The little man and I are now in Texas with the big man for househunting and two weeks of togetherness. We are on the third floor of an elevator free facility that is furnished with uncomfortable couches and zero kitchen gadgets. I just pureed baby food with two butter knives. Thanks corporate housing.
Since I haven't yet located the warp pipes that Mario found so easily at the end of World 1, I had to fly here, by myself, with the baby. The night before our journey began I experienced the same nervous energy that I recall from nights before marathons. My thoughts vacillated between confidence in my preparation and awe at my own stupidity.
Luckily, I read some tips on flying with a little baby and while most were trite suggestions about toys and bottles, there was one I hadn't ever come across and decided to follow. "Wear big sunglasses," it read, "and people will think you are a celebrity traveling with your children."
Big sunglasses? Check!
Bit of a bitchy attitude that could be confused with celebrity hubris? Double check!
Below are some trip highlights with my self-awarded Celebrity Cool Factor Score (CCFS) for each. The rating scale is below. Let's decide if I pulled it off.
1 = Similar to Britney the day she shaved her head. Not so cool.
10 = Similar to Katie Holmes the day she served Tom. Super cool, calm, and collected.
Trip Highlight 1:
I was treated more like a VIP than when I was Delta Elite. Kind businessmen, thankful for their two small carry-ons and wife at home with the kids, quickly let me ahead of them, helped with my bags and opened and closed my stroller. When the baby started crying they smiled sympathetically and strapped on their Bose noice-canceling headphones.
CCFS: 9. It would only be a 10 if one of these kind business travelers had given me their first class seat. A celebrity would already have one.
Trip Highlight 2:
I had to connect through Detroit.
CCFS: 2. Not only do celebrities never connect, they never fly commercial.
Trip Highlight 3:
During said connection, I called on all my past traveling experience and confidently made it from one terminal to the next via the weird-ass, neon-lit tunnel that is most definitely inspired by a creative's college acid trip. The baby loved it.
CCFS: 7. I thought about giving myself an 8 here because I kept my sunglasses on, but they don't make up for the two large bags I had in tow. Celebrities have handlers for that.
Trip Highlight 4:
I managed to change the baby and shove some organic sweet potatoes into his little birdlike mouth after my half mile walk from one terminal to the next. I did this all in under 30 minutes. The only casualty of my multitasking connection were the wipes I left on the changing table.
CCFS: 6. It was an outstanding performance, but I don't think a celebrity would plop down on the floor next to her gate, dump almost everything out of her bag to find the sweet potatoes, and force feed as many as she could to her child before boarding. The sweet potatoes were organic which makes my score a 6 instead of a 5.
Trip Highlight 5:
The baby pooped during that purgatorial time when you've pushed away from the gate but haven't taken to the air. This is also the time when the flight attendants become cats, ready to pounce on anyone who touches seatbelt or glances forlornly at their iPad. I waited until electronics could go on and dashed to the bathroom, ignoring the dirty looks from the flight attendants who still sat safely in their jumpseats. Without the real thing, I Macgyvered together wipes with paper towels, water, and handsanitizer.
CCFS: 7. I took control of the situationl like I owned the aircraft!
Trip Highlight 6:
I rocked the baby to sleep in a 1.5 x 3 foot space and he slept for 90 minutes!! When he awoke, the captain came on and said we were beginning our descent. I cried tears of joy.
CCFS: 10! I looked like a celebrity plastered across the pages of a glossy magazine new babe-in-arms, in a blissful, airbrushed state. No, I wasn't airbrushed. In fact, I didn't look that good, but I remember these 90 minutes through an instagram lens. In my mind's eye, someone airbrushed away the spit-up on my pants and bags under my eyes.
Average Score: 6.83
With a score of 6.83, I cannot claim to have been confused by a celebrity. At best, I may have been confused with a Desperate Housewife of Dallas, minus the boobs and the nails. Oh wow, that's creepy. This CCFS scorer is like a fortune teller.