Four days away… just four days. My husband is staying put, so I am tasked with packing solely for myself and a 19-pound person. No biggy, right?
My parents live around 450 miles south of us, so I usually drive to their home. Packing up our large SUV is a non-issue, so I was hardly phased during our last visit home. However, flying solo with a baby presents itself with a whole new plethora of issues and concerns.
The morning of our trip, I pull the smallest luggage I have out of our basement and lug it upstairs. I stuff it to the brim with five baby outfits, three outfits for myself (hey, my parents have a washing machine), and then top of it off with makeup, my ankle boots, and a Ziploc baggie full of formula.
I drag it into the living room and set it next to my overflowing diaper bag and large purse. I smile and claim victory- I was able to pack myself and a baby in a carry-on. Beat that.
Joke’s on me. Prior to leaving the house, I throw my purse and diaper bag onto their respective shoulders and attempt to drag the luggage to the front door.
Pop. There goes my back. My husband stands there, and in his most smug of voices asks, “how are you carry all of those and wear the baby?” He sets his soda down and points to the Ergo carrier.
Thanks for that, sweety. (Editor’s note: I am pretty sure I did not thank him for that observation).
Since my son and I are driving back home the day before Thanksgiving with my parents in their sedan, I opted to leave the stroller at home and buy one for use at their home. I didn’t think about the extra 19-pounds of baby I would have strapped to my chest. Sigh.
In my true glory, I storm down the stairs and reappear with my largest suitcase- the suitcase that I would fill lovingly for a two-day couples trip to Vegas with fifteen pairs of shoes and a host of dresses and pounds of makeup. Ahhh, the days of packing solely for one’s self. No pressure. No stress.
Back in our living room, I shovel my neatly packed suitcase into the bohemith bag. Nothing is folded or properly stacked. But it fits, with plenty of room to boot.
Next in the pile is my purse. Zip. Now, I simply have to wear a baby and carry his diaper bag.

Piece. Of. Cake. 

Fast forward hours later, after my husband assisted up into the airport and dropped us off at security. My heart starts to race, and I get nervous about the TSA grilling me about my two bottles of warm water, snugly packed into the insulated confines of my diaper bag. “Man,” I thought, “I really hope they don’t make me dump out that water. Airport water is so expensive.”
I pull my pre-packed quart size Ziploc baggy out of the diaper bag along with my MacBook, iPod, and other security line sinners and place them in the plastic bins. At this point, my baby is expressing his disapproval of the Ergo carrier, and people in line are praying that I am not on their flight.
My heart is pounding. I am pleading with my son to calm down and use his indoor voice. I am digging through my bag, looking for my insulated bag.
This, being my 30th post to Suddenly Motherly, might be one of the first times I have cussed. There is a reason for this. Although I am working hard to clean up my sailor mouth in real life, I have complete control of it when I write. I use it to make an extreme point- I will only curse in my posts if I am using a direct quote, or trying to get the point across that something horrible is happening.
The above four-letter-word was wholly justified in this instance. My bottles were MIA; I was standing at the security checkpoint, screaming baby strapped to my boob, and I did not have a bottle for him.
After walking through the body scanner, I ask the lady who is rifling through my Vera Bradley bag if they sold bottles at the airport. She looked at me and said, “I am not sure.” She smiled, touched my baby’s nose and said to me, “good luck”.
I beelined towards to the concourse, I envisioned with sweat on my brows.
I walk into the very first gift store, run to the counter and ask the question that was so heavy on my heart, “do you sell baby bottles here?”
The foreign lady pointed to a wall in the back of the store, probably untouched for days at a time. The minute I saw the bottles pinned to the display shelf, the Heavens opened up and light shone down upon the cute blue bottles. Hallelujah! All is saved!
Although a bottle that was proudly “manufactured in Taiwan” and a bottle of lukewarm water set me back $7.00, it was paid back ten-fold just an hour later when I had a sleeping baby on my lap for the duration of the flight.
He was full and happy. All was well.
Upon arriving in my hometown, my parents were there with open arms to haul the large luggage to their car.
In retrospect, it is a good thing I brought a bigger bag… afterall, grandparents are known to send their grandchildren home with more gifts than a small suitcase could possibly hold.

The fun part will be squishing all of our stuff, and their vacation goods, into the car come this Wednesday to drive back to our home, which should make for good reading come Thursday :)