Sunday, August 19, 2007

Excess baggage

From a few weeks back

I ignore the announcement that blares every 5 minutes, warning passengers to remain in possession of their luggage at all times, as we are all on high alert. The three hour check in for international flights is a trial indeed and that’s before we enter the nightmare of the flight itself.

One of them makes a break for freedom, so I abandon my bag [translation = purse] and leg it after him like greased lightening. Him not me. Spouse commands the other two to stay put, lifts my bag and runs on after us. We work on the theory that four old legs may possibly be better than two small fast ones. We have managed to keep our children entertained in the airport for just over two hours but we blinked. I curse his growth over the last year which has meant that the baby reins wouldn’t fit. How dare he be six and a half. We stagger after Mister Frisky until we corner our prey at a fortunate dead end. I attempt a calm tone, and entice him with Goldfish crackers, as it wouldn’t be the first time that he’s slipped through our fingers or legs. My son manages a very realistic impression of someone who has just stuck wet fingers in an electrical socket. I decide to ignore the rule, abandon the campaign and lift him to my hip. This destroys the three year campaign that no-one shall ever be carried again under any circumstances, again. We beat a hasty retreat back to the two abandoned ones, the children not the luggage.

We arrive just in time before our luggage is seized as abandoned and our children are taken into care as neglected. They consume the last biscuit in the packet of bribes. We collapse in a heap on our baggage.
“What on earth have you got in here?” he says in an unnecessarily accusatory fashion as he unceremoniously off loads my bag onto the floor.
“Oh just the essentials, you know, the usual.”
“Why is it so much heavier?”
“Because the children are so much bigger.” I realize that this is not particularly helpful and somewhat obscure.
“I know, lets play ‘what’s in mummy’s handbag’ guys.” I pay no heed, as I know that would be a boring game and my privacy will not be challenged. Three small pairs of eyes turn their attention to my handbag. I have the sudden realization, that with developments just lately, maybe my emergency hidey hole of magic tricks might be in jeopardy. His hand drops into the abyss and pulls out the cell phone.
“Why do you have this? You know it won’t work in England?”
“So that I can take pictures,” I lie. He eyes me with care. He debates whether I have had the time and opportunity to go on a ‘how to turn your cell phone on’ course? He gives me the benefit of the doubt.
“What’s this then?” waggling a smallish plastic bag.
“Emergency braces equipment,” I explain truthfully.
“Why have you brought a toothbrush?” I look at him blankly, uncertain how to respond. Ever since the braces were cemented in place, I have never left the house without a slightly furry toothbrush. “It’s only a ten hour flight!” he adds. My blank face turns to a delicate shade of vacant. How can anyone exist on the planet or in the atmosphere, wearing braces and not have need for a toothbrush at three hour intervals? He reaches in again to bring out a handful of oddments to the delighted squalks of the children. “What is all this junk?” he attempts to ask as three small people mob and rob.
“Those are all the things I’ve confiscated, hidden or holding hostage.” I grin and show my incredibly clean braces to my spouse, as three small people are in the rapt attention of contraband. Maybe we’ll make it onto the plane safely after all? He taps the side of the bag, feels around, as you do when you’re trying to work out what your present is under the wrapping. “What’s this then?”
“Ah. Well that’s the emergency camera in case the cell phone doesn’t work!”

Penance - I solemnly swear that I will read both the user manuals on my return.

If you're curious as to why a child should run away, or why I've not had time to read the manuals, check in "here."


Linda said...

Wow - I don't carry a handbag or purse even when I'm traveling so I'm afraid that if some time were in need of being killed at the airport, we'd be up the creek on that count. Good thing you had such an entertaining tool at your disposal, though! It's a good thing you carry such an assortment of goodies!

Hammer said...

Travelling with kids is a nighmare, heck travelling by myself is a nightmare.

Jeni said...

You don't ever want to even think about looking in my purse -for anything! I've lost track now of all the "valuable" things I have stashed away in there. Two things though I know are missing - money and food. Oh well, such is life, I guess.

Carol said...

Can't wait to hear about the actual flight!! Airports with children (and husband) can be nightmare-ish! Love your wit!

Skewedview said...

First, I think I would have my hand amputated by the swift closure of my spouses purse should I go for a good peruse.

Second, I flew last week with a Canadian couple, who were toting two toddlers. They sat right next to me. As they were trudging down the aisle towards me, my mind was screaming "NO!" Oddly enough I was impressed with their parenting skills, especially after I found out the wee ones had been going since three that morning (it was very late morning at that point) with out naps. I chastised myself for my quick judgment.
I imagine you to be cut from the same cloth.
I hope the trip went well and was uneventful.