Self, try not to freak out, but you missed your flight! How did that even happen? Dang it, mom brain. If Josh were here this wouldn’t have happened. Oh, the joy of travelling solo. Now I’m wondering what the heck am I going to do. I must talk to the lady at the desk. And stop crying. Stop crying first, talk to the lady second. Or cry while talking – that could help.
Woo hoo, it turns out they loan car seats for this very reason! So now some kind lady called Julie is on her way to pick us up and I am standing on the curb with baby strapped to me and her hired car seat in hand. We are going to be okay. I am really looking forward to a shower because I am pretty sure that smell is coming from my baby’s bottom and I think it’s seeping into my clothes. I am so glad I packed that spare change of clothes in my carry on. 42 hours, one missed flight, and a few new friends later, we arrived in Buffalo. We did it.
Despite the craziness, I realise how much I have learned about my little girl over the last two days. The first few months of Maddie’s life were tough on me – all my buttons were pushed as I tried to figure out what she needed when she cried. This trip has really shown me how far I have come. I am learning to read her signs and pre-empt some of the meltdowns. I realise now that she gets bored (who would have thought?), she drools when she is hungry, and when she starts screeching it actually means she is overtired and needs a sleep. This has been a real mom-win.
Bring on the wonderful barrage of family and friends. Google and other moms are a wealth of knowledge and baby gear. To keep it simple, I borrowed as much as possible and recruited a car seat, stroller and pack-n-play at my destination.
There is no way I could have done it without having Maddie in a carrier on me. There is a Facebook group called NZ Babywearing Market Place where you can chat to other parents and figure out which carrier is best for you and your child.
On our travels, I was surprised that the ‘compassionate eyes’ outweighed the ‘judgy eyes’. I was amazed how a little conversation with those around me ushered in a lot of empathy and even child-holders for when I needed the loo, or dare I say, a break.
I am a strong, independent woman (like you, I am sure) and even with a baby strapped to me I can lift my bag into the stow-away compartment. So I had to silence the, “I can do it myself” gremlin and accept assistance. It reminded me that I don’t need to do everything on my own. Bottom line – accept or even ask for help.
I wish I had printed out my itinerary. Juggling bags, bottles and tickets proved to be too much and I missed a flight.
All in all, it was an adventure worth repeating – but hopefully next time, Josh will be with us.
Stephenie is an ordained minister who has been working with youth for the last 10 years (six of those in New Zealand) and is now the National Youth Ministry Consultant for the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand.