Those People

You know those people? The ones we see who are living out some sort of terrible cliche in real life? We grit our teeth, we maybe tell the story of how they did xyz and oh my god, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s the big public engagement that turns into a no, it’s the obnoxious/drunk/cheating bachelorette party, it’s the black Friday shopper running full speed ahead towards the big TV and then falls or knocks over displays.

Those people.

On Sunday we were those people.

We woke up in the middle of the night to catch a flight, woke the baby up, got out the door, made it to the airport rather seamlessly with all of our stuff. I was even kind of impressed with ourselves. Then (and this has nothing to do with being those people, but it seemed like a very bad omen at the time) as we were waiting in a very long, slow line at the United counter to check in, a tall older gentlemen, maybe in his 60s, suddenly collapsed in line just to the side of us. He then had what looked to be a seizure. People cried out for help, a doctor came forward from the crowd but there really wasn’t much he could do. The man stayed on the ground, his luggage tipped over next to him. I was certain he was going to die, right there, on the airport floor, at our feet. I cried quietly.

The line was diverted around him and he was eventually taken in a stretcher, still alive. It was definitely one of the most upsetting things I have ever witnessed. People are so fragile.

We got our tickets, the baby snuggled into my chest, and the man helping us informed us the airport was closed because of weather. Closed. And our flight would be diverted and then arrive in Mexico City once the fog had cleared up and the airport opened again. We were delayed from 6:00 to 6:50 to 8:00. So we found our gate, we waited, the baby napped, and our flight was delayed another hour. And another, and another. We got food, the baby fussed, we fussed, we got snacks, we walked and walked and walked the airport, we fretted over having enough formula and diapers, we bought more formula for exorbitant prices. Our flight was delayed another hour.

Finally at 11:30 we boarded, with an exhausted, sleepless baby. I made a bottle while we waited to taxi and fed him while people finished boarding. As the plane began to move Gabe started to fall into a much needed sleep, but when the plane stopped moving he woke up with a vengeance and began to scream. Not like a, “I’m fussy and excited for my bottle, feed me!” scream, but the inconsolable, ear splitting on a silent fucking plane scream. The kind where you panic because you are in public and holy god my child is disrupting the peace of hundreds of people right now. We tried a pacifier, we tried more formula (causing Kamel to spill white powder all over his lap), but those were pushed away by little hands attached to a screaming, crying face with closed eyes. We tried different positions, he cried harder, then I started crying (note: this is the second time I’ve cried in this post and in this day but this was a VERY long day, and now I couldn’t fix my kid and we were in public, on a plane, and we were THOSE PEOPLE). Eventually, after what seemed like hours, but was probably less than 30 minutes, Gabe finally fell asleep on Kamel (after vigorous baby jostling).

He slept for 2 hours, or until Kamel had to pee so bad he couldn’t take it for 1 more second, but Gabe probably need to sleep for another 4 hours or more. The rest of the flight was fuss central; I want this toy, I don’t want this toy, I want to go over there, I want to stay here, I want mommy, I want daddy, I am going to sqwack and wake up sleeping neighbors with very annoying sounds, I am going to whine, I am going to repeatedly undo mommy’s seatbelt, I am going to never be happy, always be manic, and create disasters. At one point he wacked a bottle of coke through the space between the seats and onto the people in front of us. We were those people. I was mortified and I did my best to clean up their arm rests and prayed not much got on them. They were not gracious about the whole thing, they were tired and hating that they were the ones stuck in front of the screaming baby. It was the worst. I felt bad for Gabe but also I really hated how much he sucked. Because he really did suck. We were not team Duprez, we were team baby tyrant and it was no fun at all.

We were supposed to land at 9am and instead we landed at 3pm. When we got home, I ran a load of wash and then headed out to Trader Joes because we had 0 food in the house. I cooked dinner, we bathed the baby, and at 6:30 the kid was DONE. He usually goes to bed between 8:00 and 9:00, but not this day. Dude passed out and then slept all the way until after 7:00 when we had to wake him up. It was glorious, and he was back to being a normal human again.

