an individual story that can compete to being trapped on a plane, but I might win through sheer volume due to all the cross-country moves we've endured. I can't think of a single trip that didn't involve vomit, poo, blood, or a combination. The one involving the most people was the one time all of us but the breast-fed baby got hit with a going-and-throwing bug in the middle of an 8 hour drive. It took us out in the dining room and parking lot/flower beds of a St Louis Cracker Barrel. We pushed into Illinois, foolishly thinking we could make it, but stopped at a hotel after 15 min, then spent the night sharing the bathroom and waste baskets. But we had to press on, so in the morning we limped the remaining 4 hours to collapse at Gramma's where we tied up the washing machine and passed the bug to all of them.
Hope you get some real rest!

Julie said...

you win!

Bridget said...

Your story leaves me with smiles. I've flown with children frequently, but usually they are fairly well behaved. Not always. But luckily they've never had bodily fluid issues with no water to even clean up. After one trip where we missed every flight we should have been on and were dragging carseats around the airport waiting for new flights, we decided never to fly with so many carseats again. Luckily, we also have vacations without the kids thanks to some great parents and friends.

caligirlinfl said...

I have had some bad experiences flying with my kids. Including one where it got to the point that I had a few other passengers yelling, "Give that kid some Benadryl!" To which I replied, "If you say so, but just so you know Benadryl makes her hyper." I think my best stories of kids flying are from my 5 years when I was a flight attendant. I felt so bad for some of the moms. One time that I got angry with a mom was when we had this kid who had been running around wreaking havok the whole flight. upon landing we told the mom that she had to stay in her seat even if the mom had to sit on her to keep her there. Sure enough, just as we hit the runway, I saw the little girl running down the aisle. Upon connecting to the runway, the girl was tossed into the air and her body slammed against the door of the lavatory before she hit the floor. Thank goodness she was ok.

Leadia Jarvis said...

Bless your heart.
When my eldest was about 6 months old I was traveling by plane when the preschooler in front of us vomited....right into MY diaper bag. When I summoned help from the flight crew, one attendant handed me a delicate little pile of beverage napkins as means of cleaning up and when I told her I needed a hand because obviously I was traveling alone...with a 6 month old...she told me that airline regulations are that she is not able to touch bodily fluids. Wha??
The parents of the kid who yakked in my bag watched as I cleaned THEIR Child's vomit from my bag and didn't offer so much as to lift a finger. They managed a weak, "Did it get all over?" to which I replied, "If you consider the fact that my diaper bag and all its contents are soaked with vomit then yes, it did indeed get all over." I further explained to them, and the flight attendent who decided that while she couldn't touch vomit she could happily watch me do it, that I had no other diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, etc. for the rest of the flight they all "hmmmmm'ed" and then turned to go back to their vomit-free travel. Thankfully another passenger helped me out AND mentioned to the perpetrators that it might me nice for them to offer to pay towards the purchase of new supplies. Which they did. To the tune of $20. Whee.

Michelle said...

You win! People are such jerks. I really can't believe other passengers commented about the vomit and seat kicking like you weren't trying. You have me a little scared. I am traveling in a couple weeks without hubby with all three kids. I have traveled with my oldest alone when he was a baby and preschoolers but 1 is much easier to wrangle than 3. Mine are 9,8, and 6 and I pray to God they behave. I will made the mistake of not charging the protable DVD player for my son on our return flight when he was 5 and he was much more roudy than on the way there. I will make sure all 3 DS's will be charged!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

That is amazing. Congratulations on surviving that one.

My worst involved - Me and my then 9-month-old son. Red eye from LA to Paris. 10-1/2 hours of screaming. We flew the Unfriendly Skies of Air France. That was just the first leg of our trip and the longest 10-1/2 hours of my life.

Part of my soul is still circling the Charles De Gaul airport.

You are a wonder.

Erin said...

That does not sound like a nice flight at all! I am sorry you had to go through that! I hope you have an ok flight home and I don't think you will plan anymore husbandless trips!

I agree with some of these ladies that your husband owes you :)

Tarcoulis said...

