Since it's an ungodly hour I'll make this quick.
I just returned a few hours ago from a visit with my parents (aka perfect Grandparents) in freeze your ass off in August foggy California. I can't for the life of me tell you when I left except that it was last week the same night that the news broke about the whole terror plot thing. I know this because we couldn't get our luggage. No one was getting luggage, and it is a pretty darn friggin big airport which meant not a pretty sight. Instead they sent out some poor woman to with a megaphone to tell thousands (pretty sure I'm not exaggerating on this one) of people overflowing the luggage carousels that they couldn't get our luggage unloaded because everyone had been re-ass-igned to outgoing duties so that they could get planes off the ground. It was hours. And of course, we didn't know that afternoon why, just that it sucked.
I wasn't too worried about the coming back today, just because the Cracker and I qualify in my book as seasoned travelers. In his 3 years, 4 and a half months the Cracker has experienced 39 take offs and landings. (Yes, I've kept track.) Tonight's trip? Paid for with our frequent flier miles, which ain't bad when we've only been actually buying him seats since he turned 2 and could no longer go for free. And of course I count each take off and landing because not only have most of our flights been direct (minus two trips to Hawaii paid for by the above G-parents...giving credit where credit is due here, which required 3 t and l's each way) but except for Hawaii where J came along too I have done all of these BY MYSELF. And of course, when J did come, he was totally useless. That means installing the car seat (or gate checking it last minute when they didn't have an extra seat and he was a lap babe) and keeping him totally happy 39 times. That totally counts.
I have a system. (It involves a Maclaren with double it's weight limit, a car seat and all the necessary take-on crap to keep a kid amused with a 30 second attention span stuffed into one barely fits under the seat carry on. Quite the delicate balance.) And damn I am good. I float through the airport with ease, toddler and all, and it's friggin graceful. I bring too much checked baggage too, but I still make it look so damn easy. There was even the time last October when the Cracker chewed off the nub the only pacifier I had with me on the way to the airport which meant going from 24-7 use to none on a plane and I still didn't have a single issue.
Tonight, hell no.
Check in was horrible. The lines were long, out the door and to the curb long, and one asshole after the next kept cutting until I got all bitch ass on them. And as I attempt to shelf check with the little computer I find that I can't access the Cracker's reservation so we have to get a person, which is, like, not easy.
Then my parents remind an overtired Cracker that they won't see him for a whole 'nother 3 weeks. And he's 3. So he I had to carry him kicking and screaming through long ass security lines while he struggles as hard as possible to get out of my arms and make a break back to a watching Nana and Pappy who he thinks love him more than I do because they let him stay up until midnight. And he's had a runny nose the entire time we've been gone, I'm wearing black, he's wearing black, and so we're now both wearing a lot of visible snot. And then he saw everyone taking off their shoes and he flipped. I'm still holding him, he's squirming, the snot is not helping my grip, and he's screaming bloody murder style "ME NO TAKE OFF MY YOUSE!!! (youse = shoes) MY YOUSE!!! MY YOUSE!!!" 30lbs dangling over my only free arm, he's bent in half and pretty much upside down, but has still some how managed to grab a hold of both of his feet and isn't about to let go of his youse. Miraculously I didn't drop him on his head, and still managed to get my laptop out of it's case, take off my belt, get the big ass bag up on the x-ray thinger, and the car seat, take off my own shoes, collapse the stroller and whip it up, and then peel his fingers off his shoes one by one and get the suckers off while he kicks me in the shins and knees me in the stomach. (Hurray for flabby abs!) And then the belt stops. It reverses at a frightful speed, all my stuff gets knocked around and comes as close to falling off as possible with out actually falling off, and then repeats as soon as I have it all unclumped again. AND THEN the x-ray lady yells at me, telling me I'm holding up the line by not shoving my stuff through faster. Hello Biotch. I am standing there, waiting for the last person's stuff to move forward enough so mine can go through, but it can't yet unless I start piling it on top of the previous person's crap. "THE BELT DOESN'T SUCK IT UP! YOU NEED TO FEED IT IN!!!" Fuck you. There is an inch of space between my first item and the item in front of it, and I haven't walked us through the metal detector yet because I'm waiting for her to get that shit out of my way. "It's not mine." "IT DOESN'T MATTER! YOU'RE HOLDING UP THE LINE!!!"
Go buy a dildo. Seriously. Get laid.
