As it’s been clearly documented, I just love flying.
Seriously, even I annoy myself.
But this time, on top of my own butt clenching, palm sweating, tongue numbing fear to fly, I had a whole slue of other things to worry about.
Namely, the task of getting three children to the airport, through security, and in the air.
I’m not going to lie here, I am one of those people who found themselves up at 3am, 20 links deep into articles of TSA gorilla style groping and scare tactics, and after my second hour of you tube videos, I was gathering my torch and pitchfork.
Like I didn’t have enough to worry about at the airport?
Now we have the possibility of my kids losing their shit in the middle of Security because some asshole with a name tag is feeling inside the waist of their pants, and dude, I am a horrible actor, at no point could I pretend to be ok with that.
Andy, please, let’s just drive, it’ll be fine, we’ll borrow some car dvd players, it will be an adventure.
We’re not driving 18 hours when we could fly there in 2, the tickets are non refundable, I don’t care how much xanax you have to take to get yourself on the plane, just take it.
I knew things were off to a stellar start when we arrived to find that all of Spirit’s computer systems were down, nation wide.
The line was wrapped around the airport, as they were handwriting boarding passes like it was straight 1900s and we were riding on a bi-plane.
I halved the 1mg emergency xanax in my pocket and let it dissolve on my tongue while trying to maintain control of the kids.
I have no idea how much longer we will have to wait.
Stop touching people we aren‘t related to.
No, we aren’t on an airplane yet.
Yes, I am hungry also.
I have no idea what’s on that old lady’s neck, it’s looks like melanoma, but really, it’s none of my business, so let’s just stop asking out loud, ok?
Three checked car seats, two checked bags, and one checked double stroller later, we made our way to security, poor and exhausted.
I made sure we were all in metal free clothing. No zippers, buttons, clasps or buckles.
Leggings for all, the terrorists win.
We made it through unscathed, redressed ourselves, and hunted down some soft pretzels for the kids as we watched planes from our gate.
By the second take off, Jude decided he changed his mind. He doesn’t want to fly in a airplane.
And while I may have thought, you and me both, man, I found myself in pep talk mode.
It’s just like driving in a car, only in the air, with wings, and you totally don’t fall out of the sky, it’s completely safe, they give you nuts and soda, it’s super fun.
By the time we reached cruising altitude, Gigi had vomited down the front of Andy, who was then trapped in his seat by an oblivious flight attendant and her beverage cart.
When she finally wheeled away, I saw Andy staring at me across the aisle, screamy, puke soaked baby in hand, saying…now what?
You take this tiny baggie of almost dried out baby wipes into that sardine can of a bathroom and wipe the baby off so she stops screaming, and then, if you find you have any wipes left, scrub the mushed up food and curded milk off the front of your shirt and pray it like hell it doesn’t happen again, that‘s what.
You see, Andy, having never flown with children, had been living in this delusion that shiny toys and video games would tide them over long enough so they didn’t throw a fit and bring the plane down, heck, he even brought magazines to read and pass the time. You know, in case he got bored. He never once considered motion sickness, or that the king size Kit Kat he used to lure them down the jet way would eventually backfire down the front of him.
By the time he returned to his seat, he was green.
And then, the turbulence started.
He handed me the baby.
Something was wrong.
His body was numb. He couldn’t move his arms. His chest felt weird.
What is wrong with you?
I don’t know, I think I am having a heart attack.
Seriously, I am all numb.
You are probably just stressed between the baby and the bumpiness.
Nah, this stuff doesn’t bug me, there is something seriously wrong with me.
Um ok, should I ask if there is a doctor in the house?
This isn’t funny.
I’m not being funny, Andy, I have three kids on my lap, and I took a vote and we all think the plane is going to crash, so, you dying of cardiac arrest 14 billion miles above the earth is totally gonna stress me out right now.
Andy threw up into the tiny white paper bag.
I took the other half of my xanax and used my spit to force it down my throat.
Two hours later, we began to descend. Andy, pale and holding onto his second glass of $9 ginger ale, me, a shell of my former self, with pit stains three small children clinging to me, and the contents of my purse spread across a tray table, including all six top secret governmental tampon rocket launchers.
The moment we touched down, Wyatt looked at me to tell me his ears hurt…and then threw up all over my legs.
On the one hour van ride to The Villages, where Andy’s parents live, he and the kids slept.
I stared out the window as we weaved through cookie cutter stucco neighborhoods, passing golf cart after golf cart, strategically placed mature palm tree after palm tree.
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky.
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one,
And a blue one and a yellow one.
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same.
We pulled into a house completely unremarkable from the ones around it, lugged in our bags, and collapsed on the bed.
He apologized for being utterly useless on the plane, and said he truly thought he was having a heart attack.
I brought him half a xanax, welcomed him to his first panic attack, and let him spend the rest of the night in the fetal position telling me how weird the pill was making him feel, and how he is pretty sure he was high.
I decided Andy would need to get his own xanax.
I’ve never been good at sharing, and the .5 dose was clearly too strong for his normally mentally stable, there’s only one crazy person in this family, man brain.
Had I given him the full 1mg, he would have spent the evening in a diaper, nursing from my teet.
And, I need another one of those, like I need a hole in my head.