For all parents with horrible carseat lugging stories - there is one harness on the market which is FAA approved for all phases of flight, called CARES. I'm not affiliated blah, blah, blah. It converts the lap belt into a four point harness and is super easy to set up, adjust and remove. I wonder if they would sponsor a prize for a future competition?

koreen (aka: winn) said...

Yes, you win. (Several of your commenters are also winners. I hope I never win in this little game.

But here's my story anyway (for the joy of those who like reading horror stories): Firstly, imagine a horrible long flight in the most uncomfortable seat ever built for a dwarf, I have fibromyalgia, and we were taking advantage of our little boy's last free flight (he was 23.5 months old), traveling from Halifax Canada to LAX, which caused my back to go "out" and got little sleep on our vacation. Last day of vacation the hub and son get the flu. I spend the last night "nursing" them. By the by, this is when I got hooked on coffee. THE STORY: flight back to Halifax from LAX, my son is pooping diarrhea the whole time, hub is unable to help cuz he's still dealing with his OWN issues.
Needless to say, after we touched down, I went quietly off to the side and had a little nervous breakdown.

The good news: I had learned the hard way, and while my carryon weighed more than I did, I had enough supplies to get us through it. Oh, except for clothing for me... and yes the diaper leaked.

And I changed my son at the seat, because I was not really going to drip mushy poop down the aisle to cram myself into a closet smaller than me and then attempt a diaper change along to the accompaniment of everyone else's previous visit to the same john. Nope. Some things I just don't do.

I too hope that the vomit got on that genius. =)

Gretchen said...

Whoa I don't have anything to top that, but to say PLEASE don't plan a husband-free vacation. I just got back from 3.5 weeks on a "husband-free vacation" but let's be honest. That's no vacation. It's basically an opportunity to take kids away from a regular schedule, fill them up with convenience foods packed with sugar, and ask them not to climb/jump/spill on the furniture of someone's house who has NO toys anywhere to be found. In the summertime. When its 100+ degrees outside, so they can't even safely play outside.

Good times. Good times.

But, don't ya just love it when people on a plane glare at you. I love to say, "I'd love to avoid inconveniencing you. But I think briefly stepping outside the plane may create a problem up here at 30,000 feet."

mama rose said...

And I thought boarding a flight alone with my then 18 month old after being evacuated from a hurricane was rough. She cried all the way from from FL to NY. I recall the flight attendant asking me if I'd like a cocktail on the house. I politely declined as I had to drive when upon arrival. This was also a husband(called back to work at the last minute)free adventure for which he is still paying for both figuratively and literally. LOL But you certainly win this round sister unless you wan to hear the story about when I chaperoned my 14yr old nephew's hockey tournament. Then I would definitely win. Perhaps I'll post it on my site some time. BTW I submitted it for class in grad school, got an A+ and taken out for cocktails by my classmates and professor.

Valreegrl said...

Holy crap! I am so glad I found this blog....I think I just peed my pants!

That was awesome!

Emily said...

Nope, can't compete with that one! I've only traveled with my kiddos on a plane once each (thank goodness). Once with my hubby to Canada for a family vacation with the oldest and once by myself with the youngest to go to my grandfathers funeral......WHICH we ended up missing due to the massive blizzards in Denver & C-Springs the weekend before Christmas (yup, my sweet grandfather died the week before Christmas AND I had to miss the funeral). AND they closed the highway WHILE we were on route to the funeral AND both my sister and I (and our babies) had to try to get back to my parent's house in C. Springs in a white-out blizzard in the only city in the U.S, with hills as steep as S.F., covered with snow and ice, in a car that had no snow tires or 4 wheel drive! Anyhoo (I guess there's still a little repressed resentment), both times I made sure to have lots of benadryl (I know....I'm a terrible mom) and every time they started to cry I just stuck a boob in their mouths till they fell asleep.

Was that TMI?

Also, what's with all the vomiting kids? Now I'm scared that next time we get on a plane, my kiddos will just start vomiting as soon as we take off....and vomit is one thing that me ME vomit.

Tanya said...

You are great! I love your blog. Since I would rather cut off my right arm with a plastic play dough knife than fly with my three little ones, I thankfully cannot compete with your story. (Well, we are about to take a 10 hour car ride next week, without hubby... hmm, maybe I spoke to soon...)
I wish you an enjoyable trip and an uneventful flight home.
Thanks for being real! :)

Unknown said...

