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Thursday, August 25, 2011

shame, humiliation, and flying alone with kids

I spent ten days in Seattle with the kids so I could go to a wedding and a wedding reception. My mom had been visiting us in San Diego and flew up with me and the kids, which was nice, because dude, kids come with a lot of crap. Lorne was stuck in San Diego on his surgery rotation, which sucked a lot. I missed him, he missed us and didn't get to do fun things. Suck.

Anyway, on Monday, I flew back with the kids by myself. Monday morning, my mom came into the room where Evie and I were sleeping and told me that Will had thrown up everywhere in his cousin's room (where he'd been sleeping). Evie had been sick a few days earlier, so we figured he must have caught it from her. I cleaned him up and gave him a bath, then my mom took Evie and I spent the morning alternately laying down with Will and cleaning up his vomit, and worrying the entire time about whether he'd be able to get on an airplane that night. As the day wore on, and I had to decide whether we'd be able to go, Will started to seem better, but I was still really worried. I mean, if I'd been as sick as he was, the last thing I'd want to do is get on a plane and be sick on the plane. But then, if we didn't go, we faced $150 in change fees, plus the difference in cost between our original tickets and the cost of the new flight, which was looking to come to a total of around $500. He hadn't thrown up for several hours.

So we went home.

At the airport, something on our stroller set off some detector, so TSA searched our bags. They wiped down all the things in our bags with special wipe things, then put the wipes in a fancy machine, and then the machine beeped. Then a woman gave me a pat down. They made it very clear that my kids would not be separated from me at any time (probably because of this nutjob who made the whole thing up), and the woman doing the pat down kept calling it a "massage" or a "silly tickle." I guess this was to make Will feel better or something, but he wasn't overly concerned that some woman was touching his mom, but I don't know, maybe some kids are. The use of "massage" and "tickle" actually struck me as a little bit odd, but I wasn't super bothered, and she wasn't super invasive, so I said nothing.

But we made it through in time for our flight. Hooray! So we walked (well, I walked, the kids rode on our stroller tank) to our gate just in time to board early on the flight. When Lorne and I went to Ireland, we waited till the last minute to get on flights so the kids would have to sit still for as little time as possible, but with three bags, two kids, one stroller, and two arms, I figured I'd probably need extra time. So we boarded early, I folded the stroller up and left it for gate check, and the kids settled down pretty quickly. Will curled up in his seat, I got all our stuff we'd need for the flight out and put it in the pouches, Evie put her head on my shoulder. Success!

But no. I noticed that the airplane wasn't boarding very quickly. Then the flight attendant said, "So, we're having a mechanical issue with this plane. It's something that would take four hours to fix, but another plane just came in, so we can use that one. So everyone needs to deplane." So I put all our crap back in the three bags, strapped the bags to me, picked Evie up, took Will's hand, and we headed off the plane.

"Excuse me," I said to the gate agent, "But we gate-checked our stroller. Will it be moved over to the new gate, or do I need to do that?"

"It'd be really helpful if you'd just do that yourself, okay?" the woman said. "We've got a lot of other things to do."

My face? It went like this:

Then I took the folded up stroller in my one free hand and dragged it behind me while I tried to herd Will through crowds of people to the new gate. While we waited for the passengers to leave the new plane, Will curled up on the ground and tried to go to sleep. This is unusual behavior for him, so I began to get concerned about the sickness again. Then we got on the new plane.

Both kids squirmed for about 20 minutes, then when we could use electronic devices, Will watched five minutes of Winnie the Pooh, then went to sleep. Evie, however, continued to squirm. And continued to squirm. And continued to squirm. She tried to climb the seat in front of her, climb on the man next to us, pull Will's hair, pull my hair, eat my shirt, eat the shirt of the man next to us. All toys and food in my bag of tricks were useless. Then the drink cart came by and I had a brilliant idea. "I'll give her some apple juice. She almost never has juice, and that will occupy her for a little bit. Maybe getting some liquid in her stomach will help her settle down." So I got Evie apple juice.

Two minutes after Evie drank a few sips of juice, she began projectile vomiting. I don't just mean, "Oh, that was a lot of vomit." I mean, that vomit came out with force. She managed completely cover herself, me, the back of the seat in front of me, the leg of the man next to us, and the shoulders of the two people that were unfortunate enough to be sharing the crack between the seat in front of us.

