|Yep, made it on the flight.|
Yesterday's travels capped off an otherwise stellar week with simply abysmal airport conditions. (I realize it's rather bougie to complain about expensive travel- and jaunts that get us home safely, at that- but permit me the post-holiday catharsis of a good ol' transit whine.)
I was already feeling rather mopey about leaving the homestead. Not only was it wonderful to see my family and spend Christmas with everyone, but it was so darned NICE to not be the one in charge. I didn't do a single load of laundry (yet I had neatly folded piles by my room each night), didn't cook one meal (yet ate full to bursting every hour on the hour), and maybe washed one cup (but used eleventy hundred). I napped. I showered. People held Suzy and entertained Nora. There were movies, Mario Kart tournaments, fires in the fireplace, anthologies read, and more than one platter of cookies demolished by me personally.
You understand my hesitation to leave.
But leave we did. To Albany International Airport, to be exact. Usually heading through their security is a skip through a [short] field of daisies. But not yesterday. After a positively Clampett-like dragging of all worldly possessions through the baggage check-in line (seriously, it was like we had one pair of shared hands between us, and they were newly acquired. Thank God Susannah was tied to me, or she might have been left in the car. We had no idea what our deal was, nor why we were completely unable to manage our disproportionate number of bags), we finally made it to the security check point.
Which wrapped eighteen times til Tuesday back over the drop-off overpass. For they were using one scanner- for the entire airport. One. Three lines, one scanner. (Even Chicago's Midway, at its absolute worst, uses at least four.) So we waited in that line until WELL past when our plane boarded. We even (inadvisably) got into two separate lines (me with Zuzu, Peej with NJ), to see if we could "race" and have at least half of our family board the darned plane.
Unfortunately, Nora became aware of this plan once the two parties were neatly separated by about a hundred exhausted and be-luggaged travelers. And she thought that this meant I wasn't coming home with her. And no amount of reasoning could convince her otherwise. And so she had a fit. (Causing the elderly grandmotherly type in front of P.J. to turn and shoot them dirty looks for the rest of this venture.)
Suzy, for her part, was sleeping nicely in her sling this whole time. This might be directly due to the fact that, while sliding out of the sling/hanging on for dear life, she may or may not have been losing oxygen. Either way, by that point I was fairly convinced that I was carrying at least two unrelated persons' baggage.
We were then cut off by a twentysomething girl who informed everyone that her plane was boarding. (Yeah, she was on our flight.) I informed her that half the line was on that flight (for we had all been talking). She smiled vapidly and continued to cut her way to the front. I almost threw Susannah's shoe at her. No one's that pretty.
We went through the scanner with little incident- except for the moment when I had to be reminded that I had a baby strapped to me. And she needed to be removed. Whoops. (I don't even know if I was wearing pants at this point, I was so brain dead. Just kept removing things. Except the child.)
Made it through security at roughly the same time as Peej and Nora. Double whoops. Absolutely booked it down to our gate. Forget numbered boarding- we had missed boarding altogether. And the gate was empty. We barely made it on the flight, but thankfully the gate attendant let us through.
"Wow," he said incredulously. "This is an all-baby flight! You're like the sixth one!"
Amazingly, there were three seats left together on the entire flight. And they were in the coveted last row before the bathroom. (I wouldn't have cared if we were on the wing by now, I was just desperate to sit down. And to see if Suzy had fallen out on the sprint.)
Aside from a ridiculously turbulent takeoff ("This is it," I announced to a crazed P.J., at least three times), the flight was pretty okay. If you don't count the fact that Susannah filled her diaper the moment we sat down and, due to the lack of changing table in the bathroom, didn't get so fresh and so clean clean for another two hours. Which I don't.
Last ones off the plane (which, I'm pretty sure, is good luck) and last ones to the baggage area- except for the gal with the orange lips and fedora who almost kicked Nora as she tripped over her and expressed her disdain for all things humanity. (Peej berated her and [edited] suggested that she go think about how to be a nicer person. He received passerby applause.)
Made it to the shuttle in time to awkwardly struggle with two bags, four carry-ons, and two overtired girls. The driver barely waited for me to clear the partition before he shut the doors. (Note to shuttle bus drivers: If you see a woman with a baby (sorta) tied to her, struggling to heft luggage onto a bus, fling a diaper bag into a seat, and prevent a toddler from falling back into the road- and all you do is avert your eyes, you know you're kind of a wad.)
But we made it to our car. Fed/cleaned/buckled at least two children inside. Got home just in time for bedtime (two hours late). While Peej made a grocery run, I mopped the floors and completely unpacked. (For I am clinically insane.) Begged the newly home P.J. to help me change all the sheets. (For I was desperate for a non-catified bed.)
And slept like the dead.
Until Susannah decided to wake up, two hours later.
And then again, every hour on the hour.
(It's good to be home.)