What does your perfect flight look like?
Is it a free upgrade to first class with free warm nuts and beverages? Is it a bulk-head seat with noise canceling headphones where you can stretch out your feet? Or is it a flight with no hiccups, great customer service and an on-time departure? Well if any of these things make your flight perfect, you and I have very different ideas about our flying experience.
My perfect flight involves arriving to my destination without my two year old having a total meltdown and my daughter spitting up all over me. Mind you this was my FIRST flight by myself with BOTH kids. Small fits don’t phase me. They last like 20 seconds and are over before the people behind me have time to become irritated. I can handle those! So my flight to Missouri this past Saturday was pretty close to perfect.
But the events leading up to my flight, were anything but perfect.
My husband loaded up my luggage and stroller (the stroller will become an important part of our return trip home) into the car, strapped Caleb in and gave us all plenty of hugs and kisses. We were off to the races and I felt prepared. I said a few extra prayers and asked God for patience and peace. As you read further you will see that God kindly granted me both of these things on my journey. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. I unload the suit case, put Caleb in the stroller and strapped Chloe into my Ergo 360.
We rolled over to curbside check-in so I’d have one less thing to lug into the airport. So far so good, right? Well since we had time, I decided to head over to the kids play area in our terminal so Caleb could burn off some energy. Bad idea!
There were a couple of other kids playing and Caleb had fun playing on the “airplane.” This one little boy who looked about 18-20 months old, took a liking to my son. He kept running up behind him and trying to hug him. Caleb would say, “No! No!” and walk away. Well Caleb went to sit on the toy plane and this little boy ran up to him, wrapped his arms around him like he was going to hug him, and bit my baby IN THE FACE! And he bit it hard! Right on my sons cheek.
I saw the whole thing unfold but I couldn’t tell he bit him until his mom grabbed him. Caleb let out a huge cry and I dropped to the floor to console him. I was in shock and I think I mentally blacked out for a second. I examined Caleb and saw that it didn’t break the skin but it left a mark and it was going to leave a bruise. I tried to put something cold on it but he wasn’t having it. Now remember when I told you earlier that I prayed for patience and peace. Well this is where it kicked in. I was PISSED!
The other mom picked up her son, told him no and walked over to her husband and said, “We should go.” You should go? I can think of a whole lot of things you should do right now and going isn’t one of them. You march your son over here and make him apologize! You give him a spanking (I know that’s not everyone’s choice and I respect that.) You put him in time out. You come see if my kid is okay. You do something besides leave! I could tell that she was worried about how I would respond and was just trying to get out of the line of fire.
But surprisingly, once I could see Caleb was okay and he had calmed down, I was okay. He wanted to eat his snack and play again. So we started to play again. By this time, the mom had gathered her things and was walking out. She looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry.” Without even thinking I said, “It’s okay.” I amazed myself at that moment. Did that really just come out of my mouth after some kid tried to bite Caleb’s face off? Yes it did! Because you know what, it was okay. Caleb was good and that’s all that mattered.
I’m not going to lie. Every time I looked at Caleb for the next two days and saw that mark on his face, I got mad all over again. But just like the first day, this unexplainable peace would come over me. I was grateful for the answered prayer. My baby was a big boy and took it in stride. Even though he’s only two, that day I hope he learned how to show kindness and forgive others.
We boarded the plane in the first group but ended up having to wait 20 minutes before takeoff do to some maintenance issues. As Caleb sat there entertaining himself, I felt like I was watching a ticking time bomb. Every second counts when a toddler is involved. He was getting antsy but my patience was still working. I pulled out a toy for him to unwrap to help keep him occupied. It worked!
Finally, we were on our way, or so I thought. We left the gate and taxied to the runway. The pilot came on and informed us that we were TENTH in line for take-off. 10th! That’s like another 10 minutes! I took a deep breath and smiled at my kids. At that point Caleb decided he wanted a snack. I whipped a bag of Goldfish out of my bag. I knew that would keep him busy until take-off. The kids did great in my opinion. We only had a couple of small fits and no spit-up so it was a “perfect” flight in my book! I was thankful for the answered prayer and the time with both of my kids.
Check back tomorrow to hear how my return flight went. It’s a doozy!