My face? It went like this:

I had no idea what to do. She started and I literally froze. I guess if I'd tried to move her in the middle of the barfing and lost the shield of the seatback in front of me, she'd have just hit more people with her disgustingness, so maybe my inability act served as a good way to minimize casualties. In between bouts of barfing, the man next to me magically produced a giant pile of napkins. He just kept producing them as she puked and I attempted, first, to wipe down the seatback in front of me, then I offered some to the people whose shoulders were grossened. While he was handing them to me, while Evie was throwing up, I saw the amazed, excited, disgusted face of one man across the aisle, who was watching the entire mess unfold.

His face? It looked like this (but more adult-like):

I stuffed all the gross napkins in a barf bag, also offered to me by the man next to me, as my seat ironically didn't have one (not that I'd have thought to use it anyway, in my frozen-by-barfing-baby state).

Then I told the man next to me to tell Will I'd be right back if he woke up, and Evie and I went to the bathroom. We went to the front of the plane, even though they usually tell you that that bathroom is reserved for first class passengers and that coach losers using the first class bathroom are bad for airplane safety or whatever. But the flight attendants didn't say a word to me. They must have seen my vomit-covered pants and splattered shirt, and the vomit-covered baby, and just said to themselves, "I'm not touching that mess with a ten foot pole."

Once in the bathroom, I cleaned Evie up and dressed her in clean clothes I had the foresight to pack in the diaper bag. Our diaper bag is not big enough for a clean set of clothes for me as well, however, so I had to settle for putting the screaming baby on the closed toilet seat and hoping she didn't fall off while I spent 20 minutes and used approximately 300 paper towels to attempt to clean off my pants. (Sorry, trees.) It was a bit better, but I still reeked.

Evie was kind enough to go to sleep after she was all cleaned up, but the stench of stale vomit hung around our seat in a cloud of shame and humiliation for the remaining hour and a half of the flight. I concentrated very, very hard on looking out of the window over Will's sleeping head, so I wouldn't have to make eye contact with anybody on the plane. When the drink cart came around for a second time, the flight attendant said to me, "You and the baby don't want anything else, do you." It wasn't a question.

My face? It felt like this:

But I just said, "No, thank you." The bag of vomit napkins and the gross seat she'd have to deal with after we got off the flight was probably fuck you enough.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

July 3-9, 2011

On Sunday, we probably did something with Grandma Diane.

On Monday, it was the Fourth of July. I made this delicious coconut cake.

The kids made this giant tower.

Evie pushed the block cart and practiced her walking.

On Tuesday, we probably did something else with Grandma Diane, and then took her to the airport.

On Wednesday, I don't know, maybe we went on a walk.

On Thursday, it looks like the kids took a bath.

Also, it seems we took a walk.

And Will and I took a self-portrait.

On Friday, who knows.

On Saturday, we drove up to Anaheim. We ate some Mexican food, then headed to the stadium early to watch some Mariners batting practice. We were near a group of Mariners relief pitchers. We started yelling to get Brandon League's attention, and then Will just became totally invested. He yelled, "OVER HERE!" over and over, then the Angels fans around us joined in, and eventually, League came over and tossed him a ball.

Brandon League has a fan for life (though Will's "best friend" is still Joe Mauer).

June 26 - July 2, 2011

Once again, I've fallen behind.

On Sunday, Sergeant O'Leary was walkin' the beat. At night he becomes a bartender.

On Monday, Will lifted Angry Birds while I lifted weights.

Also, we went to Balboa Park and had a picnic. The kids rode the carousel...

and the train...

Then we went to the zoo (though I took no pictures of that).

On Tuesday, he works at Mr. Cacciatorre's down on Sullivan Street, across from the medical center.

On Wednesday, we took an epic walk to pick up this giant printer.

As you can see, the giant printer box took up the entire back of the giant stroller, so Will had to walk all the way home. We took a break halfway there.

Evie ate some grass.

On Thursday, Naked Train Conductor Will made a train track.

And we went to the Night Zoo. You can tell it's Night Zoo because it's dark.

On Friday, we took a walk to the mall. Evie got that sweet ladybug hat, Will got that sweet ball. Then they held hands. Awww.

On Saturday, he's trading in his Chevy for a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac-ac.