I'm a good planner. I'm not a tidy or organized person, but I have good plans and great intentions.
So, when I embarked for the airport yesterday, I had a great plan in place for flying solo with two small children.
By foregoing checked baggage and carrying on all our luggage, I saved quite a bit on airfare. By choosing seats in the back of the plane, I saved even more money on our tickets. By arriving late to the airport, we were able to practically walk right onto the plane without having to wait and answer the "When are we going?" question 50 times from my five-year-old. And by charging up his DVD player and packing 17 movies, I ensured a quiet, fun-filled flight for at least one of my children.
One logistical maneuver was conspicuously missing from my amazing plan, however. That is, I never determind how I was going to get my two small children and four pieces of carry-on luggage to the very back of the plane at the end of boarding when everyone else was already seated in a sold-out flight and the aisles were no wider than the hips my baby girl was perched on. Hmmm....
We boarded the plane and greeted the first flight attendant before I realized my oversight. Staring out at a sea of sleepy, grumpy passengers crammed into the aircraft, I took a deep breath and slung my suitcase around to my back, hoisted Miss M and the diaper bag high up onto my left hip, and grabbed Drew's rolling suitcase in my right hand and held it out directly in front of me. I plastered a smile on my face, and began simultaneously giving out instructions and apologies:
OK, Drew, all the way to the back of the plane!
Keep going, Buddy! To Aisle 27!
So sorry, Sir.
Pardon me, Ma'am.
Did that bag just hit you.
Watch your hands.
I'm fine, thanks!
Keep going, Drew. We aren't even close.
Oops... I'm sorry.
Thank you, yes, just be careful.
Pardon me, excuse me.
Nope, buddy, that's aisle 10. Keep walking straight back.
Are you ok?
If I hit anyone else, I apologize ahead of time!
Yeah, if I could just squeeze by... yes, she's just 7 months. Thank you!
Yes, Drew, that's Aisle 20, we're almost there.
Excuse me, Sir. Did I get you with my diaper bag? So sorry!
Oops, I'm so sorry!
Ok, Aisle 27! That's us. Sit down, buddy. I'll be back. Just need to find somewhere to put our overhead bags.
Excuse me, Ms. Flight Attendant, could you assist me in... oh you CAN? Great!
I'd love help with the bags.... oh, the baby. Sure, you can hold her. I'll just go find some space for these bags.
No I'm not traveling alone. I have another child as well. He's in his seat already.
Oh, you meant another adult. Nope.
I'm FINE, though! Just going to hoist this bag here...
Oh gosh... I'm so sorry! Are you ok?
If I could just squeeze through and put, arrrrgh, this, there!
Her name's Megan. Um, could you help me find space for this bag?
I know... yes, she's had that much hair since she was born. Thank you.
Ok, I think that does it.
I'll take her now. Thank you for all your help.
Hi, Buddy. You doing ok? I know, I'm sorry it took so long.
I'm sorry I'm sweaty.
Would you like to watch a DVD?
Oh... you don't like the headphones.
You know what they say, though.
The best laid plans of mice and men...
are useless when you fly!