Tuesday, 27 September 2011

We May Never Fly Again

Rewind a few days- the boys and I flew out to California to surprise my Grandma for her 80th birthday. I haven't blogged about it because the party was Friday night and up until that point we were in hiding so as to keep the whole thing a surprise.

Wednesday morning I woke up with the flu. Thankfully, it was a aching/chills/congestion flu, and not the sort where you are running to the bathroom and puking. Jeff took a sick day to take care of me and the boys, and our flight wasn't until the evening, so I figured I had plenty of time to recover and regain my strength. I might have been wrong.

I rolled out of bed long enough to finish packing and get myself semi-presentable for the airport. In all honesty I looked wretched, but what can you do? It would have cost us more than our tickets were originally worth to change them, and since I haven't noticed any money trees growing in my garden lately it was fly sick or miss our entire trip.

Our problems began on the way to the airport. About twenty minutes into the drive I heard a soft snoring from the backseat. Tommy was out like a light. Now, for some people that might not bode ill, but Tommy is s-l-o-w to wake up from naps if he does not wake up on his own, and in those cases he usually wakes in what can only be described as a foul mood. We roused him at the departures curb and he immediately began to cry...daddy...daddy...daddy. He kept up a low, moaning, cry of daddy all the way through security. Now, if my kids looked like me this would probably be merely annoying, but since they don't, I got stared at like I was some kind of kidnapper. You have no idea the hard looks I received standing in the many lines, and since I am on the oblivious side when it comes to people staring at us (you learn to ignore it), that means it was really bad. More than one person tried to ascertain our relationship in a clumsy and obvious way. It got to the point that I started referring to Tommy only as "son" and myself as "mommy." Tommy cheered up right at the endpoint of the security line, which was good because I've gotten lazy about traveling with copies of our adoption papers.

After security I took the boys to Potbelly's for dinner. Tommy adores the airport Potbelly's because he can sit in the outside part and watch all the people walking through the terminal. I adore it because it is seriously cheap for airport food. I never spend more than ten bucks there, and for three of us at an airport that is not bad. So, we are in Potbelly's, I order us a big sized sandwich to split, and we snake through the line which is cleverly set up to cram as many people into a very small area as possible. Between the crowds and the noise, I began to feel a little woozy, then light headed, then hot, then cold, then really really nauseous. By the time we got our sandwich and made it to the cashier the room was spinning and I had just enough time to ask for a bag and sit down on the floor before I started retching.

Now, Tommy has, in all the time that he has lived with us, NEVER thrown up. Never. Ever. So he is staring at me like I have four heads and he is scared to death of me. Nicolas, on the other hand, pukes with great frequency, so he thinks mom barfing is hilarious. He was positioned on my front in an Ergo (while I'm crouched on the floor) desperately flailing his arms in an attempt to stick his hands into the brown bag that I was vomiting in. I'm sorry to say that he did succeed, but I was fast enough to keep his hands clean.

So, imagine my embarrassment when I realize that (of course) basically everyone in Potbelly's is staring at us, and a bunch of people are crowding around and asking if they can help. That placed me in an awkward position. I mean, who wants to announce something along the lines of "don't worry, I just have the flu!" to an entire roomful of travels who probably haven't gotten their flu shots yet? I might as well wear a sign that says, "I am a really bad person who travels when sick because I can't afford to change our tickets." No thanks. So, instead I accepted some help with our food, a cup of ice water, and I staggered to a table with the boys in tow hoping that no one else will take notice.

About two seconds after we sit down, Tommy announces that he has to pee. NOW. I have to admit that we broke a major rule. I asked some nice looking men sitting next to us to watch our bags while we went to the bathroom. I simply could not drag the boys, the food, and our toy bags into the bathroom. I didn't have the energy. So, our bags were out of my sight before we boarded the airplane. Forgive me, Shannon Hamilton.

Dinner was uneventful, I felt a little better after eating and Tommy had a grand old time people watching and seeing how many travelers he could get to wave back at him. I felt strong enough to make it to our terminal, until I found out that we were in the one terminal (in a relatively small airport) that was THE FARTHEST ONE. It took us so long to get there that I was a little worried we might not make it, but we did.

The flight started out great. Both boys behaved really well, they played with their toys, ate their snacks and were generally happy. Then the requests for going to the bathroom began, and of course, the seat belt light was still on. I am such a rebel that I took Tommy to the bathroom anyway. It was better than him peeing on himself, which is what would have happened since the seatbelt sign remained on for about all but twenty or so minutes of our four hour flight. You can understand that the boys felt a bit squirmy after the first few hours. Nicolas was particularly restless, and worked himself up just enough to vomit (see a theme for the evening) all over himself, my shirt, my jeans, and our seat. It was so voluminous that it even made it down the outside of our aisle seat. It was quite a highlight. I think my tipping point was when the flight attendant asked if Nic (who at his age does not listen to reason or logic and was fussy but was not by any means screaming) could keep it down so that passengers around us could sleep.

Our flight landed at nine.


It was not a red-eye. It was a half-full flight with open seating so anyone who really didn't want to sit near children could have moved when we sat down (or, not chosen to sit near us in the first place). I was so irritated I sort of wanted him to scream just out of spite. I am all for polite behavior when children travel, especially for children who are old enough to know better, but I also think it is silly to expect that kids, especially infants and toddlers, won't make any noise on a four hour flight. Seriously, if any airline doesn't want kids making noise on a plane they should change their business model and not sell tickets to young passengers. We were on Southwest for crying out loud, it wasn't as if we were in first class or on an airline that markets to primarily to adults!

Anyhow, we arrived safe and sound in LA and the wonderful women sitting behind us assisted us to baggage claim, and my parents took over from there. My mom informed me publicly that I looked "peaked" (which is her code word for awful), and privately informed me that I looked horrible, and since my mother is biased toward thinking I look good, I can only imagine how wretched I must have appeared to those around us...hopefully they all went home and sanitized their hands really well, because it turned out to be one nasty bout of illness.


Chelsea Lee said...

is it evil that this post made me laugh so hard, that the office ladies came into my office and asked what had me so entertained? and yes i let them read it.

Emily said...

Wow, thanks for warning me about this before I saw you on Friday!!! luckily I got a flu shot on thursday which is probably the only reason I'm still alive today.