Saturday, December 23, 2006

Our unpleasant encounter with airport "security"

As many of you know, I have just returned from taking Eleanor for her second visit to the Lone Star State. (Details of our wonderful time to follow in future posts.) For the sake of fairness, I have to admit that our airport experiences have been as pleasant as airport experiences can be until our return trip this most recent time.

There are few things worse than the anxiety a mother feels when traveling with an infant. There is the fear that she will poop in her diaper just at the time of boarding, and you will be forced to change her in the airplane bathroom (a task no less difficult than that famous trick involving a straight jacket and a stopwatch.) Or that she will spit up all over both of you, causing that non-parent passenger next to you to start lurching violently at that unfamiliar, disgusting odor. And then there's my biggest fear: that she will suddenly decide she is hungry and will break into her frighteningly-accurate impression of a cat with its tail stuck in the door before I can get the bottle into her mouth. Because of this last fear, I prepare myself with an arsenal of formula and pre-measured bottles of water prior to boarding. I usually board the airplane feeling pretty confident in my ability to quickly calm my baby should this situation arise. Until...

The "security" personnel at Hobby Airport decided that my bottles of water weren't allowed through the security check-point. They confiscated them and poured them out, leaving me somewhat stunned and exceptionally angry. (At this point, I could include all of the very non-Proverbs 31 things that were running through my head, but I won't.) Yes, I could just get water on the plane from the flight attendant (for details concerning what could happen while I waited, see cat reference above.) So, I boarded the plane with more-than-necessary anxiety about being "that lady with the screaming baby." Luckily, Eleanor was a perfect angel. I will mention, however, that she did have to drink a bottle made from airport water fountain water. She seems to have escaped without a case of dysentery or some other disease, but I would have preferred if the whole silly situation had been avoided.

I registered an official 'concern' with TSA, and got some lame, non-specific response about how hard they try, blah, blah, blah. They could really care less.

So, for moms out there who will be undertaking the task of traveling by airplane with their infant, be at ease. Even if your baby screams for the duration of the flight, I'm sure those well-trained, enthusiastically diligent security workers have made sure no one on-board has any liquid, gel, or cream with which to harm you.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

OH NO!! Don't you love those fabulous security guys that think they are the FBI!

Anyway, traveling with a baby is no easy task especially when you are by yourself. Since I was nursing all the times I flew with Grace I didn't have to worry about formula, but I did have to worry about NIP (nursing in public) and let me tell you that was interesting!

Glad your little one was accepting of the airport water.