Flying with Babies and My Mother

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Simon and I took a trip to Florida a few months ago to visit my brother and his family. We had a wonderful time.

My trashy sister-in-law treated me like royalty – and it was so sweet to spend time with my adorable nephews! (Aren’t they so cute?)

My Nephews

What wasn’t sweet, was flying with Simon. First of all, I hate to fly. I get nervous – and I usually throw up at least once. At one point on the trip to Florida, I was holding Simon in one hand and a puke bag in another.

And – during another leg of our journey, Simon somehow managed to squeeze his carton of milk until it exploded  ALL OVER the woman next to us – who had made it pretty clear that she wasn’t pleased to be sitting next to a baby. Tee hee. The joy of flying with children.

But I found great comfort in the fact that few people are worse fliers than my mother.

She gets raging air sickness. She can’t read on planes, she can barely talk on planes. She shouldn’t eat or drink on planes – and let’s all hope she never has to use the bathroom on a plane.

She’s tried every remedy in the book and relies heavily on Dramamine to get her from Point A to Point B.

On one of her 15 trips to Hawaii (yes, 15!) when my brother and sister-in-law were living there, my mom decided to listen to a book on CD on the plane.

She popped her CD into her discman and plugged in her headphones as the plane took off.


Three hours later, she started to think that the book was never going to end.

The book was three CDs long, but she was still on the first disc.

And she knew she was a little out of it from taking so much Dramamine, but she was having a hard time following the book. People were getting divorced that hadn’t even been married yet. Characters were mentioned that she’d never heard of before.

Finally, she realized that when she’d turned on her discman, she had pressed SHUFFLE.

She had been listening to a book on CD – in random order – for over three hours before she figured it out.

Every now and then I’ll remember that story while I’m at the grocery store or dropping Miles off at preschool, and I can’t help but laugh out loud. Gets me every single time.

She listened to a book on CD on SHUFFLE!


  1. The Iowa Expat

    May 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

    That is hysterical!! Somehow I can see my mother doing the same.
    And word to your mother: I’m an elementary counselor and tell semi-true stories about my daughter to kids to make them feel better, too.

  2. alocke

    May 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I laughed out loud…can just imagine your mom doing this:)

  3. Meredith

    May 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I am seriously still chuckling–that is one of the most amazing things I’ve heard and totally made my Tues.–thank you 🙂

  4. Dora

    May 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hysterical!!! If my mom ever admitted to something like this, I would never let her live it down (and neither would my brothers). hee hee hee I think I’ll be giggling all day.

  5. Mom

    May 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Well, I never would have admitted this to anyone except if you recall – I discovered it while on the phone with you in a stopover in California – I remember telling you how long my book was taking and then just happened to see that it was on shuffle….we spent the rest of the conversation laughing and by the time I reached Hawaii everyone EVERYWHERE knew about it!! Actually, it probably was an improvement on the real book anyway 🙂

  6. Kim

    May 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Bwahahahaaaa….that’s awesome. Just awesome.

  7. Kai

    May 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

    OMG!!! You solved a MYSTERY for me, Lil’ Anna-Tina! Sometimes as I am editing a client’s manuscript, I cannot for the LIFE of me understand what just HAPPENED to a character. ‘John’ was 10 a SECOND ago & NOW he’s leaving his third lover. WTF???? But I GET it now, thanks to this post about your mommy’s shuffle-reading. Some of my CLIENTS are SHUFFLE-WRITING! Guess I need to put a comment at the end of their ‘scripts: NO WRITING IN A MOVING VEHICLE! Ahhh … I feel SO much better. THANKS, Anna-Tina! And, THANKS, Anna-Tina’s mom!!! LOVE YOU BOTH! P.S. Simon, I LIKE that exploding milk carton idea. Gonna try it next time I’m in a movie theater and some talkative jackasses who disturb my movie sit next to me! I promise to give YOU credit for the idea!

  8. Michelle

    May 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Oh, Anna’s mom, you sweet, sweet lady! I feel like maybe somewhere in this genealogical tree of life, our families must have split from the same branch! My mother is great at doing things for long periods of time and thinking, this really doesn’t make any sense, and just keeps right on doing them anyway! Once we drove 3 hours past our exit on our way home from a trip we’d taken millions of times before and she kept saying, this just doesn’t look right! After I kept insisting she stop and ask for directions she just laughed and said, oh we’ll get there…then we enter a city and it was in the opposite direction we were supposed to be! 🙂

  9. imklvr

    May 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Oh this is too hilarious!! I’m thinking I may need to start talking to your MOM about this book I wanted you to write. Or maybe you can both collaborate? It’s gonna be a best seller! They’ll make a movie! Jennifer Aniston will play you! It’s gonna be a block-buster! Quick! Start writing!

  10. Anita

    May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    That is sooo funny. I hate to fly also and I would probably do that.

  11. Lacey

    May 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Oh my, that is just too hilarious!!

  12. danee

    May 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Oh Anna Banana….you are about to LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE me forever and ever….and your mom might even want to adopt me and think of me forever after as her now-favorite daughter. You see, I have the answer that will forever rid you, and mom, of the tendency to leave your last meal on the airplane. Let me start at the beginning. My first experience with flying was my senior year of high school. After this inaugural flight I was ready to forever swear off air travel….forever. I don’t think I actually vomited on that flight, but do I remember sitting in the airport, praying with all I had….to every God I’d ever heard of…that I wouldn’t upchuck all over the TSA.

    Unfortunately, I moved across the country, meaning if I ever wanted to see my family again…I had to fly. Oh, and I married a pilot. Not just a pilot who fulfills his need for air by renting a local plane for an hour once a month, but a full-on fighter-pilot-turned-Fed-Ex pilot who travels the world. Hard for me to avoid air travel these days.

    I too have tried every anti-airsickness remedy from Sea Bands, to Dramamine, to Voodoo. My treatment of choice for years was ginger. I would take ginger pills before relying which kept me from actually using that little bad for anything other than my ABC gum. But I found the secret. Unfortunately, it is a prescription medication meaning you have to beg for it, but it works soooo well. What is this secret? Zofran….8 mg PO Q1-2 hours before flying. What? Oh, translated that means Zofran (ondansetron) 8 mg by mouth, 1 or 2 hours before flying. Ask your doctor for a few and give it a try next time you fly. And keep that little bag hidden in the seat pocket. Or spit your ABC gum in it.

  13. Hanna Bell

    May 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Your mom sounds funny but just try to understand. We love our moms. Still fly with her..

  14. Jessi

    May 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    That is HILARIOUS!!! The book on shuffle…priceless. I cannot stop laughing. She would get along well with my best friend’s mom who brought syrup in her carry-on in case she could not find it in any stores in Miami. She was appalled when security took it!

  15. Beth Lastrina

    May 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    LOL! In her defense, some movies are made that way (Pulp Fiction, Memento, etc.) 😉

  16. Tricia @ Take 10

    June 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I just almost got caught not paying attention during a work conference because I am so close to laughing out loud. Ha!

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  18. Kari Strasser

    March 7, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I’ve listened to a book on shuffle….it was more like 30 minutes, not for 3 hours.

  19. Melissa N.

    April 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I just laughed so hard!!!!!!!!!!!! That is awesome. 🙂

  20. Jules B.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Oh God bless her!! Your mom seems like a fantastic lady.

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