So where did I leave off? Ah yes, the flight...
Having been plagued by a very unfortunate series of events before boarding the 767 aircraft (rude cabbie, bad driving, forgetting 'Bacon' at home, Egg puking in my makeup bag, losing my mobile at security, getting screwed at check-in, losing one of our bottles of water from bottom of pushchair...) let's just say we weren't expecting the world.
Having promised Eggie ANYTHING he wanted at the airport as compensation for not having his beloved 'Bacon', he took full advantage of this and veered straight into 'Hamley's' (famous toy store), and quickly snagged himself an expensive and giant 'doctor's kit'...a huge see-thru case full of plastic medical implements. Great. 9 1/2 hours of airplane 'examinations'...and he was already eyeing up Dumps as his first victim - I mean 'patient'
So as we boarded, much in the manner of a 3-ring-circus, we caught the sympathetic eye of a rather camp 'trolly dolly' who attempted to compensate us for the seat mix-up with a few extra kiddie packs. (Yeah, some dodgy pencil crayons, a plastic toy and a roll of fruitella is really going to help ease the pain...cheers).
Nonetheless, the minutes, then hours painstakingly began to pass....but not without incident. (I guess this is as good a time as any to come clean about my and Auntie Ba's 'kiddie crime'.)
Two days earlier we had researched the best medicines to help children sleep at night, and hoped that maybe a wee spoon of something might calm them and make them pass out for a little while on the plane. I was despatched into the local pharmacy wherein a sweet ol' bitty lady asked me how old the child was and upon hearing Dumpies age told me in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to be sold kiddie medicine anymore as there had been an item on the news recently about parents abusing the 'sleep aid' syrup in 'under 2's' in an attempt to get a decent nghts sleep.
I convincingly 'oooed and ahhhh' in mock horror and explained that my little darling simply had a runny nose that wouldnt go away. So she asked me why then did i want to purchase a cough medicine?!
I racked my brain for a suitable response and ended up blethering away in nonsensical chat and mime in such fashion as to suitably fluster her. So she went and got the pharmacist. He was a busy man and clearly saw the pointlessness of prolonging this transaction and told the biddy to ring it up.
I emerged gleefully like a drug addict, holding up the bottle in victory to a bewildered 'Auntie Ba' who couldn't possibly comprehend the scenario which had just taken place. However she was hopeful (as was I) that such a hotly contested item boded well for us.
(At this point I realise how this may sound. How can a mother such as myself entertain let alone facilitate attempted drugging of a poor defenceless child? Ummm...'VERY EASILY' is my answer. You try travelling with these two and then tell me where your particular morals lie. Think you may find they've taken a wee hike where these matters are concerned. Besides, my parents will readily confess to having dipped into Dad's doctors bag now and then when jetsetting around the world with four young children - so maybe it runs in my genes. At any rate, in my defense, Dumps has had a runny nose for weeks now, and they were sick not so long ago, and hey - i'm sure i've heard the odd cough now and again...yep)
So back to the plane. One hour in and we decided we'd had enough. It was time to dose them. Two spoonfuls later and we sat back and watched.
At first we were hopeful. Egg's lids started to close and Dumps stopped squirming around so much. (We were praying it wouldn't be like the time 'Auntie Mo' and I had tried the same trick with 'Gravol' and it had had the reverse effect - making them hyper and unreasonable. It had been an unmitigated disaster).
Soon Dumps started blabbing loudly and 'drunkenly'...eyes rolling about, and he started acting really silly. Egg continued to watch cartoons on the seatback tv and we raised our eyes hopefully at one another. But our excitement was shortlived. Aside from making them appear as if they'd had 'a couple too many', the cough medicine was a dud. For the remainder of the flight Dumps slept fitfully in my arms for maybe 45 minutes in total and Egg was awake the whole time except for about an hour at the end when he lay on Auntie Ba's lap.
The rest of the time was spent running up and down the aisle after Dumps who would take off giggling to the emergency exit area - trying to pull on the door handle! One particular stewardess took a shine to him and kept coming over to cuddle and play. Only thing was, that everytime she left she'd leave him distraught and screaming after her...then he'd wiggle off my lap and race away to find her! More than once I had a steward or stewardess uncerimoniously deposit a grinning 'Dumps' back on my lap after having scooped him up after various escape attempts when i was almost dozing and out out of it. Add to that the constant visits to the cramped airline toilet to mop up the flowing diahrea from Dumps who had ingested one too many dried apricots, and it made for a particular sort of transatlantic hell.
Luckily customs was a breeze (thanks to travelling on Canadian passports) and aside from the one hitch - which was forgetting Egg's doctor case on board - necessitating an illegal manoever courtesy of Mama who had to disobey all signs and sneak back on the plane to fetch it - we got through in record time.
Outside we found Grandpa sitting on a bench in the hot sunshine, holding two Starbucks frappacino's, a bag of oatmeal cookies and two gigantic, enormous stuffed toys for the monsters. Kisses and cuddles were had by all and in no time we were whizzing along the motorway towards Daytona, gleeful with relief.
The boys are ecstatic to be here, and Dumps can't stop pacing the balcony giggling and pointing at the waves and yelling down at people on the beach. Egg is in his element with all the other children here, and the glorious soft fine sand which doesn't even require water in order to make brilliant sand castles!
A fine day was had by all yesterday after Dad took us out for breakfast, did a massive grocery run and bought us all our favourite treats and foods. For Egg this also included a bright pink toy 'Barbie Princess' camera which says "You're beautiful" and "You are a pretty princess!" every time the shutter button is pressed. I won't even get into the bright pink sippee cup.
In the afternoon, Grandpa gave Egg his first swimming lesson, and by the end of it, a formerly terrified Egg was happily riding Grandpa's back around the swimming pool, kicking and splashing like a dolphin!
Anyway, the sun has come out now and although I was again woken around 5am this morning, the boys are happily munching cheerios and anxious to get down to the beach again.
As for me, I sit here sipping my ice coffee and wondering how two little things like Egg and Dumps can simultaneously cause so much trouble and destruction yet have us all so besotted. No two ways about it...they are criminally cute. And they know it :)