A single woman turns super single mom for day
My coworker had a busy month ahead of him and I had to go to Maryland for work. I knew he had family in Maryland, so I volunteered to take his 2 year old daughter up to spend time with his family so he could get a bit of a break.
His daughter is adorable and I have watched her a few times before when he had office functions. I was excited about this one day adventure. And it was an ADventure!!!
As we arrived at the airport, I looked at her in the rear view mirror sitting in the car seat thinking to myself, “my sister does this all the time with two kids; this will be a piece of cake.”
I opened the trunk and saw three suit cases looking back at me and a back pack that I was sure after a few feet she may not want to carry…and then…there was also her car seat. After a few seconds of mental gymnastics, I figured out how I would carry all three bags and car seat, praying to God, she could carry the back pack until we got to the check in counter. Walking to the airport doors was like watching paint dry. She walked so slow trying to convince me the back pack was too heavy. I finally took it from her not knowing that by doing so, I just upgraded this child from a hoopty to pimped-out sports car with premium gas. She took off like a bat out of ….
By the time I got to the door, we were both sweating.
As we entered the airport, she immediately ran to baggage claim as if Ken and Barbie were down the hall way having lunch with all the Disney characters. I had no idea what she heard that triggered her legs to propel her so quickly in that direction. However, I mastered the random statement “oh my goodness” in a rather loud tone that got her intrigued in what was taking place where I was standing. A few seconds later she was on the escalator heading up to the check in counter. My 2nd small victory…followed by my 3rd challenge.
As the escalator took her up, I was still at the bottom fidgeting with the luggage and car seat. I finally made it on the escalator in a contorted position holding everything as I looked up at her looking down at me with her back to the steps to exit the escalator. I couldn’t move towards her, because the bags I was holding would fall down the steps if I let them go. In a loud voice, I kept repeating “turn around” as she looked at me about 8 steps up on the verge of tears wondering what was going on. She never turned around, but thank God the lady at the top (female police officer of all people) grabbed her. Once I got to the top, I regrouped, adjusted the luggage for our walk to the ticket counter and we were moving. Victory # 3, approaching challenge # 4.
This short walk with my hands full was like walking on a rope 80 feet off the ground. I kept looking around and moving very slow, because everything we passed got her attention. The random items in the airport where like magnets to her little body. She just moved towards them as if they were calling her in a voice that I could not hear. We finally got to the ticket counter and then it dawned on me. We are flying US Airways and I’m standing in front of the Delta ticket counter. I always fly Delta, so it automatically walked in that direction without looking at the documents I got from the travel department at work.
What was once a short walk as a single female with a carry-on was now a 20 mile hike walking past voices I couldn’t hear, magnets that only attracted one of us and the police officer who is probably thinking “I’m unfit to be supervising this child.” I looked down at the ticket, smiled and began our journey.
The amazing thing about human beings is we are much more tolerant when dealing with a flustered individual. I checked all the bags and car seat without paying for any of them and I was very well prepared to spend $75.00. God is good!
Now that my hands were free, I now had power over the magnets and little voices that I could not hear. And we were on the move again.
Checked through TSA no problem; TSA seems so much nicer when you’re traveling with kids.
Our next stop was the bathroom, because through the Olympic events that took place from the moment I left the car until now, I had been holding my bladder.
Normally story tellers don’t tell when the climax is coming, but as women, we get dramatic, so pretend I am there with you now and I am telling the story. Around this time I would take a deep breath and look at you and say, “you wouldn’t believe what happened next…”
A trip to the bathroom with a 2 year old can be adventurous if you are not prepared, but I was ready in the event she wanted to take off running somewhere while I did my business. And boy was she ready… she is short enough to bend down and walk right under the stall. She tried a few times, until I said the magic words, “oh my goodness.” Immediately, she turned around and started searching the stall with her eyes for some indication of why I wanted to get her attention. As her eyes bounced around, my eyes caught something falling on the floor – the tickets that I had in my right back jeans pocket fell out on the floor.
I immediately had a matrix moment; I think life slowed down for about 5 minutes. I saw the tickets on the floor, looked up in time to see her bending down to walk under the stall wall to the next stall that had someone in it, realized my ID was in the same pocket as the plane tickets, and if my ID is not on the floor with the tickets then it could only be in one place. (Note: I’m still in the Matrix). I stand up, turned around and yes, in the toilet where I just did my business was my ID card. Another mental gymnastics session kicked in and I started thinking where I may have a pair of tweezers or if there was a broom or mop in the bathroom? In the corner of my eye I saw the little girl’s butt in my stall and her head in another stall. Still trying to figure out what to do, I reached to grab her hand just in time to hear the automatic flush on the toilet kick in (God bless modern day technology!!!!!(sarcasm to the 10th degree)). The water started moving and like a professional diver, I went in.
A fraction of a second later, I’m out of the matrix holding my ID card in one (wet) hand and a little girl’s hand in the other looking at my purse hanging on the stall door while realizing that my pants were in the same position where they were when I did my business.
By the time I got on the plane, I was mentally exhausted.
MOM’s kudos. I am petitioning for an Olympic sport just for mom’s. Your entire life is an infinathon (a made-up sport that I coined; a sport where you have no idea what is coming and the events never stop until some random moment when the judges make the announcement that the child has graduated from high school).
If you are wondering how I got out of the stall…I’ll tell you in the sequel. If you are a mom, I am sure you figured it out.