Friday, August 17, 2007

Baby on Board

When you walk onto an airplane with a baby, you immediately become the object of raised eyebrows and heavy sighs. And now that America has mobilized into the anti-Elly-Kulesza camp (she’s the 3-year-old who got her family kicked off the plane for throwing a tantrum last January), we parents are feeling particularly scrutinized.

We hadn’t flown with Peapod since she had learned to crawl, so I was a little nervous. ‘A little nervous’ meaning that I was having visions of her somehow crawling onto the beverage cart and riding it down the aisle while simultaneously screaming and knocking people upside the head.

This did not happen. There was, however, one incident worth mentioning.

It started with the telltale poopy diaper smell. There are a handful of smells that every human recognizes immediately: pot smoke, cat pee, chocolate chip cookies, spoiled milk, and poopy diapers. Sure enough, about three hours into the flight, there it was. My Esposo, who is one of those annoyingly good sleepers, was in fact asleep, which meant that I was holding the proverbial short straw.

Ignoring the slight turbulence that had recently begun, I tossed the 38-pound diaper bag over my shoulder, hoisted the smelly baby and headed for the bathroom. I pulled down the diaper changing table, plopped Peapod on top and got to work. Once the stinky diaper was disposed of and the actual baby was clean, it was time to get a new diaper back on. By this time, however, Peapod had grown weary of the transaction and began to object by rolling over, kicking and generally being very crabby and loud. The kid wanted to stand up, which she technically cannot do yet without leaning on something, but this was no deterrent to her, even in the face of increasing turbulence and the threat of falling into an airplane toilet.

So like any reasonable parent, I gave up and let her do what she wanted to: stand. And like any reasonable baby not wearing a diaper, standing on a changing table in an airplane bathroom, and flying through turbulence, she did what she wanted to: pee. All over the changing table.

In an effort to be somewhat humane to the next mommy passenger, I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and wet them in a feeble attempt to clean up the mess. Yes, I know, that’s why god made baby wipes, but that container had already fallen onto the floor (the hygienic ramifications of which I have since blocked from my memory). So now I’m holding a squirming, standing baby with no diaper, frantically wiping the changing table and praying for the turbulence to stop.

I have a tendency on these sorts of occasions to drift outside my own body and view the ongoing events from the viewpoint of an unscathed bystander who is somehow floating nearby. The visual made me erupt into a fit uncontrollable giggles. Not the good kind like when you’re with friends and you’re all laughing together at the same joke. The bad kind like where you’re sitting in the back row in physics class and you can’t stop giggling at your friend who is making fake barfing sounds that everyone else thinks are immature and totally unfunny. This went on until Peapod’s wet feet slipped out from under her and she bonked her little noggin on the wall. It wasn’t a hard hit, but it knocked the giggles right out of me.

At last, I got my act together, strapped a diaper on my kid and got out of there. I was feeling pretty pleased with my triumph-against-all-odds until I saw the line of four people waiting for the bathroom. Hoping for a high-five for my efforts, I instead got several raised eyebrows and a sigh. Oh well. At least we didn’t end up on the Today Show.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I’m pretty sure I was just the recipient of one of those backhanded compliment/insults that I had previously only read about in chick lit. You know, like when the author is trying to establish a character as evil and shallow by having her utter something like “No really, I love the d├ęcor in your home it’s so… quaint! Did you do it yourself?”

I was on my way out of a new salon I had just tried for the first time, my ego all puffed up by my new haircut, when Nice Mean Lady spotted me. She started out innocently enough by complimenting me on my handbag, which was strewn over my shoulder and bulging with $25 worth of unnecessary new hair products.

I thanked her for the compliment, excited because the bag was relatively new and I was still pretty thrilled with it myself. Then she took a closer look at both the bag and me and inquired about the pockets. Falling hook, line and sinker, I eagerly took the bag off my shoulder and showed her the inside, pointing out the special pockets for cell phones makeup, etc, gushing all the while about how easy it was to find my things in this spectacular bag.

Then she asked me who made it. “Kenneth Cole!” I responded brightly, careful not to mention that I’d gotten it 50% off, since I had just noticed that she was dripping in gold and diamonds that appeared to be quite real. Then ‘whammo!’ she hit me with “Well, sometimes those less pricy bags just turn out to be more practical, don’t they?” Then Nice Mean Lady gave my shoulder a patronizing pat and sashayed out the door with a smirk on her face.

The most embarrassing part is not that I received the put-down-shoulder-pat combo, but that it took me over a week to realize what had taken place! And do you know how I figured it out? By reading a few paragraphs of some chick lit that I found while I was perusing the bargain rack at Borders Books.

Now I’ll probably spend the seven weeks till my next haircut trying to construct the perfect bruising comeback in case I see Nice Mean Lady again. And in the mean time I should probably buy this piece of chick lit so I can be prepared.