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Little Traveler II: Now with more crying mama

  • Tagged The travelling, The kids
  • Commenters Tony, Lacey, Jim, Audra, Anne, Evelyn

Another travel adventure, this time all by myself with Ezra.

5:00 am – Ezra wakes up to nurse. Attempt to put him back to sleep in order to grab my last few moments of sleep before…

5:30 am – Time to get up! Shower, breakfast, load luggage into car.

6:00 am – Automated text message from American Airlines assures me flight is on time, so I wake Ezra up, put him in the car, and leave for the remote parking lot.

6:50 am – Another text message from American. My flight is canceled. Wait, what? Followed by an automated phone call. They’re pleased to offer me rebooking to a 1:15 flight. Wait, what? It’s 7 in the morning. I’ve already parked my car.

7:15 am – Attempt to leverage sad eyes and cute baby at the ticket counter. Our 8:10 flight to Austin via Dallas was cancelled for “mechanical failure.” I later hear from friends that they cancel Dallas flights all the time, which is no biggy if you’re just going to Dallas. There’s always another flight the next hour. If taking the 9:00 to Dallas means you’ll miss your connecting flight to Austin, you are screwed. At 7 am. With a baby. There’s a 9:30 direct to Austin. Ticket counter lady assures me I’m at the top of the standby list. Everything is going to be fine.

8:00 am – I’m so tired that I buy myself an Egg McMuffin, even though I had already eaten an egg sandwich from Dunkin Donuts in the car on the way to the airport. It’s 8 am and I’ve already eaten two Egg McMuffins. I feel sad and a little sick.

9:30 am – The gate agent looks like a nice old lady, but I get the feeling she doesn’t like babies much, and that she’s not going to go out of her way for us. At one point while I’m talking to her, a baby starts crying in the distance and she shoots me a look and says, “is that yours?” I point at my stroller. “He’s sleeping!” I say. “He’s a good baby! Very quiet! Help me please!” (I’m paraphrasing).

10:00 am – This flight is delayed, which the gate agent cheerfully informs me is working against me. You get standby seats when people miss connections or get caught in traffic. As the flight is delayed longer and longer, more harried-looking people keep running up, saying “thank god I made my connection!” I start crying a little.

10:30 am – Austin flight leaves. I am not on it. Ezra’s nap is over, and our flight is still hours away. Also, our flight has no gate assigned. I ask a random gate agent what that means, and she starts with the stock, “It’s nothing. They’re just shuffling the gates, watch the board, it’ll be assigned soon.” But adds, “You know, it’s weird, the computer says you’re leaving on time at 1:15, but shows that the plane you’ll be leaving on won’t even be arriving until 3:30! That’s so strange.” I start crying again. “Oh, I’m sure it will be fine,” she says.

11:30 am – For some reason I am eating Manchu Wok for lunch. It is a terrible mistake on so many levels. Ezra is picking grains of rice off the airport rug and eating them.

12:30 pm – Our flight finally has a gate.

1:15 pm – There is no airplane at this gate. We are delayed to 1:40.

1:30 pm – There is no airplane at this gate.

1:40 pm – There is an airplane here, but no crew. Gate agent informs us that our crew is on some other airplane, and we just have to wait for them to walk over here. This sounds very sketchy.

2:00 pm – This airplane! We are on it! It is moving!

5:30 pm – Very nice lady at Alamo is doing all my paperwork and I casually (since I had called ahead to ask about it, so I wasn’t at all worried) say, “so you have the right kind of car seat, right? A toddler car seat that can be installed rear-facing?” She looks at me. “No…I don’t think we do…” she says. Time stops. I think I sort of blacked out for a moment and I may have let out some kind of scream. Luckily, this intense and total loss of control only lasts for a few seconds, and then it turns into just normal crying. “I’m so sorry,” I tell her. “It’s just been a really long day.”

5:45 pm – The nice lady at Alamo has coaxed me into a seat and made some phone calls. “Honey, I’m going to send you up there and you can go through every car seat we’ve got. We’ll find something. I promise. I’m a mom. It’s going to be fine.”

6:00 pm – After a false start where the Alamo guy tries to get me to take an infant seat that’s way too small for Ezra (“But it’s brand new!” he tells me several times, as if that means it has a magical secret higher weight limit), it’s totally fine. They have a nice, new convertible car seat that’s exactly the right thing. They just didn’t know they had it. I do a little car seat education with the Alamo staff, showing them how to recognize the difference between different car seats.

6:45 pm – I am eating BBQ and drinking root beer in Austin with my husband and brother and friends. I am considering the possibility that I may have finally escaped from whatever vortex of bad luck I had fallen into.

8:30 pm – I confirm that bad luck vortex seems to have dissipated, as hotel has both a room for me and a serviceable pack ‘n play for Ezra.

In conclusion:

  • American Airlines can 100% suck it. I’m through with them. I’m researching new credit cards right now (I have an AA miles card, which has kept me in indentured slavery to them. No more!)
  • If you’re renting a car seat from the car rental company, and there’s a possibility of any confusion, practice this phrase: “Can I just see the car seats? I’m sure we can find one that will work.” This will probably work more efficiently than the screaming, blacking out, and sobbing that I went with.
  • Ezra is an amazing magic baby. He totally cried less than I did, and managed to charm people left and right, including Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer of The Walkmen, and NPR’s Liane Hanson.
  • Austin! Love! Gorgeous weather, very successful presentation, hanging with Ezra’s uncle Zach, rooms full of web geeks fawning over Ezra, and great visits with Aaron & Dawn & baby Duncan (tiny!) and Rachel & Alex & Sam & baby Ethan (tinier!).



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