Thursday, June 05, 2008

Back on the Solid Ground

We are back, and except for the nightmare that is flying, it as a great trip.

The girls were actually fine on the flights, but I cried, oh, four or five times. Why do the flight attendants get on the intercom and announce before a flight takes off that it will be a bumpy ride? The flight attendant did that on the way back, so I spent the entire pre-flight waiting time in a state of sweaty panic, fearing the worst.

On both legs of the trip, I was seated next to people who placed their arms on the shared armrest, thus making it impossible for me to change the JetBlue TV channel. The first seatmate was an extremely large man who couldn’t keep his arms folded on his chest or in his lap, so he had no choice but to use the armrest. Same with the woman on the way back. The thing is, when Maddie was napping, as she did for about an hour each way, wanted to be able to flip the channels to distract myself, and I couldn’t. If anyone needs to be distracted while flying, believe me, it’s me. I’d rather be distracted with two Ambien and a long sleep.

Holding squirmy babies on your nap is challenging. I found that keeping Maddie in the Bjorn even while sitting sort of contained her and worked well. She doesn’t have the same understanding of personal boundaries as we do. When she would get restless, I would just go to the back of the plane and hang out with the flight attendants. I asked one on the way back about how much time was left on the flight and to my horror she called the captain in the cockpit. I was like “NO!! Don’t distract him! He needs to fly this bird!” and envisioned awful things happening because I needed a countdown. Just like how envision awful things will happen if I don’t touch the outside of the plane twice as I walk into it. At least I know I am ridiculous.

But it was worth it because we had a great time. At one point, I laughed at myself, as I was driving in my mother-in-law’s car, down one of those eight-lane roads, listening to a country music station on my way back from the YMCA, because I actually enjoyed it all. And if you examined those components singularly, no of them are quite my style. Sunrises over the lake were beautiful. The girls loved the beach and sand and water and little pool and all the sunshine. And they slept like angels: They took every nap and went to bed just like they do at home. Nicole played golf. We went to Target every day. We shopped at grocery stores the size of Chelsea. I read on the deck at sunset. We saw stars. We watched Mama martins feed baby martins. And I managed to not step in the path of a lizard the entire trip. We’re going back for Thanksgiving and I think we are going to try t plan a visit between then and now.

One funny story: One of our vacation goals was to go out together, just Nicole and I, and see a movie. The only night we could do it was Monday, because Nicole’s brother was visiting as well until then. So Monday night we put the girls down t sleep and of COURSE this is the NE night when they don’t just go down peacefully. And Avery wasn’t feeling well: She developed a little cough and was warm with a low fever. They were fussing and we didn’t want to leave them. So we thought, ok, no movie. But then they settled down and so we got our things together (which, for me, was a cut-off white demin jacket borrowed from my MIL to wear in the theater. I was a Floridian fashion plate) and we left. On the twenty minute drive there, we went back and forth: Should we go? Should we go back home? Avery’s fever was worrying us and we didn’t want a sickly baby to wake up and not have s there. We debated the entire trip, but decided in the theater parking lot to go in once we got a phone cal from my MIL, assuring us al was well. So we buy our tickets, dick into the theater and settle into the previews. Then suddenly, the lights flicker. And the screen goes dark. And then the lights flicker on, then off. After a few minutes, we went into the lobby, where a panicked teenager manager informed us that the entire mall was without electricity. Another teenage worker runs over t us and tells us to go back into the theater, in case they have to evacuate. That was good enough for us. We left the theater and the mall and went home. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what is! All I could think was, maybe this is fate in action. Like if we stayed for the movie, we would get hit by a drunk driver on the way home. After all, we are about a billion times more likely to meet an untimely death driving then by flying.

I’ve done a shitacular job with comments lately, but I have been keeping up with all the blogs. Life is crazy these next few days. And both Madeline and Avery have a cold, which is perfect timing for their Long Island birthday party at Aunt Liz’s.

Pictured above, me with a happy Madeline, just a day before her little cold started. I think it's funny how our heads are tilted. And dare I say this is the first picture where I can see a resemblance between her and I. Below that, Maddie and Avery getting into things at Nana’s.


K J and the kids said...

So glad to hear all went well.
With or without the movie.

I received a little gift while you were gone ;) you da BOMB !
Thank you.

Michelle said...

I used to be a complete wreck during turbulence. Then I started flying several times a month for work, and I wanted to be able to fly without being so anxious (and especially since I was always alone on these flights). So when the flight would get bumpy, I would remind myself that airplanes almost never (domestically, anyway) just fall out of the sky due to turbulence. If you're going to crash, odds are that it's going to happen on take-off or landing. In a strange way, that information reassured me. Now I white-knuckle through the take off (I think I read that the first minute is riskiest) and hope for a smooth landing, but it at least has minimized my flying anxiety.

utRus said...

your girls are killer cute. i love the one of the Aviator tearing up magazines. classic.

i also touch the outside of the plane EVERY time (but i only do it once so am not as crazy as you - LOL)

we had a very similar movie experience recently and i could only relax and enjoy the movie once the sitter texted me that everything was ok. we did get to stay, though, and we've gone to 3 movies since! (it's so great)

Motel Manager said...

I am a crazy neurotic flyer as well with a little ritual that I do before takeoff. I, however, strongly prefer to be told it's going to be bumpy, because then I don't think that the pilots are surprised when the turbulence hits.

Someone told me that kids the ages of ours are the worst to fly with because they just want to move and cannot be distracted by books or DVDs. I was told things should improve around age 2, but then you read stories like the one where the parents got kicked off the plane because they couldn't get their toddler to settle down. So who knows.