Well, I’m home.
I’d have updated yesterday but if I had, my entry would have read something like this: dklfkjl fadklur tired arkludoul tired tired tired fkljafdkl.
Because I was exhausted. I had to wake up early and I just don’t handle early very well. My Mom took us to the airport and we hugged goodbye. It’s not a long farewell though. In a few weeks we’ll be coming back to Texas because we’re all going to the beach for a mini family reunion. Still, it’s never easy to say goodbye to Mom. Even though we’re both very different people—I liken her to a hippy because she’s practically in love with all of her plants and her bugs and I can’t grow anything no matter how hard I try and insects make me screech—we love each other very much.
After I found our gate number I figured we could go and eat some breakfast since we had time to kill. I picked Duncin Donuts because it’s one of my favorite places. We don’t have a Duncin Donuts around here. The poor state of Wyoming is confused and doesn’t think we need one. But they are wrong. Everyone needs a Duncin Donuts.
And oh, that’s another way my Mom and I differ: she prefers healthy food and looks a tad horrified when I chomp down on a Big Mac. Of course she enjoys the junk food but she just prefers the green stuff.
I picked up three chocolate donuts with sprinkles—because everything is better with sprinkles—and a strawberry coolata to wash it down.
I set the donuts in front of my kids and Natalie just poked at hers. I watched as she picked out the sprinkles and stuck those in her mouth and left everything else.
After we ate we headed back to our gate and waited. I brought out the coloring books and the kids started to color. All was well until Natalie decided she didn’t want to color anymore and that she wanted to leave.
“Bye,” she said and then started to walk away.
I grabbed her arm. “I don’t think so. We have to wait for our airplane,” I said sternly.
“GOODBYE!” Natalie bellowed into my poor eardrum that has been abused more times than I care to count by her screams. Tommy, my first born, was never this vocal.
I dug through my bag of entertainment. It was stuffed with various books and small toys to keep my children amused. It was also crammed with clothes because I didn’t want to have to check anything onto the airplane. As I was rooting through it trying to find one of Natalie’s creepy Yo Gabba Gabba toys, I accidentally bumped a pair of my underwear out and it rolled a few inches right near a man’s boot. If the man had been reading it wouldn’t have been any big deal. He probably wouldn’t have even noticed. But he was just sitting there and he watched as my orange polka dotted panties nearly flew over his toes.
With a flaming face, I quickly grabbed them and stuck them back in the bag. I peeked up to see who else saw and it appeared that a woman across the way had because her face was all puckered up in a horrified manner and she tossed me a sympathetic look when she met my eye.
The man was just frozen in place. His eyes were widened and he didn’t move for a few seconds as though he were worried more undergarments were going to rain over him. Finally he cleared his throat and made a point to look in the other direction. I can picture him telling his friends later on So I was at the airport and this woman threw her panties at me... because that would made a better story than This woman was going through her bag looking for a toy to shut her kid up and she accidentally pushed her underwear out for all to see...
Great. Now people are going to think that passengers throw their underpants at the San Antonio airport. It’s going to become a legend and men are going to look pointedly at women waiting for them to bring out their panties.
I finally found Natalie’s toy and thrust it at her.
“Look. Here’s Foofa. Foofa wants you to stop crying and be nice to your Mommy.” I waved the strange pink creature at Natalie, who regarded it for a few seconds before finally deciding to take it. She did give me a dirty look though as she hugged the thing to her chest. Really, the teenage years are going to be so much fun.
We were allowed to board a few minutes later. We found our seats and this is where more trouble began. Natalie doesn’t seem to like the seatbelts. It gave us issues when we flew down to Texas. I don’t know if she believes that she’s too good for them or what. Or maybe she already has the mindset that if we crash, we’re probably all goners anyhow and a seatbelt really isn’t going to help much.
“We have to put this on,” I said as I struggled to clasp it around her waist.
“NO!” Natalie screeched into my ear again.
You know the sound that those machines in the hospital make when someone flat lines? That’s basically the sound that my ears make whenever Natalie hollers into them.
I eventually distracted Natalie by singing a song from Yo Gabba Gabba about liking bugs which is ironic since I hate them. But Natalie grinned up at me as I tightened the belt around her and sang in an off key voice.
“I like bugs....I like bugs....I like bugs, I like bugs!” I crooned. I knew the passengers around me were staring but I didn’t care at that point. When you have children you humiliate yourself on a daily basis and start to barely even notice.
We took off a few minutes later. Without kids I usually grip the armrests and squeeze my eyes shut. It helps me to calm down. But when I have kids I can’t shut my eyes or else they could take that as an opportunity to escape. So what I do is force a smile on my face and pretend that I LOVE to fly—because I can’t have them being terrified over it. That would only make things MORE difficult for me. So I always say in a wobbly voice, “Here we go! We’re going into the air!” even though what I want to scream is, “THIS IS TOO HIGH! IS THE PLANE SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING THAT NOISE? IS THAT FIRE ON THE WING?”
