Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Did that Really Happen Edition

We made it!  We're back in Michigan, having successfully survived the cross country journey while readjusting to the three hour time difference.  I've been in super nesting mode, while at the same time definitely running out of steam before finishing everything I want to do each night.  I'm trying to take baby steps to the nesting/reorganizing phase so that things get reorganized/super deep cleaned before the new baby makes his arrival, without speeding up the baby's arrival in anyway since work these days often equals contractions.  We'll see how that goes. 

I debated writing a post about the ups and downs of our trip east this last week and finally decided that not writing about it and the little burst of drama at the end of an otherwise surprisingly awesome day, was contributing to my writer's block and so, here we go.  Here is a quick takes of our traveling cross country in the third trimester while gigantically pregnant with a six year old, four year old and twenty month old.

She loves flying...
but still I was nervous...
We kicked things off by getting up at 4 am and getting the kids loaded into the car to make the long drive south to Sacramento.  We were all loaded up and ready to go at 5:05 am, pulling away from my parent's house in the darkness.  We hit road construction on both summits leading down out of the mountains, and were stuck behind a not-all-that-surprising number of trucks that were passing each other while going almost identical speeds (like say, one going 45, while passing another going 44 in a 70 zone...), which meant that when we dropped the rental car off we were arriving at the airport about a half hour after I'd hoped to arrive (it was 8:30 by that time). 

We managed to wrangle our gigantic always-growing luggage (and I'd made a real effort to pack light) onto the bus from the rental car place to the airport.  When we got off the bus Maggie's eyes filled with tears as she waved bye-bye to the bus.  However a few moments later we were riding the elevator up to the next floor, which put all thoughts of buses out of her head for the moment, and after standing in line and checking our bags we realized that we had a tram ride to get to security, which was also thrilling for all three kids.  And that brought us to the TSA station.

I can understand why
they wouldn't expect
her to suddenly
dash through security..
In my defense, when we made it to the front of the long TSA line, I was having an asthma attack.  I had my carry on strapped to my back, Patch on my front and was finding I just couldn't breath.  Oh and my inhaler... it was somewhere in the thing on my back.  So I asked Paul for his and used it, realizing it was on it's last legs and not really working all that well.  But then it was our turn and I was loading bags onto the belt and ushering Sadie and Mae over to the metal detector. 

Now, with 20/20 hindsight I should have said "she's autistic" right away.  But with the man standing there the way past him seemed pretty thoroughly blocked.  If I'd been thinking I would have likely thought "it's not like he's going to grab her if she darts by" but let's blame the limited amount of oxygen that was reaching my brain at the moment when he said "she has to walk through by herself" and I actually let go of her and then watched as she evaded the entire security checkpoint and took off at a sprint. 

I said "she's autistic!  And she's not going to stop!" as he started to stop me from going after her, and I chased her down, brought her back, had our hands swiped and somehow managed not to faint or get sick right there in the middle of the airport, which seemed to be a very real possibility at the moment. 

Finally I strapped Patch onto Paul, who'd reassembled the bags/stroller and hobbled over, while having contractions, to pre-board, where everyone was already in line. Thank goodness for pre-board. 

Loving all things flight related...
The first plane ride was uneventful. Everyone was good.  Mae loves flying.  A flight attendant did lecture me on how inefficient ours bags are (a small backpack with changes of clothes/medications/diapers for each kid) and how we needed one overhead carry on, which perhaps wasn't timed just right as I was trying to install a car seat/ get air into my lungs/wrangle those bags myself, although later when she brought it up again when I was helping the child of ours who-always-gets-sick-on-planes into the bathroom I explained how we've found it's really, really important when it's turbulent and a kid is getting sick and the flight attendant is telling me I can't get up, to have a bag that fits under the seat with everything that you need... especially diapers, wipes and changes of clothes. 

When we landed in Las Vegas Maggie clapped her hands and signed "more."  I promised her that there was plenty "more" flying to come. 

When we got off the plane at Las Vegas we rushed into a family restroom and changed diapers and then found out that the next flight was in another terminal and was boarding any moment. We rushed through the corridors that just wouldn't seem to end, and arrived at terminal number two just in time to find out that it was delayed (which was a good thing, otherwise it already would have boarded, which would have been a very, very bad thing for us since Southwest doesn't assign seats).  That gave us time to work out our pre-board information again and to hear the man next to me, who's "friend" was standing about two inches from Sadie, say he needed to correct some ticket information to pre-board because he was transporting a prisoner to Detroit. 

