We took the Zed twins on their first flight when they were only a few weeks old. It was a short flight, just ATL > MYR, so short a flight that you’re lucky to get beverage service. There we were at the airport, just Mr. Zed and the babies and I….and two car seats, a double stroller, an obscenely large diaper bag filled to bursting with every gizmo and gadget that new parents “need”, and a cooler bag with several bottles, containing about 40 oz of breastmilk.
I had read all the advice columns on flying with babies. We each wore a baby so we could be hands-free. I had pacifiers and bottles for takeoff and landing. We knew we couldn’t sit in the same row with two lap children because there weren’t enough oxygen masks per row (did YOU know that? #twinproblems). We were READY.
We breezed through security (thank you, TSA PreCheck), patting ourselves on the back for being so awesome.
We boarded the flight.
My giant aforementioned diaper bag would not fit under the seat in front of me. I unloaded the “essentials” and crammed them in the seat back pocket: a bag of pacifiers, three burp cloths, four diapers, a travel pack of wipes. I mentioned this flight is shorter than Mr. Clean’s hair, right? The diaper bag and the rest of its contents went in the overhead bin, along with the coooler bag of breastmilk.
As the rest of the pax boarded, we settled ourselves in. We taxied and prepared to take off. Each baby had a pacifier, neither made any fuss, and we were airborne!
That’s when the nice older gentleman behind us tapped Mr. Zed on the shoulder and pointed to the ceiling, where a white liquid was dripping from the overhead bin.
Hand to God, y’all. My breastmilk was leaking from the ceiling of the airplane. The cooler bag had fallen over, and yours truly had put the wrong tops on the bottles (nipples instead of screw tops). The milk slowly dripped out as we were sitting on the plane and taxiing, and when the plane took off, it rolled to the back of the overhead bin and LEAKED OUT ONTO THE NICE OLDER COUPLE BEHIND US.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to die from embarrassment, or cry.
I can manage to find the humor in any situation, and I had my coworkers in tears as I recounted this tale. One of them said, “See, that’s why we don’t travel with our kids. It’s a disaster”.
I disagree. It wasn’t a disaster (once I stopped crying over spilled milk); it was a lesson learned. We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way (don’t worry; they don’t all involve my bodily fluids), and had a lot of laughs.
Follow our wanderings (check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds, too). I promise you’ll learn something along the way, and hopefully laugh, too.
Tell me about YOUR little one’s first flight in the comments!