I’m basically tense for the first thirty minutes because I read that if a plane is going to crash that it usually happens within the first twenty minutes of the flight. So I’m sitting there with clammy palms with the fake smile on my face until I feel that it’s safe to breathe an air of relief.
I brought out the portable DVD player—aka The Thing that Helps with my Sanity—and I popped in Yo Gabba Gabba. Then I brought out my magazine and started to read all about those insane housewives of New Jersey. It must be strange to live in a house done in onyx and marble. I’d be afraid to move. I know I’d break something.
I was so busy reading that I didn’t hear Natalie speak at first.
“All done,” she was saying. “All done.” Then I realized she had shut the DVD player and was trying to climb out of her seat.
Okay, that thing was meant to keep her entertained for the entire two hour flight.
At that point we still had an hour left and I was running out of entertainment.
“Want to color?” I wondered hopefully.
Natalie shook her head. “NO!”
“Err...want your Yo Gabba Gabba toys?”
The guy in front of us jumped in his seat. I think he was sleeping until my daughter lovingly woke him up.
“Here’s your Disney cell phone. You love your Disney cell phone!” I waved it in front of her and was hoping she’d grab it and have one of her famous gibberish phone conversations with a princess that she usually does. (It’s stinking cute too. She’ll walk around with the phone pressed to her ear going, “Yeah. No. *unintelligible words here* Princess happy! Okay. Goodbye!” Then she’ll snap the phone shut and strut around as though she’s some important lawyer or something.)
“Here’s a Backyardigans book! Mommy will read this to you, okay?” I continued. I opened it and started to read.
“NO BOOK!” Natalie knocked it from my hands and gave me a dirty look.
I realized that the woman across from us had paused in her reading and was staring.
“I’m sorry,” I felt the need to say to her. “She’s two.”
She nodded knowingly. I use this explanation a lot and most people instantly understand. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Natalie turns three.
I leaned over to Natalie who was pouting in her seat with her arms across her chest. “We don’t act this way,” I reminded her. “What is it that you want to do?”
Then the little minx eyed my magazine. I gave it to her because I imagine the guy in front of us wanted to go back to sleep. So she flipped through it and acted as though she totally recognized who Britney Spears was (“it’s a girl!” I heard her mumble as she gazed at her picture) and then she wrinkled her nose when she got to the section where it discussed what type of shorts you should be wearing this season (I guess I’m not wearing the right shorts. But there is no way I’m going to walk out of the house in neon orange bottoms. No way in hell.)
Finally, mercifully, the captain’s voice rang overhead.
“We’re about to make our decent to Denver,” he said in a deep voice. “We have to wait for clearance so it’ll be about forty minutes before we can land. There is deep cloud coverage and we have to wait our turn.”
What? Cloud coverage? I gave a loud sigh. I was obviously home again. Back to the land of clouds and wind and rain.
And FORTY MINUTES? At that point I just wanted to get off the plane. Natalie was getting bored with the magazine no matter how often I showed her a picture of Danielle, a deranged housewife of New Jersey who has a penchant for having sex in public places and for stirring up drama. Oh, and she totally reminds me of a tiger for some reason. Her eyebrows are raised so that she always looks startled and her face just has that cat-like look, no doubt from all the Botox she’s injected into it.
I started humming some more Yo Gabba Gabba songs and when I’d finish Natalie would say, “Again!” So I’d start again and by the time we finally landed my throat was raw.
We got off the plane and had to head to the train that would take us to where my husband would be waiting.
The Denver airport can be a little confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully I’ve gone through it several times so I know exactly where to go for the train.
And by the way, the train has an attitude because this one old lady was standing by the train doors and this bitchy overhead voice said, “Please step away from the doors. YOU are delaying the departure of this train.”
We finally made it to our area and got on the escalader that would take us to Tom—and then there he was, leaning against the tiny silver gate that surrounds the arrival section. He nodded towards us and it would have been lovely had he run over with his arms outstretched and mumbling something like, “My beloved family! How I’ve MISSED you!” but that’s just not who he is. Plus, we had only been apart three days.
“Here. Let me,” he said and thankfully took the gigantic entertainment bag from my shoulder that was actually starting to strangle my neck.
Then we headed for the car and back to our home. I knew I’d have to get used to being around him all over again—he had been gone for two and a half months at a military dog training school in Texas which is one reason we had gone to see him in the first place—to see him graduate.
As I slid in the passenger seat of the car I took a deep breath.
Here we go. Back to real life....back to living with a man again...