Finally we made it down the ramp and into the plane.  This time the flight attendant came over and complimented us on how together and organized we were and how we must have done this many times before (it was such a different reaction to exactly the same scenario).  Then it was time for the longest leg of our trip.  The flight from Las Vegas to Detroit!

Maggie grinned from ear to ear as the plane accelerated up into the sky.  Sadie fell asleep before we were air born and both of the other kids followed suit shortly after.  One of them (in my row) woke up and got sick.  I cleaned the child and plane until both sparkled and handed out the lunch/snacks that Grumpa had packed the night before.

And then we embarked on an utterly uneventful trip.  The kids slept.  Sadie looked at a kindle.  Mae woke up for the last hour or so and gazed out the window.  Patch woke up towards the end of the flight and fussed a little and Paul gave him snacks and I listened as the fuss turned into a giggle.  For the most part our kids were silent. 

Since I haven't uploaded the pictures from our flight yet,
I thought I'd share this one from last year
since her reaction was just about the same!

Because sitting within ten feet of
this sleeping baby is a surefire
way to ruin your flight.

Even when you decided to sit
next to him
when the plane was
basically empty.
As we landed in Detroit I rejoiced.  We'd done it.  We'd made it all the way across the country without anything going horribly wrong.  There hadn't been any meltdowns.  Our kids were basically silent for the entire flight.  It was practically miraculous.

Then the man in front of Paul stood up.  I'd guess he was in his mid-forties. I could see the Tommy Bahamas logo on the back of his button up shirt as he turned around and gave Paul a wide smile.  For a split second I thought that he was going to congratulate us on surviving a trip with three small children. 

The words that slipped out of his mouth quickly banished any illusions I had that that was the case. He was disgusted. Our children were horrible.  We were horrible parents. Inconsiderate.  The worst.  Patch had apparently kicked his chair at some point during the flight and "practically launched him into the chair in front of him" (apparently our 20 month old is going to be a world class soccer player). Paul had stopped him, repeatedly, but it didn't matter.  After about a minute spewing hate (with Paul defending us all the while) I stood up and said "I'm very sorry if at any point he kicked your chair, but you need to turn around and stop talking to my family right now." 

He continued on and on about how horrible we were as parents.  He said the words "I'm incredibly disappointed in you as parents" and I said "Well, I'm incredibly disappointed in you as a human being."  The woman next to us said "are you sure you're talking about their children?  My children were horrible!  There's were perfect!" (she hadn't been able to sit with her boys and they were just typical little boys, playing and being messy.  Sadie had delighted in watching them and talking with them after we landed).  As he continued his tirade, talking about the horribleness of our twenty month old, I may have used a choice word to describe how he was acting that I'm not proud of. 

Finally he told us that we didn't have to fly, it was our choice, and we were horrible for subjecting other's to our children.  I pointed out that he also didn't have to fly, and that when he was in public places there were going to be children present and he was going to have to learn how to deal with it.  He stood turned towards us and glared at Paul and I and our kids, who were still sitting quietly in their seats (well, Sadie was having a discussion with the little boys on how old they were and the biggest numbers they could think of). 

And then the line made it's way to our section of the plane and he finally turned and walked away. 

As we got in the car I asked Paul if he thought I was too mean in my response and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  The thing is, if we had had a meltdown I would have felt terrible and probably would have just apologized and been silent.  It takes a lot to get me to speak up... I generally tend to take an "ignore horribly rude people" approach... although insulting my family repeatedly is probably the quickest way to make the mama bear in me come out.

I've been trying to pray for him.  I'd ask you to pray for him too.  Paul wondered if he thought that the other two little boys were ours too, and that might have been the case.  I think he must have had some hang up about children in general, a member of the increasingly more vocal group that feels the need to voice their hatred of children in general (I'm not even kidding, there are entire forums devoted to the disgust as simply seeing children in public). 

At the end of the day we loaded our car seats back into the car and made the just-over-an-hour drive home, arriving just after 10 pm. 

