I rarely fly as a means of travel, we usually drive because it's more economical but Miss Alice prefers not to be restrained in a vehicle for 17 hours and boy does she let us know how she feels if we attempt that. Her daddy has strong opinions that he is not afraid to voice and I think she got that trait from him. So when I decided to take her to Texas I booked a plane. The flight down there was effortless, easy, made me wonder what the heck everyone was complaining about when they said flying with kids was a pain in the butt. Unfortunately I found out why that is on my trip back.
Haley had gone to Texas in early July and she was flying back with Alice and me. I was excited about that because I thought it would be great since she could help me out and I was looking forward to having someone to talk to on the plane. I'm still in awe over the way clouds look from above, how neat it is to see another plane passing by, and I still can't understand why anyone would dare to close the windows on the plane because of all the cool stuff to look at. I needed Haley on board with me so I could point out all this neat stuff.
Anyway, back to the story. Once we got to the airport things started going downhill. It was rediculously hot that day so I was sweating like crazy by the time I one handedly navigated a stroller while pulling a huge suitcase from the parking lot to the check in counter. I then stood in a relatively long line staring at people who refused to believe it was a self check in. Seriously, people were just standing there looking at these computers and even after someone said it was self check it they still stood there, seemingly in disbelief over the wonders of technology. Could a computer really do what was once a humans job? Yes people, yes it can and it does. Finally they got over the initial shock and most likely a brief twinge of fear that computers may one day rule the world and things began to move. Once it was my turn we discovered that my large suitcase was overweight by 5 lbs so I had to remove things from it and stuff those things into other suitcases. I did this while my mom held Alice who was now screaming and Haley stood there watching me struggle to lug a 50lb case to and from the scale twice.
Once that was over we made our way to security which wouldn't have been so bad but I had made Haley wear tennis shoes which made the process a little lengthy, no big deal though. On a side note while I was waiting for Haley I watched TSA personnel try and figure out why a very well dressed little girl with down syndrome had been abondoned at the security check point. It was sad, she had been standing there longer than I had and when they asked her where her mommy was she didn't know.
By the time that was taken care of we were hungry and there were many options, Dunkin Doughnuts, Las Palapas, Raising Cane Chicken, and a really trendy looking croisant sandwich place. After a lot of deliberation we settled on the croisant place which seriously sucked. I paid $20 for flavorless, could have made it myself, sandwhiches that neither of us liked. I was annoyed. You all should know I love food but you may not know that I don't care to go out to dinner unless it's to eat something I can't make at home. I was downright pissed off. I could have made the same thing for $1.50 at home, but much tastier.
So after that fiasco my mom, who had come to help, bought me a chocolate chip cookie in an effort to make me feel a little better. I needed to take Alice in for a diaper change first though and of course there was a long line at the bathroom. Alice was exhausted and hungry but I felt she needed to be changed first because it was 6:15 by this time and our flight would soon be boarding. Once I got her to the changing table she started to freak out, I can understand since it was really loud and strange to her. She was throwing a fit, kicking and screaming, making it nearly impossible for me to change her diaper. Then an angel, or maybe it was a custodian, came over and talked to her, instantly calming her enough for me to finish my job. Thank you custodian! I washed my hands and looked forward to that wonderful cookie that was so close to being devoured.
Unfortunately once I exited the bathroom Haley asked me where her purse was. "I'm sure it's in the stroller with Grandma" I told her. It was not in the stroller though, she had left it somewhere. Her phone, her money, and her books were in there so she and my mom went looking for it while I fed Alice who should have fallen asleep eating but did not. Instead she went into her weird, overly tired, but insanely hyper mode. It's this state where she is incredibly fussy, incredibly alert, and very hyper. While this was going on I discovered that my plane was delayed 45 minutes. I know it could have been worse but it still sucked.
Luckily Haley and my mom returned, purse in hand, and for a brief moment everything was ok and I ate my cookie in peace.
Then Haley developed a very strong fear of flying. This girl was terrified, crying hysterically, freaking out, exclaiming that she just knew something bad was going to happen. People had been staring at us the whole time since Alice was so crazy and hyper but they had turned away when I had met their gazes, now the staring intensified and they just kept looking even when I made eye contact. And I could not console Haley, I was so frazzled by this whole airport experience that all I could come up with was "it's going to be fine" accompanied by a weak pat on her leg. Thank God for grandmas though, my mom was able to console her and after 10 minutes of crying she calmed down.
Finally after all the chaos we began to board the plane but not before Alice fell, hitting herself on the cheek in the process which caused more hysterical crying and more stares from passengers. I briefly considered yelling " hey, could you guys quit it with the judgemental staring?! It's not helping" but I didn't want to become the lady with the crying kids who then freaked out on her fellow passengers. I was content with being just the lady with the crying kids.
Once we got to the gate Haley started freaking out again, crying, not wanting to leave my mom but I gently shoved her along and through very loud, intense sobbing she repeatedly yelled "I already miss her so much!". Finally we settled in the last row of seats, Alice nursed herself to sleep, the plane took off and Haley was fine. Everything seemed to be going ok until turbulence woke Alice up. Then I got motion sickness. I had purchased these accupressure bracelets designed to help with that but I apparently lost one of them and Alice kept trying to snatch the remaining one out of my hand as I tried to put it on. I really thought I was going to be sick. I would close my eyes every now and then and Alice would stay still long enough for me to get a little relief but then she'd move and I'd have to try and wrangle her back to me and I'd feel sick again. It was torture.
Once we landed in Phoenix we found our gate, settled in, and then found out that plane had been delayed an hour. So we spent our time riding the flat escalator things over and over. I actually enjoyed this part. Unfortunately the Phoenix airport smelled terrible so my motion sickness didn't get better and to make matters worse I tried this lotion on at an airport shop and it smelled terrible so every time I put my hand near my face and got a whiff of that I wanted to get sick.
Once we boarded the plane Alice nursed herself to sleep again and I was able to close my eyes and keep my head facing the front of the plane which helped keep me from getting sick. We finally landed and when I saw my wonderful husband everything felt ok. We got in the car, headed home, and I had the most peaceful sleep of my life. I was so glad to be home.