I'd Blocked This Out
But somehow while I'm living the 4 am insomnia dream right now, I
remembered all the trouble I went through in airports with Val's
breastpump. We'll be taking at least 3 plane trips next year, which
means that my new-to-me breastpump will be joining us.
I've been searching for something, anything that says the TSA has
figured out what the hell breast pumps are since I last travelled with
one. So far, I'm not coming up with much.
I will not forget how many times ALL of my hand-washed, to the point
where I washed them so much my hands stayed cracked and bleeding for an
entire winter, pump parts were examined closely. Nor will I forget the
guy who decided that said parts needed to be laid out directly on their
table for closer inspection. And I can't even really go there to
describe Phyllis the TSA agent at PHX who inspected every item in our
carryon bags as if we really did have something to hide, simply because
we'd stupidly brought peaches packed in syrup and 2 ounces of water in a
sippy cup for then-year-old-Val.
So I'm trying to read ahead and I really can't tell if anything's
changed. The addition of family lanes in most airports has to help,
it's certainly made things a bit smoother when we travel with Val's
bulky carseat and stroller. (As an aside, we braved travelling with the
Sunshine Kids Radian last month. Though it's not the easiest thing to
carry, it was by and large, totally worth doing. It'll harness Val to
80 lbs and having her sit in it on the plane meant she could access the
tray table for the first time in her life!)
By the end of my year breastfeeding Val, we'd flown a bunch of times and
I did learn one thing: put all the pump parts in a clear plastic bag so
if Bob the Screener needs to see them, he can do so without touching
them. The first time we fly as a family of 4 will be to Vegas for the
hockey tournament, hopefully we'll be able to gather many members of the
team to go right behind us in line. If nothing else, we won't feel
rushed by some self-entitled white guy (SEW-G) with a laptop up our
asses as we go through the line.
I do think travelling through airports with a stroller and 2 carseats is
pretty much going to suck. And that's before you factor in the
breastpump that some overeager TSA agent will decide is actually a
bomb. Even though it says, right there on the faceplate 'breastpump.'
Before we go, I'll do what I can - print out every posted rule from the
TSA website, coordinate with fellow Burninators to go through the line
behind us, put my parts (heh, I said 'my parts') in a clear bag. Not
sure what I'll do about an ice pack, that's apparently still up for
debate. But in the end, I think it's all still up to how informed the
agent we get to deal with us is and how much I'm able to keep my cool.