You poor poor thing!

My last flight was pretty swell, allthough this was after a YUPPIE snobby couple sat behind us then quickly realized we had two small children with us, Their noses went straight up in the air, and they got up without any hesitation and went as far back AWAY from us as they could.

My baby girl who was about 6 mos. at the time was way fussy... BUT luckily for me the flight attendants (females) loved her and took her off my hand showing her off to the other passengers and walking her up and down the aisle! I KNOW' LUCKY ME! I hate flying with kids...sorry mom's but I do use COUGH SYRUP to conk them out!

The Amazing Trips said...

I left my husband home with two of our three-year-old triplets and flew cross-country, from California to Florida, with one three-year-old triplet and my eight-month-old infant.

On the trip home, during the drive to the airport, my three-year-old was carsick and threw up all over me - and herself - and her favorite stuffed animal. "Surely the worst is out of the way," I thought.

And then, GOD LAUGHED.

We were supposed fly from Miami to Dallas-Fort Worth where we would catch a connecting flight to San Diego. But, we were routed to Arkansas due to a storm over Texas. Once we made our very bumpy landing, we had to exit out the back of the plane and stood with at least 4,000 other travelers for the next SIX hours - until DFW Airport reopened.

The flight to Texas was terrifying. We flew through the most severe turbulence I have ever experienced. I felt like a cork in a washing machine, with a fussy baby on my lap and a fussy toddler by my side and visions of our memorial service dancing in my head.

Minutes, nay SECONDS, after our landing in DFW, the airport shut down. All of the flights in and out were canceled. We were stranded with over 20,000 other people. There were no hotel rooms. No rental cars. NO COTS.

NO LUGGAGE, because everything was stuck in the bottom of the plane. We wound up riding moving sidewalks and trams until 2 AM, and then falling asleep on the floor. I had to my name FOUR diapers. And two children who weren't entirely potty trained. Thankfully, I was breastfeeding, so I nursed the baby ALL NIGHT LONG to keep him from crying and waking up the terminal of stranded travelers.

But he still did.

When the airport reopened, the following day, we were standby with more than 500 other people. The earliest flight they could book us on was TWO days out - but, they assured me, they bumped us from coach to first class.

I wound up jumping a flight to Palm Springs - later that day. My husband had to drive three hours to pick us up and had to buy two new carseats because our two, were still in the belly of the plane and wouldn't be returned to us for another few days. On the three hour car ride home, with four children under the age of four ... three of them were carsick and threw up all over the inside of the car - and our two new carseats.

I don't know. You might need to put this one up for a vote. (HA!! Word verification on this is AMATEUR. Is that for you, or me??!)

Anonymous said...

It would have especially pissed me off if someone sprayed chemicals around me and my kids. I think I'd rather small urp than breathe in toxins!

Malea said...

I just hope your travel to heaven where your calling (after this experience)has definately been made sure, turns out to be a better trip.

April said...

oh dear... that's exactly why i don't travel with my children. well, i don't travel at all, really. but it's a good excuse.

Lacey said...

When the hubby and I were flying home from Germany. At the time we had just one baby. Somehow we got shoved in a corner front seat. The kind that have just 3 seats. Well hubby was by the window, I was in the middle with the bassinet that was attached to the wall infront of me and then a stranger next to us. Our little one was just under a year old.
He ended up having massive diarrhea that went everywhere. It smelled awful. And, of course, it happened while they were serving meals. I had to get up and make the man beside me get up and hold his meal while I carried a poop soaked baby through the plane. We were in a spot that I had to walk down the aisle to get to a restroom, so a whole section of the plane had to deal with me passing by with a load of smelly poo while also trying to eat.
The stench lingered for the majority of the flight.

We have flown back and forth many times. Some times I did it alone while DH was deployed and then we did it a couple times after our second was born. But nothing ever compared to how awful and embarassing that blowout was.
He seems to be famous for blowouts though. We had a restaurant incident as well. Thank goodness he is almost 5 and no longer has blowouts that I have to take of.

Jules said...

