Tuesday, 23 April 2013

"Back In One PIece (Or Should I Say Pieces...?)"

Dumpie and his 'Mini-Me'

Having arrived back from our trip to Florida a few days ago, I am still dealing with the fall out:  never ending laundry, persistent jetlag, and a lingering sense of injustice and anger over the hellish return journey back to the UK.

The flight itself was of course a nightmare.  How could it not be? Though Dumps, the baby and I were given bulkhead seats for the express purpose of using the pull down cot, the raised eyebrow of the blond cabin steward when I timidly asked whether she might lower the baby cot for me to put Squit into, said it all.  It weren't happening. No way.  Not once she'd clocked the jump suited fat baby clambering on my lap waving his pushpop dangerously close to the ceiling lights.  So I resigned myself to 9.5 hours with a 12 kilo bomb on my lap.

(I say bomb because every time I slightly shifted in my seat to get the blood back into my extremities and prevent what I thought was going to be a certain case of record breaking deep vein thrombosis - Squitty Bang Bang's eyes would flash open with a blood curdling wail and I'd have to - as if against the clock in some sort of game show from Hell - try and attempt to manoever a breast out surreptitiously and stick it in his mouth before the guy to my right clocked yet another eyeful.  I would bet money, that even now, if pressed, the fellow could draw from memory a detailed representation of my mammaries.)

Egg, just like on the flight out, was seated one row behind us. However this time it wasn't an impressionable young boy from Leeds who was blessed with an unending stream of aeronautical facts - some of which were true and some which were clearly invented on the spot - but a young nursing mother who I suspect may not have been as eager a listener.
Luckily this boy had Egg to guide him through his first ever plane journey....!

And I also suspect, that despite my most stringent pleading and threatening, Egg once again spent his 9.5 hours watching age inappropriate movies and horrible tat ('Breaking Dawn' anyone?)....urghh.

At any rate, after countless spills of warm orange juice on my lovely camel-coloured cashmere wrap, and sticky fingers from abandoned lollipops stuck throughout my now matted hair, I was ready to disembark.  But I hadn't counted on the descent from hell (that's twice I've used that word...it's got to mean something).

The captain appeared to be playing 'Pin the Plane on the Runway', and I wouldn't have been surprised to have discover that somewhere over the Atlantic an impromptu Tequila shot party had taken place in the cockpit with a few of the more randy Virgin cabin staff.  I mean I've seen those ads on telly...  That is the only excuse I can come up with for what was a three parts comedy/7 parts horror landing.

As I always do in these situations, I looked to the nearest steward to see what her reaction was and the fact that she was white as a ghost and peering anxiously out the window every few seconds did nothing to instill any any confidence.  However I didn't have long to ponder my potential demise.

My stomach was doing those uneasy flips and felt that deep dark nausea edge its way into my guts and it was all I could do not to throw up right then and there.  For the moment the sickness trumped the fear and I just concentrated on keeping my lips tightly pursed.

I needn't have bothered.  Moments later as we clunkily crash-landed onto the runway (thank you Lord) the baby promptly expelled my nipple from his mouth and chucked up all over himself, me, and poor Dumpie who was thankfully passed out and oblivious.

I wanted to die, but instead graciously whispered 'thank you' to the sweet lady beside me who sympathetically handed over her lovely baby blanket for me to sop up the mess.  Her kindness almost made me cry.

Hanging out with Grandpa in the Florida sun
Luckily however, I saved my tears for a half hour later, when I suddenly found myself in the middle of an impromptu row with a furious 'Chav Dad' and several sympathetic female supporters.  You see I had been given the wrong pushchair (identical model and everything) at the gates when we landed and unbeknownst to me this 'Chav Dad' had specially requested that HIS pushchair be brought to the gates, and you can imagine where this is going....

With an "Oi!  You!  That's my pushchair!  What the ______!!" it all began.  I found myself being verbally assaulted in the most horrendous way across several queues in Customs by an almost frothing at the mouth man.  Women starting shouting their support and telling him to shut up which (as with these types of men) only made him angrier.  With tears burning in my eyes I realised it was futile to defend myself and instead frantically began unhooking the baby from the chair and trying to ignore the braying crowd around me. Two officials were suddenly upon the scene and had to escort me away, at which point I did what I almost never do:  I burst into tears.
My world travellers
I don't know whether it was the hours spent traveling with three kids on my own, the fact that my baby and I were covered in vomit, or the fact that a complete stranger (and fellow parent!  WTF?!) had been so vile to me...but whatever it was I couldn't help it.  Thankfully, the story has a happy(ish) ending, as we were escorted to the front of the 200+ person queue, given the next available agent, and our taxi driver was waiting right outside the gates to escort us home into the loving arms of the husband.

You can't ask for more than that.  You also can't ask me to travel several thousand miles on my own with my brood again for a long time.  I mean a long time.
Made it!

First Easter Bunny...lifelong chocolate addiction