Sunday, October 23, 2011

Post Travel Stress Disorder

Dude. It's been a week--more than that, I know. What can I say? I have PTSD (Post Travel Stress Disorder), and lately? If I so much as hear the click of a high heel? I get this little tic in my eye, and I am right back in that airplane, buckled in with a snap. Click! 6+ hours flying with a baby who cries unless my nipple is crammed inside his mouth, and so it is. My shirt wide open, my dad sitting across the aisle paying superveryscrutinizinglyclose attention to his book because we wordlessly decided long ago that I have no nipples or boobs or other, my body instead composed of elbows and cracked heels, things that cannot be sexualized. 6+ hours of Ozzy latching on and pulling away because it is fun and he is bored, his mouth smelling like sweet wet bread, the guy in front of me fully reclined, Zoey beside me whining, Bryan playing Angry Birds pretending he is anywhere else and my dad, reading.
And then this: 4 hours in and Ozzy with a codpiece of a diaper. Soaked through and full of poop. But the airplane has no changing tables so the flight attendant tells me to change him on my seat. A poopy diaper in a metal tube flying 30,000 feet above. And so I do, surrounded by strangers drinking Sprite, and as I'm changing him he starts to poop some more, his body rolling into the sloped joint of the seat, a Play-Doh Fun Factory cranking out poop and more loose poop, Ozzy crying because I have not yet found a way to change his diaper with my nipple in his mouth.

Tic, you guys, do you see it? My eye?

Then later, after we land, a 4 hour drive to Vermont. Only it is raining and dark and we are from California. We drive and we drive, the bitchy bitchface voice of the rental car's GPS saying recalculating over and over all judge-y, the roads going from paved to dirt to whatthefuck? Midnight, Ozzy screaming and we pull over so I can stick my nipple in his mouth again and my dad, already covered in nicotine patches, gets out to smoke a cigarette when out of the woods comes a man with no shirt on, and I cannot help but think of Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.

This is where it starts to get fuzzy. The man was nice--drunk but nice--we were lost and he could not help, some 15 year old policeboys randomly showed up and could not figure out how to turn off their sirens, misunderstood where we were trying to go and told us we were hours and hours away, that we needed to go to the Canadian border, blah blah, sirens blaring, my dad smoking, Ozzy screaming, Zoey scared, Bryan wound tight and my nipple wet and smelling like bread. So we gave up, got a hotel room and in the morning this is what we saw:
Of all the artwork for the hotel room to have it was a stylized map with a pin showing where we were. Concord, New Hampshire. Wrong state entirely. We laughed and ate a complimentary continental breakfast.

And then tried again and made it to my cousin's wedding. It was beautiful, she was stunning, the leaves really are spectacular, stone and brick, the smell of real apple cider, not just a candle bought at Anthroplogie. Here is a photo of my East Coast children...
Note the pissy look on Ozzy's face, i.e. my nipple is at least three feet away.

So yes, I am home now, the trip back the same in reverse. It has been a week and my eye twitch is slowly getting better. Today we went to the beach, the start of our Northern California indian summer and the air was perfect with salt.
I read somewhere that scientists believe that a person is never more than 3 feet away from a spider at any given time. Not sure what this has to do with my story but it is interesting nonetheless.

xo,
S

17 comments:

A Perfect Gray said...

best story ever

Nancy Fastenau said...

Oh dear. We had much the same experience (rain, lost, crammed in airplane for 6 hours) minus the nipple stuck in a baby's mouth. Yours make me laugh!

Weitzell4 said...

oh the imagery that your writing conjures...

krista said...

and here i am freaking out because my family wants me to drive up to ventura (probably about an hour away) for a bbq. oddly enough, though there are no planes or hotel rooms in my itinerary, i now feel even more validated in saying 'no.'

you are the best. if i knew how, i would figure out a way to make detachable breasts so that you could put them in a bedazzled neoprene carrier and he could suck on them the whole day without any issue. but they would still be your boobs. like robot boobs.

