Thursday, July 11, 2013

It takes a village.

My family and I just returned from a trip to my parents house in the midwest. As we got on our first flight (always 2 flights to and from Mom and Dad's house), I was in shock we'd be in a tiny 2 row, 2 seater plan for the next 3 hours. BUT with the invention of the iPad and our 3.5 year old's kid headphones, along with snacks, plenty of books and markers, I realized we'd be okay.

It wasn't so for another Mom.

As soon as she got on the plane with an adorable blue eyed, bald headed 5 month old baby girl, the baby started crying. And I'm not referring to a whimper, I mean a screeching, tear jerker, kinda cry.

All I could think about how hard it is to travel without your partner in moments like she was experiencing.

But of course the baby would stop crying once we took off ...right? 

She didn't.

This poor Mom just walked up and down the aisle of the tiny plane for 30 minutes, then 60, then 90 minutes. Back-and-forth. Each time, I smiled and tried to strike up conversation about how our daughter was like when she was a baby - just could cry for hours no matter what we did....How nursing helped her on planes....how a bottle might help....maybe try the baby carrier...

I wasn't helping really.

After 90 minutes the Mom said to me,

"She's gotta stop sometime right?" 

This adorable baby was basically hysterical. This Mom was on the verge of crying herself now too. And I thought of my awful experience on a flight - flying solo with our daughter and how no one really helped me and I had really needed help. I needed another Mom to reach her hand out to me and say, "How can I help honey?"

So I asked If I could give her  break. She handed her off with no hesitation and her whole body smiled. And here's the thing, so did the baby. She stopped crying. We bounced for about 20 mins in the aisle and then I decided to take her back to our daughter, who had no clue what I was doing (yes, she was watching a movie on the beloved iPad.) So I sat down next to our 3.5 year old and asked her if she could help me keep the baby happy. And here's the amazing thing, our girl did help. She made the baby smile, giggle, coo and same with our baby, now preschooler. The two girls just played for another half an hour.

Like any break in Motherhood goes, this break ended too - but even though this cutie was starting to whimper again, the Mom looked relaxed and calmer and was able to give back to her baby girl again.

And even though the baby kept crying other folks on our tiny plane started helping and playing and holding the baby till it was time to land. Nothing better to see a man who was 6'4", muscular, (He actually looked A LOT like Hulk Hogan) holding a 5 month old baby girl about 15lbs.

Nothing like building a village on a tiny 2 row, 2 seater 3 hour flight home.

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