Oct 19, 2013

On Displacement and Flying With Small Children...

Before I begin, a sidenote. I recently learned there is a made-up notation for sarcasm in the written word. It looks like this: /s  

As in:

Flying with kids is the best. It is the most fun ever. Flying standby is also the best (obviously), so put the two together and you are bound to have a rip-roaring good time.  /s

Due to a series of events of varying degrees of awesome and awful, my family found ourselves traveling mostly standby this morning, and by 'mostly standby' I mean that I had a confirmed seat and the others didn't. Also, by 'standby' I do not mean 'non-paying.' Good? Good.

Since she is still under 2, Tiny E was the wild card (maybe a lap baby and maybe not), but in the end there was space and she was awarded her very own seat. In between 2 strangers, about 20 rows behind my assigned seat. In addition, immediately upon boarding I found someone in my assigned seat (20 rows up from Tiny E's, remember).

Now, in general I am no-nonsense and a big fan of workings things out myself when possible (and I feel it's worth mentioning that the Cat Daddy had the same issue with the boyz and was able to negotiate a seat next to them in like 10 seconds with no trouble), but I also like to think I know when to call in help when I need it, so I skipped everything and went to the flight attendants for backup. It took some effort but in the end they were convinced that I did indeed need their help. 

First order of business, vacate my seat up front. A coupla calls, badda boom badda bing, and the occupant was directed to her proper location across the row. Second, offer one of the two ladies next to Tiny E a nice kid-free window seat (by the bulkhead, no less--I provide the best trades) in exchange for letting me take a seat next to my 18 month old who still nurses and isn't a fan of being away from Mommy (and who, by the way, isn't allowed to sit by herself, per the airline). A no-brainer, right?


Both refused to move. One was nicer about it than the other, but neither was taking me up on the bulkhead window seat. 

Now, a moment to remind us all to be a little gentle. I have been the person who has moved to accommodate others, and I have been the meanie who wouldn't move. I truly understand both sides, and sometimes one really just wants to stay in the seat they picked out ahead of time, and got all comfy and situated, and all that. I get it.

That said, I also think they didn't fully understand the situation or the consequences of their decision, because the natural conclusion for me was to buckle my baby in and proceed peacefully to my quiet seat far away from any family members for the entire 5 hour flight. I mean really, that would've been a win, yes?? /s

I reeeeally wanted to see this all unfold, but sadly the flight attendant intervened, and we ganged up on the aisle seat lady, and she grumbled off in a huff to the bulkhead. The remaining lady apologized for not being 'able' to help us, and offered us some homemade banana chips, and we are on pretty good terms now. 

The best part though (/s), was that the displaced lady left her water, tablet, and foodie magazines in the seat pocket, forcing her to come back and ask for them several minutes later while I was nursing Tiny E (nursing in public prevents screaming babies; write that down, kids). 

I gave the lady a wry half-grin as I handed her things over and while she was not amused, I hope in that moment she understood. I mean, I forget sometimes that it is not my responsibility to make others see it my way...but I still like it when it happens.

And so I would like to ask you to keep your wits about you when asked for a favor, and make sure you understand what you are accepting or declining, because nursing toddlers on planes do best with their mamas, and there's really no getting around that. Even if you ALWAYS get the aisle and HATE being asked to move.

Also, if you have the opportunity to put your 18 month old in his/her own seat next to you instead of on your lap stuck between 2 (very patient) dudes for 5 hours like the week prior, by all means take it. Trust me on this...

Oct 8, 2013

Morningtime Concerns...

I live in a house of bossypantses.

His Highness went to bed with a very, very loose tooth. He spent the day wiggling it in our faces, showing us just how hangy-loose it was, and we spent the day going "Come on, just let me pull it," but he wouldn't let us. After he was asleep, the Cat Daddy even gave it a go, but it was just stuck enough that he couldn't get it out before His Highness would pull away and sleep-mumble "No, don't pull it..."

Well, guess what. His Highness woke up with a gappy grin and no tooth to be found anywhere.  We looked and looked and looked, but so far haven't found anything except his missing shin guard. He not only lost his tooth, he LOST his tooth.  

The Cat Daddy and I figured maybe he swallowed it. Having heard the story about how he once swallowed a penny, he said, "You'll have to check my poop, Mom."

Now I'm generally willing to help with a lot of things, but poo is where I draw the line.

I replied, "I will not. You can check your own poop, my friend, if you want your tooth so badly."

I did reconsider slightly. I said, "Look, we'll keep an eye out. If we see it on the outside of your poo, I'll help you recover it, meaning you will do the digging and I will give instructions. But I will do no actual digging or searching. If you want to do that you're on your own."

