Saturday, 19 February 2011

"Seat Politics...And To Smack or Not To Smack, That Is The Question"

The ONLY good thing to come from a day from hell...
Excuse the silence the past few days.  Think I'm still in recovery from all the traveling palaver.  'Part Two' of our journey across the globe (London to Florida) was not nearly as traumatic as the Goa to London leg.  But that is not to say that it was not without incident.

For starters, we suffered two casualties:  my Elle magazine (okay, okay, but I love it and unfortunately forgot to retrieve it from the seat back) and Egg's beloved Nintendo Dsi (tragically this also got left behind in some seat back...and unlike my Elle mag, cannot simply be replaced by a few quid).

Unable to get seats all together, the husband and I had divvied up childcare as such:  he got to sit beside Egg for the eight hour flight to Toronto, and then we switched and I got to sit beside Egg for the three hour flight to Orlando.

I didn't mind so first.  After all, Dumps and I scored the bulkhead seats while the husband and Egg were crammed into the row behind us.  However before we even took off, a flight attendant moved the man sitting next to Dumps - a rather portly fellow who looked relieved if I'm honest and was never seen or heard from again - somewhere back in the rear part of the plane.  This could have been down to Dumpie's non-stop chatter or insistence on getting all his 'treat bags' out and preparing to launch an all out attack on mini bags of crisps and easter creme eggs.  Or it could have been the removal of his little Vans and socks and his ordering me about in a loud voice.  Who knows.

But tellingly, even when this bulkhead seat was vacated, the husband refused to move up and sit with us.  He preferred to spend the next eight hours with Egg's feet on his lap instead of plop himself down next to youngest.  In a bulkhead, extra legroom seat.  Nuff said.

At U.S. Customs in Toronto, during our two hour stopover, things were going swimmingly until Dumpie was quizzed by the officer about the little bag of chocolate coins he was clutching.  (The husband likes to make pleasant small talk with customs officials - and he's rather good at it - while I try and catch the scurrying rugrats and keep them from crossing the line and incurring the wrath of humourless stamp providers.)

At any rate, the officer commented on the chocolate coins and the husband chirped up.

"Are you going to share some of those with Dada?"

"Only if you stop hurting me" deadpanned Dumps.


(The 'hurting' Dumpie was referring to may have been the 'child punting' the husband had been forced to resort to, up and down the terminal earlier as Dumps refused to walk, and ladened down with loads of heavy carry on luggage the husband had sort of slid Dumpie down the shiny and surprisingly slippery floor at various times with the toe of his Vans.)

Luckily the official didn't blink an eye at this utterance, and instead said,

"That's okay Sir.  Here in America we believe in corporal punishment so smack away."

(Gulp).  He then proceeded to tell us a story from his youth about his father going off the Vietnam.  Gotta love America.

For the flight to Orlando, the husband and Dumpie were sat four rows ahead on the other side of the plane, but that didn't stop us (or anyone in the first half of the plane to be honest) from listening in on the pretty much non-stop chatter between Dumpie and a child two rows back who kept up a dialogue about whatever came into their little heads.  This 'free entertainment' culminated in our son publicly announcing as we landed, that he was going to make a wish on all the twinkling lights outside.

other little boy:  "I want a truck"

our son:  "I want a real gun"

We got off the plane, sorted our rental car, then promptly took the wrong turn on the motorway, having to make an emergency stop at a weird, out of the way 7-11 because the husband couldn't figure out how to turn on the headlights and we were in danger of incurring the wrath of the notorious unsympathetic American 'cops'.  Not to mention we couldn't see a bloody thing.  This was not helped by the fact that my latest two month supply of contact lenses is the wrong prescription and so my general visibility has decreased to around 50%.

All this aside, it was a joy to see the reunion between the monsters and their beloved Grandpa later that night as we rocked up to my father's condo around 11pm after a 20 hour day of traveling.  He hadn't seen them in almost a year and a half and has pretty much not stopped laughing (or shaking his head) over the antics and utterances from the monsters.

So far he finds it funny.  In a week, I'm thinking not so much.

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