Here’s A Toddler-Flight-From-Hell Story To Make Those Of You Traveling Today Feel Better

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Are you traveling on a holiday, with children? There should be some kind of trophy for that. There isn’t. You know what you’ll get, though? Extra annoyed stares from travelers who have been subjected to long lines and massive crowds and have even less patience than they normally do. Yay!

Eventually, every parent has the flight from hell. I hate to burst your bubble — but it will happen. In case it happens today, I’ve decided to share the story of my flight from hell with my toddler. It happens to the best of us. It really does.

My kid was almost two. He’d been on plenty of flights, but his father had always been with us.  It’s always better to approach flying with a toddler in pairs.  But on this particular occasion, he couldn’t make the trip with us. I was desperate to squeeze in one more free flight before my child turned two.

We’re getting ready to leave the house, and I am scanning all of the crap that I am responsible for Sherpa-ing around. Carseat – check. Luggage – check. Diaper bag – check. Purse – check. Stroller – check. Oh, and toddler. Can’t forget him. How in the hell am I going to do this alone? I push the impossibility of the situation out of my mind, and my husband helps us to the taxi.

I’m repeating a happy-voiced mantra to my child. Something about having an amazing day! He looks skeptical. I strap him into his carseat and the driver begins heading to the airport. I start to notice there is a smell so thick in the car, I’m actually tasting it. It’s a combination of vanilla, lavender, burning plastic, bile and flowers. I look at the rear-view mirror and see three of those Christmas tree-shaped air fresheners hanging from it. Then I notice a gaggle of them shoved into my side door pocket. I count them – eleven. There are about eight more shoved into my son’s side. What the hell kind of smell is this lady drowning out? I begin to worry that she’s transporting dead bodies in the trunk. I start to feel queasy.

I’ve counted 22 air fresheners. I look at my son — he looks sleepy but okay. About 30 seconds later, I notice that god-forsaken pooling of saliva in his mouth, that indicates he will be puking all over the place shortly. My brain realizes this is about to happen, my body fails to react. All of a sudden, vomit starts shooting out of his mouth and nose. He’s covered in it. The driver pulls a roll of paper towels out of nowhere. I contemplate beating her with it for this air freshener debacle. Deep breaths.

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