**Sidenote--I gagged a little bit, writing that last paragraph, and the thought of poo with teeth has set my brain down paths no one wants to consider, except maybe the South Park folks. End Sidenote** 

For his part, His Highness didn't seem terribly troubled. He's heard enough stories to know that if one loses one's tooth, one can write the Tooth Fairy a note and she will generally show grace and leave cash anyway. I told him to ask around at school to see if his friends and/or teachers had any other suggestions. 

It would be poetic justice if, along the way to our house, the Tooth Fairy somehow fell asleep and swallowed the dollar by mistake.

She'd better not though, because there is no way I'm digging through Tooth Fairy poo...

Oct 6, 2013

My Equilibrium Is A Little Off...

I’m touchy lately. And fragile. And I'm mad that I’m touchy and fragile. I possibly have an ear infection, and I’m mad that a stupid (possible) ear infection is enough to throw off my mojo. I was watching Glee on the DVR today (SPOILER ALERT), and Rachel Berry was in a snit because she was pretty sure she didn’t get a part in a Broadway play, and Kurt came in and told her she needed to get her mojo back, so they sang a Beatles song, resulting in the timely return of her mojo, along with an accompanying explanation along the lines of “I’m awesome, and if they don’t see that then bummer for them, but secretly of course I’m gonna be wistful and reserve a teensy glimmer of hope in the darkest corner of my soul.” (then of course at the last possible moment she found out she did in fact get the part in the big Broadway play, so double mojo for her). Also, Santana was in a TV commercial for yeast infection medication, and Kurt got a job working at the same diner as the two girls, and they all made a pinkie-swear promise about staying in New York for two years to follow their dreams and toasted with champagne, and I was all “YOU’RE ALL 19, WHAT THE HECK IS THIS SNOOTY CHAMPAGNE BUSINESS??”  But then again all these 19 year olds somehow afford a huge, industrial-looking loft in Brooklyn while two of them attend a fictional Julliard-esque college, so hey, if they want to (be underage and) pop some champagne to celebrate their dreams coming true, then who am I to argue??

On a similar note, I’ve either grounded or am considering grounding myself from nearly all media-related topics, both fictional and real-life. Having read a few too many articles and STRONG OPINIONS about the government shutdown, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people think they know how government works, but no one really does (myself included)--or the ones who do know don’t have much to say because it’s not as sensational as the loud ones are making it out to be--so waxing eloquent about how the other party and/or the president is the cause of this mess, or how so-and-so needs to do such-and-such to fix it, is unproductive. Also, even though the government is shut down because the money for the new fiscal year hasn’t been approved, they have managed to get/keep a large portion of the government up & at least limping along until they can sort through some of the mess. How? Who knows--I got a “B” in Government class, so I’m not the one to ask. 

Furthermore, hearing all this bickering makes me think of when the Cat Daddy and I were in marriage counseling back in the day (don’t tell him I told you), and we had to learn the Fair Fighting Rules, and we also had to do some awkward role-playing exercises so we could learn to talk to each other without feeling controlled or attacked, and basically we had to learn to be on the same team instead of against each other all the time. And let me tell you, our Congress is breaking at least a few of the fair fighting rules (and probably all of them, but one of the rules is to avoid absolutes like always, never, all, or none, so I can't in good conscience claim ALL, even though it might be true).  So basically Congress needs therapy, and possibly a cookie. 

Besides all that, my children and possessions are trying to eat me alive. The following is a list of resolutions I pass in my own head in a single morning of child-rearing. Some are more reasonable than others. Most are completely nuts.

--I need to keep a closer eye on all the children all the time.
--I need to quit Facebook altogether.
--I need to check Facebook RIGHT NOW.
--I'm going to get serious about being on time for preschool.
--No more snacks that produce crumbs of any sort.
--No more food or drinks outside the kitchen, EVER.
--The children need to drink plain water more.
--The children need to reuse one cup each throughout the day.
--I need to go through and organize the toys. Again.
--We need to cut WAY back on the toys.
--The children need to keep the toys within a three-foot radius of the toy bins at all times, and they need to put one toy away before moving on to the next toy.
--The children need to learn to amuse themselves without toys. Or screens. Or anything.
--The children need to stay out of the junk drawer and/or closets.
--I need to get rid of ALL the things.
--I need to teach these ruffians how to treat me.
--I need to find a family that will listen when I speak, and make them adopt me.
--Everyone needs to poop before we leave each morning.
--I'm gonna get up at 5:30 tomorrow.
--I'm gonna go to bed EARLY tonight.
--I'm gonna spend time writing/reading/etc tonight.
--Starting tomorrow, I'm gonna be awesome and productive.
--I need a jog.

That last one I can do...