Who is more insane? The woman who, all by her lonesome, traveled across the ocean to bring home 2 babies (6 months and 14 months)? Or the woman who volunteered to help her?
Not realizing the disaster-waiting-to-happen I willingly stepped into, I offered to hold wet, stinky Toddler while she changed Baby, who was in a sling that neither of us could operate. But somehow I ended up with Baby, who with all the jostling of 4 hands working on his sling justifiably projectile vomited while in my arms. Lucky for me it was projectile though, as most of it shot over my body and just lightly covered my exposed limbs. A nearby woman who obviously saw our train wreck gave me the once over with smell good anti-bacterial wipes and quickly left the scene of said accident.
As soon as I had very wet, very stinky, oh, and very heavy Toddler back in my arms, I wished to have vomiting Baby back. But instead of this insane mother changing the infant in her arms, she decided to take a break and sit. For a long time. Did I mention the child in my arms was wet, stinky AND heavy?
I had to snap this mother back into reality, in which she had all but bound me in shackles. I asked to switch babies once again so that she could change wet, stinky Toddler and I could hold wet, stinky, vomiting Baby (who was much lighter).
Well, Baby was quite possibly worse than big sis. But he was comatose from all the jostling and vomiting and commotion of the clean-up crew and general airport noise. I offered to change him not out of kindness but because I was tired of holding wet, stinky babies. So, she’s got heavy Toddler and I put comatose Baby on a table because she didn’t know where his clothes and such were. Yes, I had to dig through this other mother’s carry-on to find clothes, diapers, wipes, and, oh, a bib, which was my brilliant idea.
Once all babies were in clean and dry attire, I assumed my volunteer work was over. Nope. At this point, everyone was boarding the plane except for us because the airline arbitrarily assigned seats to adoptive families. This mother and her 14-month old Toddler were separated on the plane by about 40 rows. Keith, the boys and I were in the same boat. Thank you, Ethiopian Air.
Keith joined us at the front and somehow ended up with Toddler in his arms. And I STILL have Baby. This mother had decided it was break time. Again. And this time sat with an empty baby sling attached to her. Yes, she sat while we stood with her children and tried to communicate the seating situation with the Ethiopian, therefore, Amharic-speaking employees of Ethiopian Air.
Finally we were able to board the plane…with an escort. Thanks to Keith who basically told an employee to take us not just to the front of the line but through the line and to our seats.
Keith had Ivan and all 4 of our carry-on bags. The insane woman, whose name is Charlene, carried Baby and backpack while I carried Toddler and held Garris's hand. I learned her name not during our exchange but once at home from the business card she had slid into my back pocket after she forced Toddler once again into my arms during the flight when I happened past her on the plane.
The airline employees ended up being useless in the attempts to get parents seated with their little ones. Keith had to literally wheel and deal with another passenger for the 4th seat we needed. Her fee was not cheap but worth it so we could all sit together.