FAA Regulations

It’s that time of year, we’re off to Disney for the Fourth of July.  I have made this trip with Tommy seven consecutive summers.  You’d think I would have this down to a science by now.  Every year, I trick myself into thinking I do.  Ha. I don’t.  However, I only forgot one of Tommy’s medications this morning and had to turn around from our way to the airport at 5am to get it.  Not bad, huh?  I didn’t think so.  I made it to Green Airport in 25 minutes.  I didn’t even speed; I don’t think.

We made it through bag check and security with relative ease.  This time, I was so careful to make sure all medications that are liquid were separated, feeding pump was separated, and the canned elemental formula was still sealed.  What a nightmare we had last year trying to get through security with an open can of powered formula.  I get it.  You can’t have a white powdery substance all over your bags and not expect to have it tested and retested.  Sometimes it gets tested a third time.  It’s explosive, but only for Tommy (if you catch my drift).

Tommy cried through security, but overall held it together until I could medicate him.  Once we checked-in at the gate and got Tommy situated to board first, with feeding pump running, leg braces strapped, and his temperament in check.  It’s stressful for me and it makes me cranky until we’re on the airplane.  My apologies, everyone. When I finally boarded, I thought to myself, “dust yourself off, Leigh, this was the smoothest yet.”  I should know better.

We boarded Tommy first, no sweat.  He’s currently sitting in 1B and flanked by Grandma Jean and my mom.  The flight attendant had a field day with Tommy Pickles and even incorporated him in his pre-flight antics/announcements.  Southwest.  Gotta love them.  The flight attendant, James, asked Tommy who he was traveling with.  Tommy offered up that Dad isn’t with us, he’s working.  James said Dad was a smart man.  I laughed.  He’s probably right.  But then again, what could possibly go wrong?  We’ve made it over the biggest hurdle.

So far, Tommy has whined a bit and gotten a tad distressed over nothing, really.  But overall, he’s in a good mood and anxiously waiting to see a Disney resort bus.  Me?  I have three kids in tow with a group of framily.  Eric is still working and couldn’t make this trip.  It broke my heart to hear Tommy tell him at 4am that he would miss him. Tommy doesn’t spontaneously tell us how he feels…ever.  But I admittedly was pretty proud of the seamless morning so far.  I am a worrier by nature.  Did James poop?  How will I change him mid-flight if I have to without offending EVERYONE in a 10 row radius?  Is Tommy too loud?  Is Will getting enough attention?  Smooth sailing.

Smooth sailing….ha.  I got up to add more formula to Tommy’s pump, but I had to mix some in his tumbler first.  No sweat.  Into the overhead bin I went.  No bags fell on anyone’s head.  No sweat.  I got the sealed can of Elecare.  I got bottled water.  I got the tumbler.  I was a mixology master at this point, until I noticed the metallic seal (you know the one) over the can of formula was bubbled.  Oh, cabin pressure.  Open it slowly, Leigh.  POOF!  Slowly?!?!?!  It didn’t matter.

The 10 row radius I was worried about heard Tommy yell, “Whoa!  There’s a dust storm on this airplane!!!”  I looked like I antiqued myself.  Formula went everywhere.  Every blessed where.  I have it my hair, my eyelashes, down my shirt, in my mouth, my sandals… If you’ve every smelled Elecare, you can appreciate how badly it smells.  The floor of the cabin looks like it snowed except for the bare spots where my footprints are.  Anyone have a Dyson?  A shower?  Tommy casually went right back to playing his game as if this was normal.  I laughed, which was awful because I laughed so hard I was crying.  My tears mixed with dried Elecare is disgusting.  If I get hungry, I can just lick my own face.  If James comes back to the front of this aircraft, he’s going to roast my life over the intercom.

The pilot just came out to use the lavatory.  The first thing out of his mouth was “what the hell happened out here?”  I dusted myself off and returned to my seat.  No sweat.  I hope I don’t sweat, I’ll have more caked-on formula.  Seriously, smooth sailing.

I’ve gotta go, here comes James.  Not my James.



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