Last week, I returned from my trip to the Midwest via Southwest Airlines with both Loo and Little Man by myself. The trip was a great trip, and I got to do so many once in a lifetime things, including meet Little Miss Hadley Mae McCormick. The trip was not without complications, as anyone flying with a almost 5 year old and a 3 year old can attest to. I usually don’t share Mommy moments… I share this story, for two reasons, one, to show where our country is, and two, because I think it was absolutely hilarious (Keep reading, I am sure you will agree).
When flying with two small children, bringing a stroller, and all the bags necessary to not only clothe but entertain, going through Airport Security is a stressful, scary, and demanding task. While leaving Kansas City International Airport, parents are urged to allow their children to run free, by mandating that any stroller, be placed on a huge conveyor belt along with any shoes that said parent might be wearing, while simultaneously allowing any child to keep theirs on. Also included to go on the conveyor belt are any snacks and or drinks the children might have. Doing so, immediately both children start to cry. Then, going through the metal detector, having your daughter’s adorable knee high boots, just happen to make the metal detector off, while the other little person decides it is a good time to take off through the corridor while Mommy and Sissy, not only have to be scanned again… all the while barefoot.
You FINALLY get your foam flip flops back (because we all know how easy it is to make foam into an instrument of attack) just to grab one running down the corridor, to try and calm the other that is still crying because her shoes had to get an x-ray, and reassure her, that the machines are there to keep everyone safe, and her shoes just needed to make sure they were “good quality”. (Don’t judge). Then after determining that medicine was really medicine and chocolate milk, was in fact chocolate milk, inspecting your laptop, to make sure it wasn’t a weapon of mass destruction, and dumping the entire contents of your purse you so skillfully put together, so that everything needed was close at hand, you are returned your belongings. So, you make it to the gate, with literally minutes to spare, when you were there an HOUR AND A HALF before the flight. Then you realize that you have been with security for over an hour. Massive fail. You fly with relative ease until getting to Orlando, where you have to switch flights, and dash through another airport, then you have to RECHECK the stroller… sigh.
Your flight has a layover, and you are now flying from Orlando to Charlotte. When you get on the plane, your little boy, not even five years old, after getting settled into his seat starts to talk about Madagascar the movie. Of course as soon as you get into the air, he starts talking about plane crashes, which then errupts your daughter into singing LOUDLY the “Firework” song. She starts singing about “Boom, Boom, Boom” and you fear that immediately you will be flagged as a flight risk, and the plane immediately diverted. The flight goes by without a hitch.
Your son, of course needs to use the bathroom, where you have to leave one and go with the other, and are told not to congregate in the aisle while your soon goes potty for 10 minutes. (Oh the joy). You get back in your seat just to hear the fasten seat belt sound, and you think, “Perfect, just in time”. As you settle in your seat you hear the dreaded words from the cutest girl in the world… as she says them, you realize this isn’t going to be good. “Mommy, I have to go potty!” You signal the flight attendant who tells you, that, in fact you are not allowed to get out of your seat, and if you get out of your seat again, or your little girl, you will be fined, and the plane will be diverted, due to emergency. Loo starts crying because she needs to potty, and you are the one not letting her up. As Mom, you tell her, quietly, “Hold it, hold it, don’t pee, don’t pee”, and tell her that you will give her lots of treats if she holds it. You both say a little prayer, and hope that it is a quick decent. Not. So. Much.
After 45 minutes, you are still waiting, still telling her that she needs to hold it… You again ask the flight attendant what you are supposed to do… she says you are not allowed to get out of the seat due to FAA regulations. You finally get on the ground, scoop up your little girl out of her seat, thinking, FINALLY, finally, she can go. Not so much. The flight attendant notifies you that you are not allowed to be unbuckled, or out of your seat, and if you do, the plane will lose the place in line, and it will be an hour or more until you can get off the plane, and you will have to meet with Airport Security upon arrival… You are told all passengers have to wait until the plane makes it to the gate before unbuckling, or there will be fees and fines from the FAA… more waiting… By this time, your three year old Princess, is ALL OUT CRYING, because she does not want to have an accident. The passengers, after seeing this happen three times now, start chanting, “Hold it, Hold it, Hold it, Hold it!” Finally arriving at the gate, a big burly man stands up as the plane stops, and shouts, “Nobody Move! (It was exactly the tone you would hear in a stickup) This Little Girl Needs To Go Potty!” Everyone stays in their seats and your little princess goes sauntering down the aisle. She arrives at the bathroom, and on completion of her bathroom time, everyone claps and congratulates her.
I would like to know the harm that a precious little 3 year old girl can do in an airplane bathroom? While I believe that the FAA regulations exist to keep us all safe, I also believe, firmly, that if a very small child needs to go potty, you let them go potty. Does this look like someone who would do anything other than go potty in a bathroom?