Literally a few minutes before we drove to Baltimore so I could catch my flight to New Mexico, I sat down to sew a little bag to hold crayon rocks for Beatrix. I took a vintage cloth napkin and sewed a strip of 1/4 inch elastic, pulled tight, across two opposite sides, about one inch from the edge. Then I folded it in half, right sides together, and sewed the sides closed, forming a little pouch with an elastic opening that Beatrix could reach her hand in to grab her crayons. I didn’t have time for a drawstring pouch, nor was that exactly what I had in mind. At any rate this was quick and easy, and the resulting pouch served it’s purpose.
I wasn’t sure what to expect on that first flight, it being my first time to travel on an airplane with Beatrix. I prayed that I would be seated next to people that wouldn’t mind my breastfeeding baby and that she wouldn’t cry during the flight. My prayers were answered on each and every flight both en route to NM and on our way home.
On the first flight, which was about two and a half hours long, Beatrix and I shared a seat between an older woman, and a young guy who appeared to be in the military. It sure is a tight squeeze being in the middle seat when you are flying coach. I was very focused on keeping Bea happy, while trying not to think about the reason I was on a plane on Mother’s Day to begin with so that I wouldn’t burst into tears surrounded by all those strangers. While the fellow to my right proved to be very quiet (not a bad thing), the woman on my left was very friendly, which I was grateful for. She was a grandmother herself, and was quite taken with Beatrix.
When the drink cart came rolling our way, she purchased a little bottle of vodka to go with her cranberry juice. She leaned over to me and said that she needed it to calm her nerves. Once she drained the bottle, she screwed the lid back on tightly and gave it to Beatrix to play with. Bea liked it, and was occupied with trying to open it for quite awhile.
A few minutes had passed when the friendly lady flagged the flight attendant down and requested another vodka. That second drink was quickly followed by a third little bottle of vodka. She must have been really nervous. At any rate, she became exceedingly friendly. Under normal circumstances I would have been a bit uncomfortable with her, but my mind was so preoccupied that she didn’t really phase me. Besides, Beatrix really liked the vodka bottles. At some point, I pulled out the little crayon pouch and a homemade coloring book for Beatrix. The friendly lady enthusiastically began to color alongside Beatrix and just couldn’t get over the concept of a crayon rock, exclaiming that they were just the neatest thing she had ever seen. As Beatrix scribbled with each of her crayons, using each color for just a second before moving on to the next, the friendly lady remarked that Beatrix was using all the colors of the rainbow. Then she looked at Beatrix and asked her, “Are you gay?” Beatrix didn’t answer, being that she is eighteen months old, and I simply remarked to myself (in my head) that this lady was really drunk.
At some point during our conversations, the friendly lady, who was coughing a bit, mentioned that she had some sort of viral “thing.” I restrained my germ phobic self from getting excited over that piece of information, realizing that there was little I could do about germs on this packed flight. However, I was very dismayed when she put Beatrix’s sippy cup in her mouth and pretended to drink from it. I was still recovering from my shock when Beatrix popped it right into her own mouth. Too late for me to run it back to the airplane bathroom to wash it.
Beatrix began coughing a couple of days after we arrived in NM and I blamed it on the dry air. I have been coughing for about three days, and am the sickest I have been in over a year.
I now suspect the drunk lady. At least she was friendly.