Finally through, I piece us back together and my belt can't wait because everyone in line behind me has already seen my black lace Target panties the Cracker is still screaming, and still trying to get the hell away from me.
Finally get to the gate, which of course is in another time zone, and then find out it's delayed. And of course they lie about how delayed it is, so instead of taking him for a walk to keep him happy where we will have a view of airplanes unlike at this gate where there are people everywhere because the two planes leaving before ours at the same gate are also not yet in, we sit like chumps with no airplane view because I believe them every time they announce we'll be boarding in 20 minutes even though there is no plane, or even an announcement that the plane is on approach. Which now means there is no chance we'll get in before midnight.
We finally get on and grace is so not on my side. I preboard, but the regular no child with them people are sent on my heals since we are late. And so I hold everyone up as I try to break down the stroller and get my child to carry his own little bag which he insisted on bringing but now refuses to hold. We are blocking everyone. And remember the late part? I've got a car seat, the big ass bag of my own with all his stuff and a laptop. And then he decides to take off his jacket too.
Oh goodie. More things for me to hold.
I finally squeeze to one side just enough to let people by, but then we've actually got to get on, and I'm holding everything we've ever owned.
(And because I know you're wondering...what is in that gigantic carry on?
-beach trash paperback for me
-various hardcovers for him (why can't they make Tonka's version of Where's Waldo in paperback?)
-Night-night blankie, the Cracker's most prized possession, which was my most favorite as a toddler too. My mom made it for me in the most amazingly soft (and undboubtfully flammable though not polyester) 70s fabrics that you could never find now and if the airline lost it in our checked baggage we'd surely parish.
-The Cracker's favorite stuffed animal, a horse name Not-Bob. (He needed a name, and after at least a dozen which were deemed uncool enough for a horse that he uses as a body pillow between his legs and likes to pee on, I stupidly suggested Bob. In his mom-your-such-an-idiot voice was informed that "Bahb" is most certainly NOT a horse. He's a BUILDER. When Not-Bob isn't getting pissed on, the Cracker likes to hurl him by a hind leg at ceiling fans and ceiling mounted light fixtures. (And J was afraid that having "babies" even of the farm animal variety was too girly...)
-a fleece for us both
-a days worth of potty supplies including extra pants, in case we get stuck
-crayons and coloring book, which last all of 40 seconds
-one toy airplane, one toy truck or car, and one toy tow truck
Yeah, that's it.)
So back to holding everyone up at the door. Now he doesn't feel like walking. (The kid who takes 3 mile hilly hikes and begs for more doesn't feel like it, so he doesn't. He wants me to carry him. You get this is NOT an option, right?) He just stands there. So I'm pleading "walk, damn you, walk" while we hold up boarding some more. Then I am already over anxious, trying to keep us moving, and our big ass Cowmooflage Marathon is stuck on something and I can't figure out what. Jeez, all I'm trying to do is make it to the second row. (SW open seating...I am their biggest fan.)
Once we're in our chosen row, he's happy. It's an airplane, so what's not to be happy about?
I already knew water would be a problem, since I took their word for it and didn't bring any bottled on board, which I have decided was a crock since they weren't checking. And the Cracker? It's really all he drinks. On a single two hour plane ride he will consume no less than 28 ounces. I am at the mercy of the drink service. (Dude, take the bottled water. They aren't looking at the gate. Sadly I'm not all that scared of airport security. What a rebel I am.)
Which reminds me...things YOU CAN bring aboard from checking with the TSA's site this morning:
"up to 4 oz. of essential non-prescription liquid..including KY jelly"
and gel-filled bras.
And to think I went flat chested in a Target bra that matched the above mentioned panties when I could have worn Victoria Secrets.
Because of turbulence we are late placing our orders. And then they serve cute salty airplane shaped crackers first, and he eats both of our bags before drinks come around. And because I don't want to be a bother, even a pleading toddler asking for water won't make me actually ask. Screaming, maybe, but we don't scream on airplanes.
And I'm not going to get him airplane bathroom water no matter how desperate I am because EEW.
So the nice flight attendant fills up his 9 ounce sippy and he downs it in less than 30 seconds and hands it back with a "more please."
But she's gone.
So graceful? Not tonight. Not even kinda. I looked like the biggest, stupidest rookie ever, and I'm just hoping no one on the plane actually knew me.
I did acquire some fun new stuff on my trip that I will have to share with you later. Fun quirky stuff, and new shoes!