My whole life, I have loved airports. I love the energy and emotion and anticipation simmering within an airports grounds. Maybe this is because I have been travelling in airports since I was 4 years old, off to visit my Dad and Step-mom at least three times a year.
Maybe it’s because I am a bona-fide people-watcher. My early adult years were spent traveling, and for me the airport was as desired a destination as a monument. There is simply no better place to bare witness to raw human behavior. Tears and fears. Jubilance and queasiness. Reunions and relief. I adore observing these moments in time, not in it but still a part of it. You know?
I speak there in the present tense. As if I still know this to be true. Which I do not. Because the only thing I am watching in an airport nowadays, is the girls. And if not them, their stuff.
Times have changed.
I have children. Airlines are poor. Airports are secure. Well, trying their damnedest to be.
It all makes for a trying experience. And tiring.
For us mamma’s anyways.
If I listed every moment of exasperation, this post would be book length. You would be bored. So would I. So here, a brief Rant List to get it out of my system. Maybe you can commiserate or even just laugh. May my pain be good for something!
- Do-It-Yourself Check-Ins supposedly expedite things, unless you have a baby (or dog or extra luggage or a handicap or an allergy or are computer illiterate or missed your flight…) I know all this as these were all the people in front of me in the rather long ‘customer care’ line I was forced to enter. After finally getting ‘checked in’ by ‘customer care’, I and my 2 young children and stroller and 3 carry-ons and 2 suitcases and playpen and 2 car seats are directed to the plastic bag portion of the assembly line where I am directed to get my own damn bag and wrap your own damn car seats and deposit them on the ‘special’ luggage carousel which is not directly by the normal luggage carousel which I then have to go to and lift and drop my own damn luggage off. They did not use the word ‘damn’. But they should have.
- Fortunately I got a bagel and OJ for Kaya before entering security since there is no food on the other side. Unless you count dry pumpkin scones from Starbucks, food. Unfortunately, bringing food in means they get swabbed at security. Swabbed! Checking for nuclear output I guess?
- Speaking of security, this is my girls there. Waiting for me to dig through my purse for our missing boarding passes. This after putting 2 backpacks (I thought Kaya would ‘help’ me by wearing hers and carrying her stuff. Hahahahahahahha, what a joke.) my purse, food to be swabbed and a folded stroller through. After this picture, I am told to take off all our shoes and the girls sweaters. Seriously? We’re going to fit an MK40 or Vile of Destruction in Brennyn’s shoe? Seriously? After which I practically push the girls through security since we’re not supposed to all walk through together. My 1-year-old is not allowed to walk through with me. Seriously? I think I just pissed them off by taking the time to take the above picture so they thought they’d torment me a little. Don’t worry folks, I caught onto their games quickly and took my sweet-ass time getting ourselves together making sure to take up as much space as possible. Smiling all the while.
- Marathon walks to the very spaced out bathrooms. Kaya goes. I go. I scream at Brennyn not to touch the toilet seat while adjusting Kaya’s wedgie. I change Brenny. I wash all our hands very thoroughly. We walk (whine) aaaallll the way back to the play area and are there 5 minutes when Brennyn poops. So we walk aaaalll the way back and change her again.
- Which I thought was obnoxious until the flight home when we played, did the bathroom gong show, got on the plane and Brennyn pooped within 1 minute of sitting in our seats. Beside a very rich, snooty old lady who does not once acknowledge our existence. (Unless you count the obvious eye roll as we slide past her into our seats) I let Brenny stay poopy. For the entire flight. I am used to the stink of Miss B. Mrs Hoity Toity is not.
- Yes, playing these mind games makes me feel better about myself. What’s it to ya?!
- 4 bags are checked in but any passengers to go with them do not board our plane. Which means we have to wait for them. And when they do not come, take their luggage off. For security reasons. This means an extra 30 minutes on the tarmac. Quite honestly, I am happy to wait (okay, okay, happy may be too strong a word) But checked in luggage + no people = bad news. I only hope they take that luggage and put it through a ‘Monster Machine’ Jillian Jiggs style and squish it and squash it til it’s nothing at all. Even if it was a ‘misunderstanding’. Misunderstand this assholes, I might say upon handing them their palm-sized suitcase topped with sparklers and a ‘Bon Voyage’ sticker. Imagination is a beautiful thing on delayed flights with grumpy kids and curmudgeonly ladies.
- Then the plane has to get de-iced. Because it is snowing. Snowing!
- Brennyn did not nap before our flight, sensing I think, our departure. My girl has not fallen asleep on me since she was about 3 months old. In a miraculous state of affairs, she falls asleep on my lap in the plane!! So I get a coffee which I do not ever do with Miss Grabby Hands normally. But she’s asleep. What can happen? Right?! What happens is she is a restless sleeper and jolts herself up, out of nowhere, and sends my Bits n Bites and coffee FLYING! If I were seated directly beside Mrs Fancy Pants I would have let it fall where it may. But it is Kaya beside me. So this mamma did what us mammas do. I simultaneously re-soother my baby, pat her back to settle her back in, and save the coffee from scalding my child. Just another days work. Anyways, I really needed that coffee.
Phew, I think I’m feeling better. Thank you! The truth of the matter is, it wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was still pretty good. I may be the people watcher, but my girls are the everything else watchers. Squatting down to their level, I remember the awe of seeing planes land, RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES! I see cool luggage carriers just like on Mighty Machines Mom! I meet other moms and other babies. We run on flat escalators (FUN!) and go on giant elevators with buttons and doors on BOTH SIDES! We enter funny stores and play in mazes and rocket ships. We zerbert germ-infested airport windows. Well, they do. I cringe, then distract.
My whole life I have loved airports. My girls remind me that I still do what with their giddiness and joy parading through the airport. Which is when it occurs to me why I still do love it. It is not just the emotion and the anticipation, but the adventure. The newness and novelty of that which you do not see everyday. The letting go of that which you can not control, and just going with it. So that’s what we do. Through all the COOL and even the CRUELLA’S, we go with it. Most of the time with our sense of humour intact.
Most of the time…