While at the airport, Baby Girl pointed at an airplane - one we were about to get on - and shouted, "AIRPAIN!" and I thought, "ohmylordgoodness, kid, you have no idea how right you are. AirPAIN."
This past weekend, Baby Girl and I (more like Toddler Girl now, but whatever) took our first solo trip. It went...uh, better than expected in some ways, and slightly worse in others, and was altogether completely and totally worth it (best. wedding. ever) but also made me never, ever, ever want to get on a plane by myself with a toddler again. Ever. Again.
The worst part of the whole thing was the security line. Held up both times, once by my Crazy Lawbreaking Organic Fruit Pouches (I fought the law, and the law won) - the second time by a renegade tube of diaper cream which I totally thought I had put in my checked baggage and which, certainly, snuck back into my carry-on under its own power. Damn stuff. Nothing makes you look like a great parent more than corralling a screaming toddler while waiting for the TSA guy to pull out the carefully-packed diapers, El.mo video (don't judge me, she doesn't watch TV at home but on an airplane I will give her whatever it takes to survive), coloring book and snacks in order to track down that one liquid you forgot to put in the plastic bin.
Because then what happens is that your kid sees the stuff you had carefully hidden in said carry-on, with the plan that you would pull it out when the jello hit the fan during the actual airplane ride, except now there are no secrets because all your worldly goods are sitting out on that stainless steel table and your child is yelling, "mo! mo!" which either means, 1.) El.mo; or 2.) more! or 3.) something you don't quite understand but will spend the next 20 minutes trying to figure out.
The business-guy traveler behind me was itching to get past us, and I don't blame him in the least. I used to be that person. The one who whipped off her shoes, brought a quickly-removed jacket, got that laptop out in three seconds flat and made my way through security like a professional whilst inwardly sneering at the Parent With Screaming Toddler and now...well. Yes. Now that's me.
On the other hand, on the ride home, she slept for two hours (hallelujah!) and then played happily for the last hour or so (minus a few tears on the descent, but even I don't enjoy that part, so no blame there) and, when we landed, she smiled at the passengers around us like she was Queen of the Plane and they praised her as if she was, and that was pretty great.
I still don't really want to do this again, though. And I need a nap.