I love it! Your posts always make me laugh...and enjoy this journey called motherhood!

Leslie said...

Holy hell - that sucks the big one! I have heard a few "baby- puking-his-guts-up-all over Mommy stories before and thank GOD they haven't happened to me yet. I only say "yet" because we visit Hawaii every other year to go see the grandparents and it's a 5 hour flight. My luck is going to run out one day I'm sure. So sorry you had to endure that - that's just not right!!!

Melissa M. said...

Well, not to beat, but to match...
My husband's family lives in VA, we live in CA. Our last vacation took place about a year ago when my son had just turned one year old. Somehow, myself and my son were the only two on that trip to avoid coming down with a terrible stomach bug. We thought, "wow, our immune systems must be far superior to these poor Easterners"...we were wrong!

About 4 hours into the 6 hour flight, my poor little baby, who had only been satisfied by SEVERAL cups of whole milk for the entire flight, upchucked all over my poor husband. At first we chalked it up to motion sickness. He'd been fine for the entire flight! As daddy went to the lavatory to clean up, I received my dose of vomit and so started 2 hours of pure hell!

As we flagged down the flight attendant and asked for as many garbage bags as she could spare, I saw her turn to her colleague and huff, "Great, just in time for my kids to return to school." (It was the end of summer break.) Nice and sympathetic I thought. So we locked ourselves in one of the two bathrooms for the remainder of the flight and my husband and I took turns trying to predict when the next purging would take place.

I failed to bring an extra change of clothes for myself and so went without a shirt or bra and only a zip-up hoody. My poor baby went through the three changes of clothes I had for him and ended up only wearing a diaper and bib off of the plane. The lady in the window seat next to us slept through the entire event and the flight attendants laid bags of fresh coffee grounds all around the aisle near our seats to cover the smell of partially digested curdled milk...a HORRIBLE experience!

Gail said...

Many years ago now, I decided to make the trip back home for my 10th high school reunion. My husband, a medical resident, couldn't come so I booked passage on Amtrak for myself and my four kids (6, 5, 3, & 1). The journey would take 18 hours. I boarded the train with truckloads of stuff and the little hangers-on (they were literally clinging to me).

After we settled into our seats I had that 'okay we did it' feeling. Stupid me! That's when the rumpus started. I don't remember details of the messy diapers or the crying but I hung in there for about 6 hours until it was time for the big event, supper in the dining car.

We put ourselves together, so to speak, and meandered our way through car after car until we came into the diner.

I should have known I was in trouble when I saw the linen napkins but by then the kids had already settled in and started spreading salt and pepper and sugar around. The waiter came with water and menus and left in a hurry. I was horrified when I looked at the prices on the menu. I had brought cash, we didn't use credit cards, and I didn't have enough for even the minimum order. So, I gathered up all of the chicklings and hurried them out before the waiter came back.

On the way back to our seats, I found a vending machine and used my money to get as much food as I could. The kids were overjoyed. At that point, I didn't care if they would have a sugar high/meltdown, it was food.

The big outing only took us 30 minutes so all in all, we spent 17 1/2 hours in those seats. By the end of the journey our car was almost completely empty.

We did arrive at our destination without any bloodshed and mobile enough to exit the train but even after all of these years I have never been so glad to 'arrive' as I was that day.coing

Anonymous said...

Yep, you win but there are definitely some huge contenders! I am flying solo with three kids shortly & will use this as words of warning - take anti-vomit medicine & changes of clothes.

Stimey said...

Oh, I'll bring it. Although, frankly, four kids vs. one mom is kinda rough. But I give you three kids, two adults, a cross-country flight, and a whoooooole lot of puking: San Francisco or Bust

sarahandmatt said...

I flew from Pittsburgh to Boise with my two oldest when they were babies. My daughter was not quite three at the time and my son was just one. My son loved his bottle--a lot. Unfortunately, the flight was long and we ran out of milk. FYI: They don't actually have milk on airplanes. He screamed for 2 hours straight. About ten different people offered to help hold him. No one offered to help hold him when my daughter started screaming at the top of her lungs because she had to poop and she was constipated. Good times.

Lindsey said...

You had me at "the plane has no water."

Becca said...

Oh. My.

