Making Do

For as spacey as I feel sometimes lately, I have to say, I am pretty darn proud of myself for becoming so resourceful and adaptable as a new mom.

This weekend, while Luis finished his second-to-last semester before he graduates with his MBA this December, Maya and I flew to NJ for a dear friend’s bridal shower.

From her first flight at six weeks, we knew Maya was a good traveler. And even now, she is truly a wonderful little travel companion — sleeping most of the flights and chatting and smiling at everyone on the plane — such a little ham!  [Note: I hope it continues as we travel to El Salvador this Friday …]

Anyway … we had an amazing time with my family and when we got to Newark at the ungodly hour of 5 AM yesterday (having been up since 3 AM), Maya needed to be changed.

This comes with the territory of parenthood; no sweat.

Plus, I had managed to successfully change TWO diapers on the plane on the way there, so I figured I had earned “Rockstar Mom” status by this point (cauz let me tell you, it is NOT easy to change a baby on a plane, let alone when you’re traveling solo). So, I figured, how hard could it be to find a changing table in an airport if I could do it on a plane?!

Well … would you believe that there was no changing table in the entire terminal (Terminal B — Delta)?!!! Seriously. None.

Now, in my past (read as: pre-mom) life, I didn’t notice OR have a reason to care about something as (seemingly) trivial as this.

But when you have a diaper whose contents are unknown … nothing is trivial! You need to take action, STAT. The consequences could be borderline tragic — trust me, I know.

So I asked at a newsstand, “What do people do with their babies!??” and the woman behind the counter just shrugged that she didn’t honestly know.

Thing is, I could have probably just changed her off to the side somewhere, but in this day and age, aside from being unsanitary and gross, I wouldn’t want to change my kid in public because you never know what sick pervert is looking and capturing a pic or video–hate to think that way, but it’s true!

So I needed a secluded, private place … yea, good luck with that one in one of the busiest airports in America!

For the first change, I did some quick thinking and finally found a slanted area that led to a [closed] restaurant that was mostly hidden from view. I used the stroller to block us and I set up shop — a changing mat, a blanket for her head, diaper and wipes and got to work.

Fortunately she just had a wet diaper, but still — talk about ridiculous! An airport — a place with TONS of babies! — that had no changing table in the restroom?! (Other airports have family restrooms in addition to the changing table in the main restroom).

Then I went into the bathroom to toss the diaper and wash my hands, where I noticed the sink had some space all the way to the edge. Though it wasn’t ideal, I ended up using that as a “table” for her next changing before we got on the plane.

Anyway, point of this whole story is I was impressed by how motherhood has given me the ability to be quicker-thinking on my feet and far more resourceful than ever before. It might seem silly but I would have probably stood there paralyzed for ten minutes in my past life … but now, I know what needs to be done and need to just do it. No time for thinking; I had to make do with what was out there.

We are heading to El Salvador Friday to visit Luis’s family, so I’ll need to be easily adaptable there, too. Though I’ve been there tons of times before (and even lived there) it’s never been with a baby. So I’m going to remember to be flexible and roll with the punches … and make do!

How about you? Do you find parenthood has made you more resourceful/adaptable or are you more anal-retentive than ever before as a parent? Surprisingly, I find myself in the former category more often than not these days–this, coming from an otherwise OCD freak!

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3 thoughts on “Making Do

  1. Love it. Not only do I look for changing tables in the ladies’ room, I check to see if there’s one on the door for the men’s room or if there’s a family restroom so I can inform Tom if I know he’s heading there. I definitely wouldn’t have noticed that before.

    The restaurant my sister works at on Sundays didn’t have a changing table in the bathroom until one day I had friends from out of town visiting and they pointed it out. I think I was still pregnant so it hadn’t occurred to me yet. The next time I went, the owners had put one in based on my sister telling them about my friend. You should definitely write a letter to the airport or something (Newark, I presume?). I’m utterly SHOCKED there wasn’t one there. Might that even be illegal?

    1. You know, that’s a good point. They’re renovating that terminal but the bathroom isn’t new. I can’t believe no one else has complained? I am going to write a letter, you’re right. It worked for your friend! To me, it’s just unsafe and unsanitary!

  2. That’s terrible! I’ve found a family restroom in all five airports we’ve been in since the baby’s been born. The worst was in PHL, where someone had obviously been smoking…ugh!

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