Why we’re both scarred for life

First things first: To the individuals responsible for deciding and implementing the change in policy that allows children to leave their shoes on while going through airport security, please send me your name and address.  I would like to send you cookies. 

Or…no, I want to send you a fruit basket. 

An Edible Arrangement!

If I could kiss you, I would. But that would be weird. I feel compelled, however, to do something to convey my sincere love for you and your wise decision. You all don’t get praise often enough, but for this you deserve sainthood.

Oh yes. Yes you do.

Flying with the kids is always an adventure. A well choreographed dance. And when it’s just me, the ballet turns into tap and I am the MASTER. This last adventure with the kids was just short of peaceful. They each had their own backpack, which they were able to carry with nary a complaint.


On top of that, I packed nothing but a small bag containing only my wallet, my sunglasses and my ipad. That was it. No sippy cups. No diapers. No snacks. No toys. It was so easy and my bag was so light that I spent half my time looking around in panic, sure I’d left something behind.

Turned out it was just my sanity, but I’ve long since been able to find that so no worries.

Once settled on the plane, things got a little more interesting. There were four of us travelling, but only three seats to a row and everyone wants the window seat. After the heat of my flaming dagger eyes calmed everyone down, we came to the not so convenient decision of me and the boys sitting in one aisle and Tia sitting next to the window in front of us. I watched as person after person looked at her and passed on by until finally a mercifully sweet young couple braved sitting next to the pig-tailed cherub with her nose pressed to the window.

I felt I owed them money about midway through the flight as they helped her retrieve item after item from her backpack wedged beneathe the seat. And of course, there was the dreaded, “Mom, I need to go to the westwoom,” immediately after take off.

My daughter makes it her mission in life to need to pee at the most inconvenient moment possible. Last time, her immediate need resulted in all four of us cramming into a bathroom together.

We like adventure.

When it became apparent that Tia was in imminent danger of springing a leak, we made a beline for the bathroom at the back of the plane.

“The seat belt sign is still on,” the stewardess said gently as we hustled back. She glanced down at Tia who was dancing, her eyes clearly conveying desperation. “Oh,” she smiled. “I see,” and she gestured us on by. Bless those who understand five year olds with overactive bladders!

We made it to the bathroom and I yanked open the door and that’s when time stopped for a moment too long. Yelping, I slammed the door shut again, the vision of his wide, dimpled backside forever seared into my brain.

Why?! Why the unlocked door?! And why the pants around the ankles?! Why?!

Maybe she didn’t see, I thought, slowly looking down at my daughter who had finally stopped squirming. Her eyes were wide, much like my own.

“Dat. Was. Gwoss,” she said quietly, looking up at me.

I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing as I rushed her to the front of the plane, because Lord knows I didn’t want her seeing that man’s face so she could point him out to her brothers and everyone on the plane.

Let this be a public service announcement to you all: LOCK THE DOOR WHEN YOU USE THE AIRPLANE BATHROOM!

I fully expected to hear of “Air Butt” the rest of the trip, but somehow, mercifully, she never brought it up. Maybe she found it to be as disturbing (or more so…it was pretty much at her eye level) as I did. Maybe she just forgot. I certainly don’t plan to ever mention it to her again.

Sadly, the unfortunate incident only added to my alreadyunreasonable fear of airplane bathrooms. Forget being sucked out – now every time I enter a bathroom I’ll have that image in my mind.