Kids have the best timing. And by the best, I mean the ABSOLUTE WORST! The minute you pull onto the highway, they have to pee. The second you get them dressed up for a family portrait, they spit up all over themselves. It’s the Murphy’s Law of Parenthood.
So of course the minute we boarded a small commuter plane to Grandpa’s house, my kid had to poop. Like RIGHT NOW. Immediately. I believe the quote was, “Mom, if I don’t poop right this second I’m going to burst!”
A few stragglers were still boarding the plane, so we made a dash for it. We crammed ourselves into the tiny bathroom and my kid alternately pooped and stressed that the plane was going to take off while we were in there. It didn’t. We made it safely back to our seats.
A grumpy looking lady in 7A rolled her eyes and muttered something about holding up the flight as I shuffled my kid back into our row.
Oh no! I thought. Did we delay the flight? But no, the cabin door was still open and we sat there for several more minutes after we returned to our seats, so clearly we didn’t delay the flight. I turned to grumpy lady and gave her a, “see, it wasn’t our fault” smirk.
Then the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “Sorry for the delay, folks, we’ve got a, ahem, situation in the lavatory.”
I slunk down into my seat. A situation in the lavatory???? What kind of “situation?” A child-sized situation? My mind started racing. I was pretty sure all of the poop got into the potty, but maybe it didn’t? Maybe my kid pulled a Poop-casso and smeared it all over the walls when I wasn’t looking? Maybe the tank wasn’t hooked up yet? Is that possible? Are you not supposed to poop until the plane is in the air? Visions of a poop-covered runway filled my head. I imagined the baggage claim men cursing as they mopped up my kid’s massive bowel movement.
I didn’t make eye contact with grumpy lady, but I could feel her cold, heartless, “I hate children” eyes drilling into the back of my head.
Then suddenly the pilot walked by. He chatted with a few passengers in the back seats near the bathroom. I overheard a, “sorry folks” and “tried to mask it” and “OK, then let’s go.”
He marched back to the cockpit, shut the door, and fired up the engines. We were 15 minutes late.
I tried to convince myself that surely my kid’s poop couldn’t have delayed the flight. I mean, that’s crazy. But when the flight attendant came by to offer us drinks, I had to ask.
“So, um,” I said. “What exactly was the ‘situation’ in the lavatory?”
“Oh,” She said looking uncomfortable. “There was a little … smell.”
“A smell? From my kid?”
“Yeah,” she said. “It left an odor. You could smell it up in the cockpit. It was making the pilot sick, so he couldn’t fly.”
Wha-wha-wha????? The pilot was so sickened by the smell of my kid’s poop he couldn’t FLY THE PLANE???? OMG. I was so mortified I almost died on the spot.
But then I got to thinking. Clearly the pilot couldn’t be a dad, right? I mean, you spend half your kid’s childhood reeking of poop. They’re like little poop machines. All day long it’s eat-eat-eat then poop-poop-poop.
And what? Surely the man has smelled poop before! Doesn't he know how to plug his nose and forge on like the rest of us? I live half my life in a poop-filled haze! The guy needs to toughen up a bit, IMO. I mean, he flies airplanes for a living, surely he can handle some eu de poop!
In the end we made it safely to Grandpa’s house—15 minutes late. After we got the kids to bed, I said something to my husband about what a moron the pilot was. “I mean, come on. It was a little kid going poop! He acted like it was a serious mechanical failure.” “Well,” my husband said, “It was pretty bad. Everyone on the plane started holding their noses and saying, ‘What's that smell?”
To which I say, sh*t happens. Even on small commuter flights.