Well, here we are again in Australia. You are receiving this email because you or someone you know gave me your email address. You really should be more careful who you hand that out to. If you’re new to this email list, this is our second trip to Australia in the past few months and I will be acting as your Australian tour guide through the next few weeks. Not really. These are mostly just my ramblings. Now to sell some ad space… But seriously, enjoy these tales of our adventures or, you know, hit delete. Whatever.
Last Thursday Christopher, Lizzy, and I headed to LAX to take off again for Canberra, Australia. The great thing about having a baby at the airport is that you get to bypass several security lines and board first. The bad thing about having a baby at the airport is that you then have to get on an airplane with that baby. Normally flying 14 hours with a baby is as relaxing as amateur eyeball surgery, but we had the additional misfortune to be flying with a SICK baby.
We boarded the plane and shortly thereafter a rotund Aussie man sat next to us in our 3-person row. Lets call him Mr. Tipsy. Although he was slurring several of his words, he seemed like a nice enough guy, but he kept mentioning that a baby probably needed her space on an airplane. Mr. Tipsy was able to move seats shortly before take-off. I suppose we could have been insulted with the speed in which he scurried off to another location, but really we were just happy to have the whole row to ourselves. We had also been able to score a bassinet seat, so we were feeling pretty confident about this flight.
That feeling was short lived, however, when Lizzy adamantly refused to be placed in the bassinet and furthermore, rejected Chris holding her for the first 10 hours of the flight! Apparently sick babies want their Mamas AND want to nurse around the clock. So there I was, awake all night, holding a sick baby, letting one boob hang out at all times, and then the turbulence started. No one else seemed to notice all of the jostling, but I KNEW that if I didn’t stay awake and in constant prayer, we would all plummet instantly into the ocean. To make the flight even more fun, about once an hour Lizzy would attempt to stretch, hit her legs on the armrest and cry for about a minute. I would quickly jump up and rock her back to sleep while avoiding eye contact with everyone around me that she had just woken up, but hey, at least they probably got to see one boob. So that is how I spent the first 10 hours of the flight.
Once Lizzy woke up in the “morning” she finally accepted Christopher and I got to sleep for about 30 minutes. (What follows next is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent so please skip ahead if you are squeamish).
The airline staff served us our “breakfast” and as we were feeding Lizzy she choked a tiny bit and, as usual, threw up. With our lightening fast parent reflexes, Christopher caught half in his hand and I caught the other half in one of the plastic cups used to serve our food. Then Christopher poured his half of the barf into the cup as well and we put on the lid.
Now we were stuck in our seats with a stinky baby and a cup of vomit. Thankfully I packed extra clothes for Lizzy and we decided to go to the bathroom and change her, but we didn’t know what to do with the vomit. We were too embarrassed to hand it to a flight attendant, plus who knew when they would return. Furthermore, the cup was made of a pretty durable plastic and it’s possible that it was intended to be reused. After some whispering and disgust on our part we decided that no one would want to eat from a cup that a baby had barfed in, no matter how well it was cleaned. So we wrapped the cup in one of Lizzy’s good smelling disposable diaper bags, Christopher tucked it under his sweatshirt, and we threw it in the lavatory bathroom. The flight ended after what felt like an eternity and then we had the layover…
Our plane landed in Sydney, but we needed to continue on to Canberra. We exited the plane, got our luggage, got our stroller from oversize luggage, went through customs, exited the airport, took a shuttle to the departures side of the airport, and then waited in line to check in. Once at the front we were informed that our connecting flight had been cancelled. We were trying to be upset, but our eyelids kept inadvertently closing while we talked to the checker-inner (what the heck do you call those people?).
Turns out that we had been put on the next flight so that our long 3-hour layover turned into an even longer 6-hour layover. We spent the next 6 hours consoling a very fussy baby and taking turns sleeping in very small chairs with very hard armrests. We did eventually make it to Canberra after 28 hours of travel time. Thankfully we arrived to a lovely hotel, nice weather, and a box of toys from Leanne already at our hotel. We fell asleep at 6:00 PM and slept through the night.
On Sunday we woke up so early that we decided to go to church. We surprised the Ainslie Church of Christ with our reappearance and they were so welcoming and so happy to see Lizzy again. We spent Sunday shopping and readying the apartment for the coming week. The Australian supermarket never fails to provide entertaining products so I’ve included some photos for your pleasure. Despite the difficulty getting here, we are excited to return to this charming corner of the world.