When I went to Milwaukee to see an old friend recently, I left my husband home with a seriously painful back spasm that was definitely not appropriate for air travel.
I packed a suitcase, a travel crib, a baby carrier, and a carry on bag into the back of the car and drove the three of us to the airport.
As we were walking to the ticket counter from the parking garage - pulling a suitcase with a travel crib on top of it, Squish in the carrier, and Bug walking alongside, a kind man said, "Would you like some help?"
"Oh, no, thank you!"
That's right. I was in the middle of some kind of adrenaline rush - having successfully made it that far, I was mentally preparing for the ticket counter, security checkpoint, and bathroom break, and I was pinning all of my hopes on the fact that there might be a coffee shop between security and the gate for our flight.
The coffee was going to be my reward for having successfully shepherded my three-year-old and one-year-old and all of our stuff to the other side of security.
I couldn't wimp out and take help at that point - before I had even checked us into our flight.
Caffeine was my help.
And it was waiting for me on the other side of security.
So, I politely declined the offer and continued on the way to the elevator that would take us down to the ticket counter.
We made it through the line to the ticket counter.
We checked in to our flight and explained my husband's absence. We checked our bag and the travel crib.
At that point, I felt that I had achieved yet another milestone. We had our tickets and had checked our bags! We could probably do anything.
(As an aside, I believe that, at this very moment, as I am writing this post, Bug may have secreted himself behind the couch cushions so that I cannot see him. All in an effort to avoid sleep. It's his new [old] thing. He is such a clever rascal.)
Our next challenge was security.
The first TSA agent sent us through the fast lane instead of directing us into the longer line of regular people. You know? The kind of people who do not have other (albeit small, toddler-sized) people sitting in a carrier on their person.
Thank you, first TSA guy!
After our delightful fast lane experience, we were in line to send our belongings through the x-ray machine and our persons through a metal detector.
A second TSA agent came up to me and offered some suggestions. He even said that I could probably keep wearing Squish as I went through the detector, and that I should double-check when I get to the front.
Thank you, second TSA guy!
We got our belongings into the bins, sent them through the x-ray belt, and the three of us walked through the detector. I got to keep Squish in the carrier. It was awesome.
Thank you, the rest of the TSA people who were working Logan that morning and made my life easier.
We gathered our belongings and went to the bathroom for a much needed break. Hijinx ensued.
Finally, almost two hours after we had left home, we emerged from the bathroom at the airport on the other side of security ready to settle in at our gate.
Across from the bathroom?
The ubiquitous coffee shop I had been hoping for.
We ordered baked goods, an iced soy latte, a water, and a juice. I plunked Bug and Squish down at a table. They enjoyed their baked goods, and I enjoyed my iced latte.
I was elated.
Hopped up on successful solo parenting.
I took a picture of the boys and sent it to my husband.
I was looking at my phone when my husband sent me a response.
Squish was demanding his drink.
Probably his water.
A second later, I put the phone down.
I looked at my iced latte.
I wondered, "Did I just pass Squish the iced latte when he demanded a drink while I was texting? Did that just happen?!?"
I bent down to smell his little Squish face for coffee scent.
We may never know what happened.
But a week or two later, Squish reached for my iced coffee one morning, and I swear he had a knowing look in his eyes as he made a grab for it.