The unpacified baby

I’m back home.

And now it feels like I never left.  Last weekend was warm sunshine, the brightest greenery, red tulips, the tallest trees, and only myself to consider.  I came home to cold rain, dirty dishes in the sink, and laundry piled high.

I had a rental car in California.  I gave myself plenty of time to drive to the airport which is a good thing because on the curvy rolling highway an SUV (with two surfboards strapped to the roof) tipped over and slowed us all down.  I arrived at the San Jose airport and dropped off the car.  Then I purchased a “People” magazine and a burrito and enjoyed an hour to myself.

Finally, I meandered down to C-8 where I joined a crowd waiting to board the plane.  I didn’t rush to the front of the line which was a mistake because every single overhead compartment was full by the time I tried to get to my seat at 17A.  The flight attendant finally tucked my back into some little secret compartment.

Then I had to ask my seatmates–a woman and a man holding a baby–to let me into my window seat.

I assumed they were together, but when I asked “Are you going to or away from home?” they had different answers.  She was going to Seattle on business.  He was going home to see the baby’s mother.

And thus began our two hour flight with a fussy one-year old baby.

The man seemed competent–just before the plane took off, he hurried to dump powdered formula into the bottle and added water.  The baby was happily drinking a bottle when we lifted off.

But, the bottle was quickly drained and the baby fussed off and on, sometimes squealing in distress and sometimes outright crying.  The dad did what he could, but I heard that whoever packed for the baby forgot his pacifier and the poor little guy couldn’t fall asleep.

Two hours later, the plane bumped down in the cold rain of Seattle.  Between the time we landed and the time we reached the gate, that baby fell asleep.  It was 8:37 p.m.

I think I speak for all of us when I say we were all glad to be off that plane.

I’m glad to be home.

3 thoughts on “The unpacified baby

  1. Welcome back, Mel! Ah, the joy of traveling with infants/kids. My son and d-i-l talk of flying to Texas to see her mom every now and then but there is NO WAY Dylan and Cooper could sit still for the hours it would take to get them there. So…for now…they wait for her mom to come. Which is rarely, but that’s none of my concern, ha! Bless that father’s heart, tho…what a man!


  2. “…my seatmates, a man holding a baby and a woman….” made me laugh – sounded like the man was holding the baby AND the woman (although I knew better). Glad you made it back home, though. The laundry and the dishes in the sink were reminders of how needed you are and how important you are to the family – think of it as a little (?) welcoming home gift…………


  3. I remember traveling with a fussy baby many years ago, and not knowing what to do to help her calm down – pacifier, bottle, baby games… nothing seemed to help. Then another passenger started making faces at her and playing with her from behind our seat, and made that last hour of the trip a quiet and pleasant one for all of us. He deserved a medal.


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