We can definitely mumble and judge THOSE people. We can, it is human nature, and when it happens, it happens. And we totally deserved the eye rolls and the annoyances because, fuck, after a long long day in the airport the last thing anyone needs or wants is a screaming baby who hates the world and will spill coke on you. But maybe, just maybe, those people could also use a freaking hug and a glass of tequila.

11 thoughts on “Those People”

  1. Oh you could totally use a huge hug. and Kamel, and Gabe, who was tired as well. So here’s a big one!
    I hope you are all better rested now. Airport delays are the worst… specially when you just want to get home.
    (I am glad you are back and look forward to hearing your adventures).

  2. Oh gosh, what a saga for you 🙁 That sucks. As a very frequent traveller I can say, though, that there were probably at least a few people on board who were sending you all their good empathy vibes rather than mentally hating on you. Sorry you had such a crappy journey, but here’s a big tequila to being home and done!

    1. Saga for sure!! And Yes, I absolutely give many people mental hugs when I see them wrestling with kids/other mountains to overcome… so I’m sure not everyone was wishing I would disappear. 🙂 I’ll take that tequila now.

  3. I am impressed that at the end of that you did a load of laundry, grocery shopped AND made dinner? I would have gone home, cried, ordered pizza and watched as much bad tv as the baby would allow.

    Sorry for the terrible flight, maybe you got all the bad baby flight juju out in one go? And moving forward all flights will be painless! 🙂

  4. Aww that sounds like such a long, hard day for everyone. So sorry it went like that (instead of the other version where the flight wasn’t delayed and Gabe slept the whole time). I wouldn’t worry about being “those people.” You were just parents.

  5. Gaahh, all the tequila! For you guys! We braved the airports with the 9-month-old last week too, and there is a very unique, special brand of panic when the baby starts to freak out on the plane, and you’ve got hours left to go and only about 5 cubic feet of space to work with to get him to calm down.

    Seeing family was totally worth it, but I’m glad we don’t have to do that airport part again for a while.

    And Sarah’s right, I guarantee there were people on that plane who sympathized and would have totally hugged you if, you know… getting up to hug a stranger on a plane wasn’t frowned upon. =)

  6. My husband and I flew to my hometown for Thanksgiving, and we were so grateful for how easy and smooth the whole process was. Except I am also pregnant with our first child, so we also spent the entire trip going “this is NEVER GOING TO BE THIS EASY EVER AGAIN.”

    I’m sorry things were such a headache for you guys. Flying can be a miserable experience anyway that your little dude was probably just expressing what everyone else was feeling on the inside.

  7. Oh man that’s a rough end to a holiday. If it helps any, I’m sure that at least a few people were looking your way in sympathy. I know when I hear babies crying my eyes do go to the parents – but not in a “shut your child up” way but rather a “man that must be stressful for them right now” way.

  8. I have so much sympathy for tyrant baby parents on planes, and I did even pre-baby (actually, I haven’t flown post-baby so I don’t know if I feel any different). Don’t worry about being “those people.” If those in front of you were not gracious about something you were obviously trying to deal with, they are, in fact, “those people.”

  9. Ouch.
    I had friends due to fly overseas about a month back – its a 3.5 hour flight and they had to be at the airport at 4:30am. Problem was that a storm the night before meant their aircraft had not arrived at the airport, and their scheduled 6:30am departure wound up not leaving till 6pm.
    And they couldn’t leave the airport because instead of a straight delay of 12 hours, it was gradual.
    And they had an 8 month old with them. At the airport for 12 hours. And then on the plane for another 3.5.
    Talk about making me paranoid when LJ and I had a 2 hour flight on our own 10 days later and a storm came through overnight again… Thankfully that one went ok, LJ was only grizzly (which can be charming), and everyone was incredibly helpful.
    But 4 flights in 10 days took it out of him, and the last flight was a misery, thank goodness I had a helper!

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