Your husband owes you a trip to the spa. Or a quiet padded room.

Bless you, Jana. :)

Sheryl said...

Years ago when I was 25 and had two babies: Keegan, 2 months and Kelsey, 20 months, we were moving across country and my husband sent us ahead to stay with my parents. We woke up at 6:00 am and he took us to the airport. I had dressed my daughter in a lovely little ruffled dress and curled her hair. We flew to L.A. from a small California airport for a 12 noon flight. We had purposely scheduled a direct flight. I thought, "Oh good, things are going well." Kelsey was behaving and the Keegan was sleeping, mostly. As we parked ourselves in front of the gate, I kept watching for departure. It was a strange gate that was between sitting areas. If you've ever been through L.A. airport, you know it is noisy and the overhead announcements sound like," Gate 4shielm vjjfpejflke is leavujfaa.ekn forkdfk at gate 1 sdaifj aj." You can't hear anything. Evidently they had called my flight to announce a gate change. I started noticing the time and thought, "Gosh, why haven't they called my flight?" I looked at the departure screen and found my flight was nearing a 20 minute run away and departure was imminent. I began to run with a bag, purse, my baby strapped to my chest, my 20 month old who was carried by my 14 year old sister who was acting the cranky teenager she turned out to be. We made it just as they were shutting the door to the walkway. I burst into tears and said, "Nooo. You don't understand!" The lady was terse as she told me, "Sorry, it is too late." I began to mumble, whine and demand. The plane had not left and I was becoming hysterical. They led me away, not acting very apologetic. I demanded to see management. I said,"They changed my gate! We were waiting at the other gate." They informed me that they had been announcing it. I explained that I couldn't hear it. As I was demanding another direct flight, Kelsey who had been really good up to this point began to cry. I looked at her. She was standing in a plastic chair in a puddle. I realized her diapers must be full. Her dress was wrinkled and her curls were becoming stringy. I comforted her and changed her diapers. My sister just sat and pouted. It was all too much for her. A representative came to assist me. He walked me about a mile to another terminal and another airline where there was a huge lineup of people who had missed a flight and were jocking for seats. He left me there and told me they'd help me. We waited quite awhile. Then, Kelsey began to cry. I knew she was hungry but I had nothing. We were in a very strange part of the airport that had no food available. She lay on the damp carpet and began to thrash her legs. I couldn't do much as I was sitting on the same carpet breastfeeding the crying baby. A few hours later we were on an airplane to Dallas. (Not a direct flight, I might add) Gratefully, the flight attendants were so kind. The children fell asleep from crying themselves to death after they were fed something. We had to wait several hours for the flight to Tulsa. I got home at 11:00pm that night. It was wonderful to see my parents because I love telling stories but mostly because I had a soft bed waiting and a kind mother who commisserated.
We traveled alot. My husband is a retired Naval Officer and we have 8 children. We have many exciting travel stories.

Anonymous said...

i just got into a heated argument with my sister and thought id check your blog for some comic relief. well, this flight story is just what i needed. i was just laughing so hard i have tears in my eyes. you are so funny, I LOVE YOU, hahahaha. thanks for the smile!

Anonymous said...

wow...this is my first warning of why i will probably never fly with my soon to be four children.

Cami said...

Two of my children and I are heading for California in two weeks. But they are ages 23 and 10. If I have your experience I will kill myself, as adult puke is worse than baby puke any day of the week! It sure brought back fond memories though.....I have traveled lots in the past with our four children when they were tiny. Yes....you will one day look back on this with fondness....and laugh. Like we are doing now! :)

Lisa and company said...

I have flown alone with three kids pretty much every time I have boarded an airplane. I have blocked most of those memories from my mind but I do remember two small things. One time my boys who were probably nine and six ended up with seats twenty rows away from me. No one wanted to switch seats so they sat alone. After the flight someone came by and asked me if they were my children. I said yes and he said next time you should sit with them. i politely reminded him that he was one of many who didn't want to switch seats.
My other memory is of a man telling the flight attendant that if was going to endure a flight next to my children she would need to keep them coming. He was referring to the two ounce bottles of vodka he was rapidly consuming.

Alicia said...