Petunia Face said...

Oh my god, Krista--necessity is the mother of invention! I seriously thought about how to manufacture the boob as pacifier. You know those DIY dildo kits? (No? Um, me neither. Seriously.) I think you make a mold of the "object" and pour it into a silicone mold and voila! Why can't we do this with our boobs, I ask. Genius, non?

Or maybe babies don't even need their specific mom's nipple. Maybe it's just generic pre-made nipples? Like you could sell them in different sizes--inverted, golf tee, and somewhere in between?

Whichever, I think they should be microwaveable so you can give them to baby at 98.6 degrees body temp.

Yes, I had 6+ hours to think the whole thing through...

Anonymous said...

Another shining testament of your comic and literary genius. David Sedaris must surely draw his inspiration from you. (…and, don’t call me Shirley.)

Anonymous said...

I think you and Krista are onto something with the robot boob thing.

How about this:

http://www.amazon.com/Boobs-Stress-Balls-Set-squeezing/dp/B000FBWI4K

Plus this:

http://www.amazon.com/DeluxeComfort-Moshi-Girlfriend-Pillow-NEW/dp/B002YVFSSW

With an X-Acto knife, a baby bottle, some epoxy, and a little imagination, you'll be well on your way to late-night infomercials and fabulous riches.

Kiera said...

Hoping you heard that spider thing on the How To Do Everything podcast...because it is awesome.

Glad the eye twitch is going away. Those are never fun.

Weitzell4 said...

I think all moms who travel with nursing babies should be given an award. Reminds me of the time I flew with my then 12 week old. Disaster both ways, but the best part of the story, a 1.5 hour flight, small plane, told beforehand to use the bathroom because the one on the plane was broken. Flying in to Chicago, were diverted to Iowa or somewhere because of President Bush flying in and closing down the airport. I had an aisle seat, next to a guy who refused to switch seats with me so I could discreetly nurse. Baby fills diaper (and by fills, I mean it squirts up his back). Full plane, no bathroom. Diverted an extra hour away (and they had served drinks). Then we land in an airport where the airline I was on did not have a terminal and they would not let us go to a gate for about another hour. Finally, we are escorted in groups of 5 to a bathroom in a deserted terminal. Awesome!

Jess Klingensmith said...

I laughed at this for no less than ten minutes. I am travelling from Texas to Nevada in a week with an 8 month old. She will likely be the only infant on a Southwest Flight to Vegas. Good times.

amanda said...

absolutely perfect! and i have soooo been there. our first outing with grace when she was a baby was at he four seasons in chicago. they brought us a silver wine bucket with hot water to warm her bottle, but i had the change her diaper on the FLOOR????? how do places, most importantly PLANES for christ's sake, not have changing tables? cause changing a crap dipaer isn't bad enough, you have to do it in a chair with strangers who are already pissed you had the audacity to bring a baby *gasp* on a plane in the first place??? come one... loved this blog post! hilarious!

jennifer said...

there's no place like home . . .

Jules said...

I thought about "A Good Man is Hard to Find" the second you mentioned the guy in the forest, too!

Richie Designs said...

makes me hyperventilate and I don't even have kids [the diaper part that is]

kate said...

I flew from Baltimore to New Orleans when the Larger Hooligan was 3 months. Seated between two business men (I'd asked for the aisle) he nursed non-stop. As we were landing, I had him upright over my shoulder. He upchucked, the white goo flew between the seets and landed all over the shoes of the businessman sitting behind us, who accepted a wipe and seemed relieved it hadn't splattered all over his shirt or his face. Babies improve with age.

the lil bee said...

This was amazing, though I'm sure it sucked royally at the time! Ozzy is so handsome, and Zoey looks so grown up now! And so pretty.

Anonymous said...

I just rediscovered your blog and I'm right now laughing out loud. The last photo and description - hysterical. Thank you!