After my initial horrific solo mUm travel experience, I developed a strong 'beep you' approach towards anyone who even dared look in my direction when Michael cried, however, on my recent international travels, again as solo mUm, my patience and the ability to withhold the language profanity ability were truly tested!
Here's how it went down: Our 36-hour adventure began in Norfolk with me struggling with the car seat, the luggage, and Michael in arms, while impatient travellers grunted at me to hurry through security...not one even considered to offer a hand. The ever so friendly airport staff happily asked me to remove my jacket, shoes, Michael's jacket, shoes, and a backpack, while encouraging that I move quickly, ensuring that I wouldn't disrupt the grunting passengers behind me.
Still, not a single 'beep you' was uttered....oh, no, I saved those guns for the return journey!
Before I go any further, I have to say that Michael was the perfect toddler on all flights, not one crying fit, not one tantrum, simply outstanding, except for one Virgin Lounge Banshee Man episode which, mind you, it was going on 8 hours past his bed time.
As for the return journey, I can only NOW laugh beneath my anger and frustration at just how inconsiderate and uncompassionate people really can be, as I, again lugged and lugged, and lugged through countless airports, delayed flights and long layovers. However it wasn't until the last flight of the night that my patience level had rivalled that of Mt. Versuvius.
Upon landing in Atlanta, due to a two-our delay, I had 20 minutes to transfer between four terminals, which involved catching a train and running like a Kenyan with a car seat, hand luggage and Michael, who by this time was way overtired and screamed bloody murder, at any time I attempted for him to walk on his own.
20 minutes...otherwise we'd be spending the night in the airport...NOT GOING TO HAPPEN DELTA!!!!!
So, once we were given the all clear to disembark, I had Michael standing in the aisle, car seat in one hand, carry-on in the other, when a 40+ woman barged through me, pushed Michael to the floor in order to get her bag from the overhead.
Now, push me and you'll hear about it, but push my kid and not even Darth Vadar can save you!
With my volume button on loud, the following transpired:
mUm: Excuse me you inconsiderate beep, an excuse me would have been nice.
Woman: I've got a plane to catch.
mUm: I've got a beeping plane to catch too, and a child who you barged over.
Woman: Calm down.
mUm: beep you beep beep, I'm traveling alone with all this crap, so beep beep.
With the plane doors still closed, the woman sharply turns her back on me. By this point, all I wanted was a shower, a sleeping baby, and a sleeping me: I hadn't slept in over 24 hours, Michael was restless, and, now, thanks to humanitarian of the year, I was on the brink of tears.
But you'd think that was a random act right, huh, think again!
As we finally start to disembark, a 30+ man again just barged through me to get his overhead luggage, and that, my friends is when the gates of Hell opened. For the safety of all involved, I will NOT share the transcript on this one, but it wasn't pretty.
And then, as though the voices of Heaven started singing, a lovely man offered to carry the car seat, and walk with me to the next terminal, despite that his flight and terminal were no-where near mine.
This same lovely man helped me until Mr. Delta Pilot took over, and transferred us through the train terminals, and on to the waiting gate.
How did society become so self-absorbed, so inconsiderate of others? I was raised with the understanding that, if someone LOOKED like they needed a hand, I'd offer it. If I saw a solo mUm struggling through an airport with a crap load of luggage and a crying toddler, I certainly wouldn't look the other way, and after this experience, I certainly never will.