I don't think I can really top your story. The worst I have is a six-hour flight with my (then) three children last December, ages 7, 4, and 1, when I was 5 months pregnant. We annoyed people, but I can't really compete with vomit.

I *will* say, though, that I once saw multiple photos of a stranger's vagina on a plane, in full birth-giving glory. *That* was pretty awesome. If my children had been there to comment on the vagina and vomit into my lap, I *may* have been able to top you.

Ber said...

Well, I'm not gonna say I have you beat, but i did have a miserable flight that prompted me to neva eva fly United Airlines again. I was 8 months preggo with my son, and my 2 yr old daughter and I were flying from Okinawa Japan to Las Vegas. My husband was about to be deployed to Iraq and i didn't want to give birth in Japan with no family around, so i made the treck to Vegas to have help from my mama! Before we got on the plane on Okinawa, the Japanese wouldn't let me take her car seat on the flight, so i had to deal with a very rambunctious 2 year old that wouldn't stay seated, all the while fearing i was going to get a blood clot in my leg from the long flight that would surely travel to my brain and kill me right then and there. So i tried to walk as much as i could, but every where i tried to walk, i would get in trouble for walking there. They basically told me i could only walk in between the bathrooms back and forth.

Then half way through the flight while I'm in the bathroom, my daughter had woken up from the only nap she took on a 30 hr plane ride, and i got a "waving finger" flight attendant yelling at me from across the plane to never leave my child alone while i went to the bathroom, and that my daughter was running up and down the isle barefoot. She then told me that i needed to push the call button if i was going to get up again, so I made sure every 20 minutes, i needed to get up. By the 9th time, she told me i didn't need to push the call button anymore >:>
Needless to say, by the end of the 30 hr ordeal, i had had a few nervous breakdowns, went into false labor, and vowed never to fly United Airlines again!!

Anonymous said...

We had an experience coming home on a late flight with a 3yo and a baby. The baby was asleep on my chest and the strung out 3yo was playing in her seat when we smelled something funny. I leaned over to the 3yo and asked her "Did you toot?" She looked at me thoughtfully and said "You're almost right."

Luckily I had the sleeping baby on me so it fell to my husband to clean up the disaster. I'm just glad I wasn't the next person to use the airplane washroom. He told me later that he rinsed the underwear out in the SINK! How gross is that!!

Becca said...

Truth is stranger than fiction. I think I taste a little throw up in the back of my throat just at the thought of your journey. Don't you think this would be a great interrogation tactic. Ride on the plane with this going on in your lap while the minutes tick away, slowly. I'm sure anyone harboring vital information would confess immediately. Glad to hear you can laugh about it. Yikes

shawn said...

I have several stories that can compete... First when my daughter was 15 months old I was taking her from Seattle to Iowa and we found out she wasn't feeling well the day before we left. But she seemed mellow but better the day of the flight. She and I got on the plane and spent the two flights with a limp noodle across my lap. We got to Iowa and spent the next day cleaning up vomit all day. I had a conference that week so my MIL spent several days in our hotel room slowly introducing fluids and food to my daughter. Infortunatly by the time we were to head home I had gotten it as well and she was feeling much better. Baby rangling when you feel horrible isn't much fun.

One a flight a year later with my husband this time we had just gotten on the plan and had pushed away from the gate and my daughter threw up on me. We were also granted some dry paper towels and a garbage bag while we sat on the runway for almost an hour. Once we were finally in flight my husband gave me his sweatshirt to I could change out of my wet clothes, we changed my daughters clothes and proceeded to use all the vomit bags in all neighboring seats for the next three hours.

This is the same child that while flying alone again got stuck in the Denver airport for seven hours with. We fly a couple of times a year, but these three trips stick in my mind as more adventurous.

Vera said...

4 kids ages 5, 4, 4, and 2. 7+ months pregnant, flying from Detroit to London, England.

I will skip telling you all about getting through security with a loaded double stroller and four kids while pregnant. just know it is hard.

when we boarded early the pilot came on the plane the same time as us and was nice enough to say hi to my kids. My 2 year old puked on him and the co-pilot was so grossed out he puked, then fainted. The flight was delayed because the pilot had to change and shower and thy had to find a new co-pilot, because when the first one fainted he hit his head and got a concussion.