It was a long day, somewhat shocking at the end and not without it's little bumps along the way, but also surprisingly good.  After all, no meltdowns at thirty thousand feet is a success of sorts around here!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Oh my! I am sorry that the man was so rude to you all. And in front of your children. I think he is the one that shouldn't be out in public - not you and your children like he suggested. I think you handled it well.

  2. I'm feeling my mama bear kick in just reading this. The older I get in motherhood, the more compassionate I become of other people's troubles and the less tolerant I become of mean people. I used to be rather timid. Now I just don't care that much. If people are going to be jerks, they'd better be prepared for an earful of correction. :) You did a great job. Sounds like he must have made a mistake. Even so... his behavior was wrong. I will pray for him.

  3. Wow.... some people are truly just mean-spirited, but you are right... maybe he thought the other boys were yours, maybe he was having a horrid day for some other reason and took it out on you.

    I remember flying when my son was young, and truly he did great! And yet some guy made a snide comment about kids ruining the flight, while glaring at my son - who might have whimpered a couple of minutes before I got up and walked with him. Mind you... we were on a flight to ORLANDO, with tons of kids. ugh.

  4. I sometimes wonder if these "out of the blue" attacks on us aren't spiritually motivated by the Evil One. I mean it! I just had a sort of similar incident happen to me last week, and it really took me a day or so to undo the dark feeling it left in me.
    I think these are demonically motivated because I just can't explain sometimes, especially times when I think things are going exceedingly well, how someone will come out with a diatribe of vitriol at me that seems just incredible and without basis. I mean, I've had people witness this sort of thing and later say to me, "What was THAT all about?" and I'll just shrug because I can't imagine either. It just proves to me others who witness it also don't see any problem I caused. I've also noticed it seems to happen more when I'm having an especially happy day. Why is that?
    I know this guy tried to spoil your day, make your memory tainted, and affect your mood, but just brush it off. He's not worth the anger it makes you feel. It's just our world these days, the rising hatred for others becoming manifest as Christianity in our society wanes. They try to infect you with the same hatred they are feeling. I know it's hard to resist lashing back at them in defense of ourselves (and our families), but just brush the memory of it off. Tell your kids some people are very unhappy, and sometimes can't control what they say and can be very hurtful, but we should forgive them and pray for them and never do that to others. But I expect this is going to happen a lot more as time goes on, and we better get used to it.
    God bless and glad you got home safe and sound. ~ Bonnie

  5. Cheers to you for standing up for your family! "Modern" society has sure given rise to a whole bunch of people - young, old, & in-between - who have no manners, no respect for others, and all feel they have the right to speak their mind at any time. I wonder what's more likely: for him to remember this "horrible" experience or you to remember the incredible unkindness of a complete stranger who had to share a whole whopping 4 hours of his life with you?

  6. You and your family are delightful. I would be quite happy to be seated near you on any flight (and I dislike flying!). . .That unpleasant guy was a d*ck, and he probably is critical of everyone and everything that has the misfortune of crossing his path...a real spreader of sunshine. . .NOT.

  7. Second comment:
    I thought of this a while after I posted my other comment:
    I think Paul should have stood up in the aisle (I assume he stayed seated due to the crowded-ness of the aisle and the kids in his seat row). I wonder if this guy would have been so mouthy if Paul had stood up to his full height and stepped closer to the guy, looking at him with a frown. Paul is a BIG guy, and I wonder if Mr. Airline would have been as brave talking to him as he seemed to be exchanging remarks with a pregnant lady.
    Just thinking. :-)
    God bless. ~ Bonnie

  8. Sadly, this sort of thing has ceased to surprise me. The "childfree" movement has gained momentum and some people feel no compunction about showing their dislike of children... any children.

    I find this disturbing an unsettling. If we don't speak out about this, we will find children banned from restaurants (that is already happening), families relegated to the back of the plane, child-free zones, etc. While I understand that some children are undisciplined and bother other people due to a lack of common sense on the part of parents, clearly this is not the case with your children. I think the poster who attributed it to the Evil One is not far from the truth.

    On another note... have you tried any medication, such as Dramamine or similar for your little one who is invariably sick while flying? I can empathize, and wouldn't dream of getting on a plane without taking a Dramamine or Bonine. Airsickness is miserable.

    God bless!


  9. I've always been amazed at how normally mellow people become monsters after flying.

    You handled that admirably.

  10. Did you call him an a--hole? I hope you did, because that is exactly what he is. Outrageous.


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