Okay. I finally feel ready to talk about it. I’ve had some time to mull it over and process the experience. I’ve had some wine. I had some more wine. I’ve slept. I’ve forgiven my children (for now, right?).
Here’s how it went down. The car ride was uneventful, and sweet Blair even took a little snooze. Paige was very well-behaved, and one potty emergency aside, she seemed ready for the trip.
We got through security fine. The girls had some snacks, and checked out the airplanes. There were a few arguments, but nothing out of the ordinary. They had slyly lulled me into a false sense of ‘this-won’t-be-that-bad’ optimism.
Then we boarded the plane. And the shit hit the fan.
Nani had generously upgraded us to Business Class, and the girls and I were grateful for the extra room. The flight attendants were happy to see us. The two gentleman sitting on the aisles in the row in front of us, not so much.
Blair began entertaining the boarding coach passengers with her newly-perfected animal sounds. Her favorites to-date are the elephant (high-pitched screech) and the bear (high-pitched roar). Sensing a pattern here?
The man in front of Nani plugged his ear with his finger.
Oh dude. You don’t even know. If you think these cute sounds are worthy of your irritation, it’s gonna be a LONG flight for you.
And so it was. We took off, Paige settled into her seat to watch ‘Tangled’ for the millionth time. And Blair proceeded to throw a fit.
A screaming, wiggly, don’t-hold-me-mommy-but-hey-why-the-hell-are-you-putting-me-down-mommy!!! fit.
I was sweaty. People were starting. I alternated between begging her to please be quiet to actually just holding my hand over her mouth in an attempt to muffle the screams.
Nani tried to help. “Perhaps she wants some goldfish?” I handed Blair the bag (the off-the-shelf bag, mind you – not just a small Ziploc baggy). She threw the entire thing on the floor.
Douche-bags in front of me now both had their headphones on.
Fast-forward an hour and a half. Paige had enjoyed a nice snooze, the rest of her movie, and plenty of free Business Class snacks. The laptop was put away. The tray tables were in their upright position. Blair was still screaming. The men in front of me had started shooting me dirty looks. But, we were close. I could feel my ears popping.
I had spent the previous 30 minutes asking Paige if she needed to potty. Like, asking her every 2 minutes or so. To the point where she finally gave me a curt “Just stop it!” Fine. You don’t need to go. I get it.
Ding goes the Fasten Seat belt sign notifying us we are preparing to land in a few minutes. Paige turns to me. “Mommy. I have to potty. Really, really bad. I don’t think I can hold it.”
Cue the total breakdown of Row C, Seats 1 and 2. Blair continued her massive fit, and now Paige was screaming. SCREAMING that she had to pee. At one point I’m pretty sure Blair headbutted my lip, but I’m not sure if that pain was from her or just from being affiliated with these children. At another point Nani just looked at me and said “Just let them cry.” Because I’m pretty sure she thought I was either going to suffocate Blair or hurt Paige.
Sidenote for the a-hole sitting in front of Nani: Perhaps you don’t have children? Fine. Perhaps you have forgotten that you were once a child? Perhaps you think I woke up this morning and thought to myself “Self, if these girls could be on their WORST behavior during a 2 hour flight in a cramped space, then I will call this day a roaring success!”? Perhaps you think I’m sitting back here having a cocktail and ignoring my two screaming kids? Perhaps you think I haven’t pulled EVERY FREAKING TRICK out of my magic bag to try to make it stop? Perhaps you haven’t heard me smack my 3 year-old’s mouth for telling me how mean I am and that I am a bad mommy?
Oh? And perhaps you think I am under the assumption that your choices for flying were either your own private jet or the Business Class section of an Airtran flight?
Dude? It’s a $50 upgrade. Don’t act all hoity-toity with me, okay? My kids have ruined enough clothes on this vacation alone to sponsor your ticket. Get over yourself.
The plane landed. Paige had people feeling sorry for her because she was crying hysterically that she had to go potty. (Folks – you’ve been had. This is all drama, no action. I would not have been surprised if we had gotten to the bathroom and she looked at me like I was a crazy person and said ‘I don’t have to go potty?!?’).
I think the icing on the cake was probably somewhere around baggage claim. Nani took the girls outside to the van while Derrick helped me load up the suitcases and car seats.
I climbed inside to latch the girls’ seats, and Paige asked me for the 300th time if she could have her ring pop back (No, because I made you throw it in the trash because you hit me, remember?). I calmly told her no. I less calmly told her that if I heard the words ‘ring pop’ come out of her mouth one more time I was going to take her blankie away.
This next part is not a joke – I cannot make this stuff up.
Paige pulled her toy cellphone out of her backpack and started quickly typing on the keypad. She looked at me and said “I’m just texting Susu to tell her what a mean and bad mommy you are.”
So, I may or may not have snapped. I may or may not have jumped out of the van, pulled down her little pants and underwear, and spanked her little bottom.
And I may or may not have looked up to notice that there was a priest (in full priest regalia) standing three people down from me.
Yep, perfect ending to the perfect travel day.
We loaded into the car and Paige sweetly says “I’m feeling happy now, Mommy! Where are we going now?”
“To the orphanage,” I responded. And I swear to God (or, at least to that priest standing outside baggage claim), if we had passed one on the way home, I would have dropped them off.
Fast forward through dinner, baths and bed (because, honestly, I wasn’t involved. I was sitting on the front porch drinking my wine and reading an Us Weekly). The girls we in bed by 5:30, and asleep by 6:00.
We woke the next morning and Derrick had to go to a speaking engagement. The girls and I bundled up and headed to our first Farmer’s Market of the Fall season. They were wonderfully behaved and even held hands.
Jeesh. There you go. Making me fall in love with you all over again.