When we finally left 2 hours later my 2 year old was screaming her head off, my 5 year old was ridiculously excited, and my twins were terrified and crying. 5 minutes later the twins were throwing up because apparently that was a great time to do something together. We were in the very last row and there were four bathrooms total so the twins spent the first two hours in one bathroom sitting on the same toilet with diarrhea. When they finally could come back to our seats I had to go change my 2 year olds diaper because it was nasty. My 2 year old cried for a really long time while my 5 year old whined and cried because he was BORED. i finally got a movie on for my 5 year old. The baby cried until an hour before landing. Like, screamed so hard she puked in my hair. Have you ever washed your hair in an airplane? Dont.

My twins were crying because they were sick and hurting and bored and uncomfortable. my 2 year old was bawling. I had to pee every minute and a half. People were getting up to ask me to shut my children up. The flight attendant actually gave me medicine for me to give my children, telling me they were disturbing other people and could I please deal with them. Two seconds later, in the funniest and saddest moment of my life, my twins leaned over each side of the aisle and puked down the front and back of her pants and all over her shoes. I was so proud, she was pissed. when my kids finally settled down an hour before we landed the man in front of me got mad because he couldnt recline his seat because of my belly. he had previously complained about my crying children and by making a fuss because he couldnt recline his seat he woke up my sleeping children, causing them to cry again. My kids screamed all the way down, and we couldnt deplane because of a horrible lightning and thunderstorm, so we sat on the tarmac for five hours. I got up and put my kids to sleep, and when I turned around to get into my seat I couldnt because the man had reclined it, so I had to go get pissy puked on flight attendant to ask him to straighten his seat up. He would randomly throw it back every once in awhile, hitting my belly painfully hard, and I told him he coul be hurting my unborn child. The second time he did it my five year old was standing near me with an airsick bag of his brothers puke, unsealed, and the man pushing his seat back knocked over my kid, which made him lose his grip on the bag. The bag went flying up, over, and right onto the mans chest, puke everywear on him. He was so disgusted he started yelling and woke up my kids again, so he had to listen to them screaming for another two hours on the tarmac. I took pictures of the guy, my kids, and the puked on flight attendant on my phone and sent them to my husband when he asked how things were going, but i love the speakerphone idea! Also, I delayed them cleaning the plane because i had to make eighty thousand trips to the back of the plane and the ramp to get all our stuff and my kids off the plane. The best part? I now have five kids 7 - 18 months and I've flown the same flight with them and its easier...

hokgardner said...

Oh lord. I shouldn't have read this. I'm getting ready to fly to Atlanta with my four kids - ages 9 months through 8 years - on Saturday, without the help of my husband. Now I'm even more worried.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can beat it but my story is fun anyway. When my first child was 2 months ( I have 4 children now) My husband, child and I flew from Indiana to Utah to visit my family for Christmas. As soon as the plane began taxing down the runway my baby completely filled his diaper. It was extremely stinky and the plane was really hot but I waited patiently for the fasten seatbelt sign to go of before I took my baby to the tiny little room they called the bathroom. Being a new mom, I brought only the baby, a blanket, 1 diaper and a package of wipes to the bathroom with me - leaving everything else with my husband. I get to the "bathroom" and there is just enough space between the wall and the sink to lay my baby head to bottom. I thought this was okay since I would be holding his legs anyway. So I start to change him. I get him cleaned up and the old diaper off and then left his legs to slide the new diaper under him which apparently acted as a trigger because he immediately began projectile pooping a yellow, semi-liquid substance that filled the little tiny sink and splashed on the walls and got all over me and him. Let me remind you that I only had a blanket and one diaper. Did I mention there was also a line at the door? So I tried to clean it up as best I could, apologized profusely to the attendant that eventually had to clean it up, and walked with my completely naked baby back to my seat. I was able to dress him in his extra clothing but I spent the remainder of the trip in clothes covered in pooh. Fun - huh?

Nicolle said...

You totally win. However, I couldn't help but laugh :O) I would have been mortified.

lara said...

