One of the hardest parts of pumping for me is the extraordinary need to be places early. The TSA will add time. The hotel bell hop will add time. The ice machine stop will add time. All of it just takes a shit load of time. I chronically run late in life anyway but during the years in which I am pumping the expectation is that I will be early, for everything, for a whole year, without exception. During my year of pumping for my older daughter I was put through an intensive security screening by the TSA on a day that I happened to be running super late for a flight. The agent started lecturing me about how I needed to show up early for the airport when I was traveling with breast milk. I lost it. I tried, unsuccessfully, to explain that this seemingly simple request was actually a request to show up early for every single flight for an entire year without exception. I am a very busy very tired mother who runs late in life anyway. I am trying. I understand that other mothers come fully prepared, same as I understand that other mothers come to the park with meticulously packed strollers and make up on. Where as I can barely get myself to the park in ripped jeans or sweats without a snack, a potty, or sand toys. Woe is me. My rant to the agent did nothing but solidify an image of hot mess momma and intensify his need to slow down and teach me a life lesson about how important travel safety is. Needless to say I missed that flight.
One of my lateness mitigating techniques has been to re-pack in route to the airport. If I can get everything on the list into a bag in time to hail a ride I can re-distribute on the way. I am yet to see a dip in my passenger ratings but some of these drivers must share that agent’s perception of me as an inconsiderate mess. Especially with the sounds of ice bags being thrown around, photos being taken, and vessels being sealed.
Needless to say, when I am running early I am really excited. This particular morning was one of those. I showed up to the hotel lobby in plenty of time to go through the dance of the bell hop(s) trying to find my bag in the freezer. Which is always a process. No, not the fridge, yeah the freezer, not sure who I talked to, no it’s actually quite large, like a piece of luggage large, yeah in the freezer, I know, crazy! This time last night’s manager had to be called, freezer A had to be differentiated from freezer B, and finally the location of my rig was identified. This time instead of being harassed and left to feel like a noisy bird the front desk was amazingly accommodating and apologetic. I was given a free peanut butter bagel for my wait. Could not have been a better token of support since I was swiftly missing my opportunity for breakfast and I have a really hard time missing meals while lactating. Thirty plus minutes early had since collapsed into not a minute to spare, scarfing a bagel, adding new milk to the rig in the back seat of my Lyft. I wondered if my upcoming TSA agent would give a damn that the hotel had two different freezers. Ha! I guess even with a good head start I can’t break the mold of this persona. Cest la vie, at least I was kindly fed.