The election and flying with a baby. Flying with a baby was better

Dear Country, What have we done?!?

This is not what Baby Bop expected for her first year. She said she’d like to go back inside me and come out again when it’s safe. I told her she’s out of luck and we both cried.

Now Baby Bop is reassessing her path to the White House. She had her eye on a senate seat and a cabinet position, but may need a reality show instead. She told me to get her a Twitter account ASAP. I told her to work on rolling over and we’ll see.

In other news, we survived our flights to San Diego! Months ago when Baby Bop was a few weeks old, I used frequent flyer miles for tickets to my friend in California. I got early evening flights with a connection. At the time I thought to myself,

‘Baby Bop will be so old by then, it’ll be much easier than it is now.’

Baby Bop is four months old. It’s somewhat easier. One week before the trip I say to myself,

‘Jessica Burday, what the heck were you thinking booking a connection??’ I use my maiden name when I really want to take myself seriously.

People reassure me,

“With a connection you get part of the way there and then you get a break. Could be a good thing!”

“Our connection is in Atlanta.”


I’ve waited to board so many flights and always hear the announcement,

“People who need extra time or anyone with small children are welcome to board now.”

I’m excited this is me. We need all of our carry ons to fit on the plane. One bag with toys, one bag with diapers and one bag with extra clothes if everything else fails. Also one bag has my book in it. I’m not sure when I thought I was going to read, but I was so sure I was, that I even packed a second book in case I finished the first. This did not turn out to be a problem.

The gate attendants make the early boarding announcement. Half the waiting area gets in line. I’m not feeling so special anymore. Aside from having gray hair, I’m not sure why all these people need extra time. Captain points out one woman is on oxygen. Fine.

The first flight is very smooth. The second flight is a little fussy, but there’s another baby way out screaming Baby Bop. The seatbelt sign is my demise. As long as it’s off and I can stand and bounce, life will be ok. I bounce so much, that even when I’m not bouncing I feel like I’m bouncing.

Aside from the doomsday of an election, it was a wonderful week. As I bounced Baby Bop my friend was worried I’d be sorry we came. I’m going to be bouncing wherever I am, I might as well bounce in 80 degrees, by the beach, with a good friend and a drink. It made me realize I can recreate part of it, the bouncing with a drink, anytime.

The trip also made me realize that I still exist and can have fun unrelated to Baby Bop, even if she’s attached to my boob while it’s all happening.

We gear up for the flights home. Two down, two to go. I buy the biggest taco bowl I’ve ever seen in my life. One of us may scream because we’re hungry and too distracted to eat. It won’t be me.

We get on our second flight. It’s bedtime, but also seatbelt time. Baby Bop is not thrilled. Between fussing stints she makes sure to smile at everyone around us. She is winning people onto her side, except for the guy next to me. Baby Bop smiles, he glares straight ahead. He’s deploying the I’m-going-to-pretend-there-isn’t-a-baby-next-to-me-and-maybe-then-I-can’t-hear-her-screaming tactic.

Halfway through the flight Baby Bop is asleep in her carrier. I’m standing with her in the aisle. I’ll sit when the seatbelt sign comes back on or when my legs give out. An older woman approaches. I slip into my row to allow her to pass. She asks,

“Is there a baby in there?”


“May I see?”

I lift the cloth of the carrier that’s hiding Baby Bop’s sleeping face. The woman smiles,

“Aw, she’s sleeping! I just left my grandchildren.”

“Oh nice.” At which point the woman reaches out, puts both her hands on the carrier and shakes Baby Bop.

“She’s so cute!”

Baby Bop’s eyes pop open. The insane woman exclaims,

“Oh no! I woke her up!”

Yes. Yes you did. This must be the type of person who voted for our next president.


My first flight!


7-year-old me flying to Disney World and pissed I didn’t get a window seat. Yes I’m wearing a matching outfit with my brother. That way if my parents lost one kid they could point at the other and say, “looks like this one.”

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