Let me share with you my secret weapon. Children's Benadryl!!! I used to have to travel by myself and my four kids so often that I got desperate. You must give it a trial run before hand to make sure that you do not have a child that it has the opposite effect on. Double check the dosage with your doctor. Administer about 20 minutes before the flight. Then have the most enjoyable time reading you have ever known!!! May the travel Gods smile down upon you!!

Callie said...

this story makes me scared! i am about to embark on a 2 hr plane ride, alone with 3 kids 5,3,1... and no husband. i hope i can't top your story!

james and bess said...

thankfully, my stories only involve one variable (either sick kids OR cranky/insufferably rude passengers). i especially treasure the memory of the man who saw me traveling alone with my 4 yr old and 1 1/2 yr old and had the seat in the row with us and immediately began a running commentary on how awful it was for him to travel with people like me. i wish i could say i was calm and collected and treated him with the curtesy he couldn't summon from within himself. um.... yeah, i ended up yelling at him and crying in the aisle until the flight attendant convinced him to switch seats with an actually kind individual (of course, the whole time the flight attendant is talking to this waste of space, he's saying, "what's her problem? i don't have a problem!") i hope you milk this for all its worth, sister. :) -bess

p3t said...

Why in the world would anyone ever attempt a plane trip with children???
When we choose to have children, they became our responsibility and our pleasure, not everyone on a plane for 6 hours. Would you allow every passengers to be included in their major events in life? Why pray tell, would you bring children into the other passengers life even for a 45 min. trip??? Some passengers are on their own vacation, on the way to family emergencies, or business trips that are very special to them. What gives you the right to erupt into their lives??? BECAUSE WE ARE RUDE AMERICANS.... And we sent our young boys to war to give us this right.
Maybe only road trips till they stop pooping, vomiting and screaming to get there way.

Helen said...

Oh you poor woman! I have now vowed to never travel alone with my boys.

[Stacia] said...

Too funny! But I am so sorry! Thanks for the laugh...

QCMama said...

That is rough. That would be an awesomly fun 6 hours. ;)
My story may not top yours but it was pretty bad...You can read about it here....

Alison said...

I had my youngest in a baby bjorn while going through security in Phoenix. While being "wanded", he threw up on my oldest child's (6 years old) head. He started shreiking, "I'm hit! I'm hit!" The middle two (4 and 2) took off running toward the gates and the security guard wouldn't let me move to follow them because I wasn't done "being processed".

I think yours is still worse.

Unknown said...

That is quite a doozy to be sure! With 5 children of my own and parents who live across the country, I too have several "plane stories" complete with vomit ... but my first flight with child memory was when my oldest was just 17 days old (brand new mommy here).

I flew with her from California to New York to visit my parents. I requested a front row seat because it has more leg room and I would be able to get up more easily with a new baby. As I got on the plane and rounded the corner to look at my seat, it was indeed in the front row ... in the middle seat of the first row facing forward! With three opposing seats in front of that facing backwards!

I spent the next 5 hours just inches (or so it seemed - we were, after all, knocking knees) in front of three business men watching as I struggled to nurse, change, and comfort a baby while trying to be discreet and cover my shirt as to not show the milk spots that had leaked ... sigh.

Eryn said...

I hate being a woman.

I just laughed so hard that I started WEEPING. WEEPING!

You made me cry! lol

My worst flight story (worse than when we flew to Prague when I was 7.5 weeks short of my due date, and ended up on the tarmac for 5 hours) is when I flew on Thanksgiving weekend with my son, by myself.

Thankfully, it's not gross.

You know how after 9/11 they started doing that random search crap?

Well, my ticket got flagged for the random luggage search, where they take out every single thing in your suitcases, and diaper bags, and purse and hold it up to the light for all to see.

Then my INFANT SON got flagged for a physical search.

Now, the passenger has to be in a room with ONLY the TSA employees for the search. So they wanted to wheel him off where I could not see him to search him.

I walked the line with getting arrested that day. We missed our flight and ended up in the airport for over 24 hours before they could get us home because there was not a chance in heck any tattooed airport employees were taking my 5 month old son ANYWHERE without me. I didn't raise my voice (much) at all, but I still have an eye tic when I step in airports.

I still can't believe the attitude that *I* was being unreasonable.

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