One often hears about parents amazed at their child's memory. This is certainly true for us with Zander, although it's hard to know what and when he will remember things. Truth be told, I was
hoping assuming he forgot this one...
About a year and a half ago, Z and I took a trip to visit my folks in South Florida, sans Brad. It was my first time traveling alone with a child and I was a bit nervous. The flight there went fine and I was feeling like maybe -- just maybe -- I could really do this mother thing. (Actually, seems I have amnesia. I now recall that I left the car seat, which I had in a special carrier on my back, at security. I was strolling Z down to the terminal and I heard over the loudspeaker, "Will the passenger who left a car seat, please return to the security area.")
The Unforgettable Mistake
Regardless, on the way back, we got to the airport at least two hours early, but there was a big back-up at the check-in area, and they had to keep pulling passengers from the line to get them checked-in in time. Eventually, this made us late, and we had to be pulled both to check-in and to get through security in time.
I rushed down to the gate, saw a huge crowd around the entrance to the jet way, and pushed myself and Z through. (This was when those flying with children got to pre-board.) People were surprisingly unyielding, but I quite confidently said, "I have a child. I get to pre-board." One woman looked at me, turned around pointing to her THREE children and said, "So do we!" Oops.
Anyway, I get us on to the plane, install the car seat, and take out the sandwiches that Grandma Susan had made us for the flight. We start our picnic and the other passengers are boarding. After just a few minutes, a woman comes down and says that she has the very same seats that Z and I are sitting in. Well, I'm sure *I* didn't make a mistake, so we call over a flight attendant and she looks at our boarding passes. Sure enough, we both have the same seats, but I HAD BOARDED THE WRONG PLANE!
Not 100% My Fault
Truth be told, this was not 100% my fault. The two gates were right next to each other. The plane I boarded said "Washington National." The plane I was supposed to have boarded said, "Buffalo," which was the final destination of our actual flight. The flight I had boarded was delayed and it made the departure time just a few minutes different from our actual flight time.
So, I told Zander, "We're on the wrong plane honey. We need to get off." I had to pack-up the lunches, uninstall the car seat, and the flight crew had to stop boarding all of the other passengers. Can you imagine? If you're ever boarded a plane, you know what havoc boarding can be. Meanwhile poor Zander is crying, "It's not the wrong plane! It's not the wrong plane!" Truth be told, that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.
We eventually make it off the wrong plane and had to wait for them to get the stroller from underneath. We eventually proceeded to the gate right next door, but of course, we don't have our boarding passes, because they were taken when we boarded the first plane. I let the Jet Blue staff deal with that problem and eventually got us all settled on the correct flight.
Why I'm Telling You Now
Back when this first happened, I seriously considered keeping the entire ordeal to myself. After all, who would really know? I decided against it and told Brad, among others. And now here I am, telling the internet.
Because, on every flight since then, including our most recent, Zander inevitably says something like, "Mom, remember when we got on the wrong plane?"