This post is going to be a little outdated because the story I am going to tell happened nearly a month ago, but with the encouragement of friends and family, I decided to go ahead and post this story on my blog. So here goes....
About a month ago, Jonah and I took a trip to Atlanta to see my family, celebrate his first birthday, and celebrate Christmas early since we would be spending Christmas with Mark's family in Kentucky. I expected that flying with Jonah alone would be somewhat challenging, but in my naivety and optimistic spirit, I assumed that those around me would be nice and helpful since I was flying alone with a baby.... hmmm... well, at least the first part was true.
Our flight was scheduled to leave LaGuardia airport at 8am, so we were up and out the door by 6am. Luckily, Mark was still here to help get me and Jonah out the door and in a taxi. The taxi driver helped me get the luggage out on the airport end. Checking in and getting through security was not all that difficult, except for de-robing, taking off my shoes (and Jonah's shoes), trying to collapse a stroller while holding Jonah... (I thought about just laying Jonah on the moving belt while I collapsed the stroller, thought he might think it was fun, but then decided against it). Yea, so anyways, we successfully got through security and headed to board the plane.
I checked the stroller at the gate, so now I had Jonah in the carrier, strapped to the front of me, and my overstuffed backpack on my back. As we started boarding the plane, I noticed it was quite small... one seat on the right side and two on the left..... oh please let my seat be on the right... no such luck. Walking down the aisle, I noticed a rather large lady, and when I say rather, I mean it, bending over with her rump in the aisle sorting through all sorts of stuff she was bringing onto the plane as a carry on. She had at least 2 bags of stuff. She was making it difficult for people to get past her and get to their seat. I soon realized that I would be in the window seat, next to this large rump lady. As I approached the seat, I tapped her on the back and said 'excuse me ma'am, I'm in the window seat'. Without looking up she said, 'You'll have to hold on'. That was a given considering she had junk strewn in both seats and the floor at this point. Well, there really wasn't anywhere for me to 'hold on' on this small plane, especially with Jonah strapped to my front and an overstuffed backpack on my back. So I did my best to huddle into an open seat, jamming my backpack into some innocent passenger's face, I'm sure....
In a minute or two, which seemed like an eternity as I was huddled into the seat across the aisle from her, with my neck cocked to the side under the low ceiling of the small plane, trying to entertain Jonah, and with my shoulders feeling the weight of my load.... this lady turned around and said to me.. 'Ya know, you really shouldn't be standing behind me.' To which my response was 'Well, I don't exactly have anywhere else to go'. (At this point, I literally didn't have anywhere else to go b/c since she had turned around and was standing in the aisle, there was no possible way for me to get out of the seat I was in and go anywhere else.) She then said to me 'Well, I might just hit your baby in the head with my bag then.' ..... Yes, that's really what she said...... She then came as close as possible to hitting Jonah with her bag (without actually hitting him) as she put it in the overhead compartment. She then said to me.... 'There, you can have all the space you want missy.'.... My response 'I'm not looking for space, I'm just trying to get to my seat, which is beside you'. At this point she had already sat in the aisle seat. It would be virtually impossible for me to get to my seat with her sitting due to her size and due to the fact that I had Jonah strapped to the front of me. She got up, let me get to my seat... meanwhile she still has a bunch of junk she is trying to do something with, a bunch in her lap and she is cramming stuff in the the seat back pocket in front of her. It was obvious to me that she was taking up as much of my space as she possibly could.
As, I was getting settled, trying to manage all my stuff and Jonah, Jonah being a little uncomfortable or unhappy made a few noises, not even cries or fusses really, just noises... to which she said, 'Oh Lord, this is going to be a long flight'. I just tried to ignore the comment.
Well, after we were all boarded and taxied part of the way to the runway, the captain came on the speaker and said 'We will have to go back to the gate, there is a maintenance issue with the plane'. At this point, I am guessing she thought that meant we were going to crash because she began quoting the 23 Psalm loudly, like loud enough for the whole plane to hear. Since we hadn't even taken off yet, I found this a little bit comical.
Shortly after that, they began re-routing people on our flight that had connections they would miss. This lady went to the flight attendant several times trying to get off the flight and be re-routed, but they never let her off. I am sure they have a systematic way of doing these things, but man, I sure did want them to let her off, and she sure did want to be let off!! Eventually because several people had be re-routed to other flights there were empty seats in various places around the plane and a man that was in the seat in front of me (who had witnessed all of this lady's rudeness) turned and said to me, 'You should go up there to those two empty seats so you can have some more room'. So I said, 'Yea, hopefully I can get up there before someone else does'. To which my friendly co-passenger said 'If you wanted to get up and move, all you had to do was ask'.... which again, I did my best to ignore. I did make it up to the two empty seats and was able to spread out a little bit..... at least for a few minutes b/c that flight was ultimately cancelled.
Back off the plane we go... Jonah strapped to the front and overstuffed backpack on back. We were re-routed through a different airline, which meant I had to leave my current terminal and go back through security. Jonah fell asleep in his stroller just in time to be rudely awakened and taken out of his stroller in order to go through the metal detector, because you know, Jonah and I both are pretty suspicious looking. But, it was necessary to wake the peacefully sleeping baby and put his stroller through the belted scanner, right? :)
On my next flight, I was placed in a middle seat, between two men, which much to my fortune, were amazingly nice. The man to my right had actually been on my original flight and had witnessed the whole rude lady event (pretty much the whole plane had since it was so small) and when he sat down promised he would be nicer than my first co-passenger. He definitely held true to that promise. Jonah kicked him, tried to pull his glasses off, screamed for (at least) 20 minutes straight.. and this man was still nice to us. He picked up things Jonah dropped, let Jonah play with his iphone, shared his snack with Jonah, etc. I guess he definitely balanced out (and then some) the evil of my first co-passenger. The man on the other side of me was also very nice, helping me as needed, talking to and playing with Jonah.
We managed to arrive safely in Atlanta and had a nice visit with my family. The flights back were pretty uneventful except that I realized I had lost my license when I went to check in for the first flight back.... somehow they let me on the plane. I think they felt sorry for me since I had a baby.
Below are a few pictures from the flight back. We had a layover in the Philadelphia airport, which was actually good. Jonah played and even made a little friend from Germany... and I got some cute pictures. Oh-- and there was a chick-fil-a in the Philadelphia airport. Makes a southern girl like me happy. :)
Sorry this post is so long... enjoy the pics.
Seriously, how could anyone be rude to that cute, sweet face.???