Well, it finally happened -- the thing I've been dreading since the start of the book tour.

The Flight from Hell.

I had an absolutely amazing time in Florida -- lots of fun and sun, delicious meals, splashing with Lu in the shallow end of the swimming pool -- and then a wonderful, well-attended event at the David Posnack JCC in Davie.

I thought I had the whole thing planned perfectly -- the flight was at seven o'clock, so we'd spend the afternoon swimming, then give Lucy dinner, get on the plane, give her her milk, and she'd sleep all the way home.

Well, not so much.

We got on the plane right on time, and Lucy started screaming.

She screamed when I strapped her into her car seat. ("Ma'am, you need to make sure he's strapped in." "Actually....oh, hell, never mind.")

She screamed when we taxied. Screamed during takeoff. Screamed and screamed and thrashed around and threw things and would not be consoled.

And, to make matters worse, we were sitting right behind the Mayor of Bitchville, and her lieutenant governor.

Every time Lucy screamed one of them would turn around and glare.

At first, I muttered, "I'm so sorry." Then I scaled it down to the universal look of I Am So Sorry My Child is Ruining Your Life.

I tried to escape, but the flight attendants wouldn't let us by the beverage cart ("Ma'am, you need to take him back to his seat.")

So we were stuck behind the Evil Glaring Ladies, who kept glaring, and rolling their eyes, and sighing, and I kept wishing that Lucy and I could vanish. I felt like I might as well have been wearing a tee shirt with the words YES I AM THE WORLD'S WORST MOTHER spelled out with a Bedazzler. It was that embarrassing, and there was nothing to do about it. If I'd been anywhere else with a screaming baby -- a museum, a cocktail party, wherever -- I would have gotten her out of there pronto. But on an airplane, where can you go?

After about the tenth glare-sigh-eye roll combo, I kind of lost it.

"You know," I said, as nicely as I could, "staring at us isn't really going to help things."

More indignant sighs. More eye-rolling. Finally, once the beverage cart was gone I scooped a still-screaming Lu into my arms and escaped to the back of the plane, where she continued to be unhappy, but where at least the people were nice about it. (I found out later that the two of them were high-fiving each other upon realizing that we weren't coming back).

In retrospect, I guess I could have handled it better -- maybe tried to make a joke, or offering to buy them a drink, or something.

I just hope that in my own single-girl-on-the-go days I wasn't ever so horrible to a travelling mom.

Jen