I was supposed to be on a direct flight from Indianapolis to Salt Lake City Friday morning with Addie and Vivi for a wedding on Saturday, Addie was going to fly home alone on Monday and I was going to stay behind with Vivi until Saturday.
Because of weather the flight was cancelled Thursday evening and Addie and I were re-booked on separate flights.
By the time I managed to get all of us on the same flight we were rerouted through Atlanta turning what would have been a three hour flight into an all day seven-hours-on-a-plane ordeal.
Fight or flight kicked in and flight won. If you remember my last solo flight with Vivi, it didn’t go so well.
I sobbed to Cody, feeling terribly ashamed that there are times when I cannot conquer what my brain does to me and he is left dealing with the aftermath. Plans changed quickly and rather than flying out with both girls and staying until Saturday as planned, I flew out with just Addie and will be returning with her Monday night.
My fears seemed a little less silly as we sat on our first plane for nearly two hours before it pulled away from the gate. When we got to Atlanta we didn’t have two hours between flights, we had 15 minutes.
I can do stressful parenting situations, give me poop, give me vomit, give me just about anything but being alone on a plane with a toddler. I did my time, I’ve taken well over 50 flights with Addie and just shy of a dozen with Vivi. I was okay with a direct flight, less variables, less opportunity to get stuck. Get on, get off, be done. Add in connections, weather, strange cities in the opposite direction of where I’m headed, coupled with two long flights and the possibility of worse weather? Nope.
There was a toddler on our second flight, probably the exact same age as Vivi. She was a dream. Barely a peep. The mom had all of her wits about her, she talked in third person for both her and her daughter, she used phrases like “Good teamwork! Lilly needs to use her indoor voice on the plane! What a fine choice Lilly made to respect mommy’s personal space with her banana! Say hello to all of our special plane friends Lilly!” At one point the mom offered her shirt as a tissue for the toddler “That’s why mommy wears ratty clothes on a plane Lilly!”
I am not that mom. I admire that kind of mom, but I am not that mom.
I spent four hours telling myself it’s okay that I am not that mom, Vivi is not that toddler and would have been shrieking like a banshee from Georgia to Utah leaving me a crumpled heap of my former self by the time we made it to Salt Lake.
I know there are a handful of things I do not and can not handle well, lately toddlers on planes is one of them.
When the article ‘Xanax ‘helps me be a better mom” began making the rounds I thought “Well, duh.” I read the article waiting for some huge breakthrough or confession, thinking maybe I was reading a follow up article to another salacious confession of a parent who sometimes needs to put their own oxygen mask on before helping someone else.
There was a time I could spend four weeks at a time away from Cody. I would go days without talking to him. People thought it was so strange that we could spend so much time apart and not talk. I was convinced it was because we were so confident in our relationship that we didn’t have to rely on each other. We may have been married but we were still totally independent people. GO US.
Yeah, that way of thinking is what nearly led to our downfall.
Now the thought of being without Cody for longer than a day or two makes me weepy. I want to be with him more now than I did 12 years ago when we were two little kids wildly infatuated with one another. As I sat through speeches dedicated to the couple getting married I wanted to grab the couple by their arms and say “YOU GUYS MARRIAGE IS SO AMAZING AND WORTH IT BUT YOU ARE GOING TO HATE EACH OTHER SO MUCH SOMETIMES YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO THROAT PUNCH EACH OTHER.”
One guy said the best marriage advice he ever got was if you ever start fighting just start stripping your clothes off.
*photo by Justin Hackworth.