Two weeks away from home! With two kids. Without B! My god - did I really manage to do that?! It's not the work I am talking about as much as the fact that I was away from our home environment, without B and actually got through it - which means the kids enjoyed it and cooperated with me.
The start was not so easy though! Boy! The four of us went to the airport. Baby girl was all happy and kutti boy was as always gently poking her cheeks and making shrill noises sitting next to her in the double stroller when we entered the airport. This is a relatively small airport and I went in assuming that things would be more relaxed because it is a small airport. I just did not anticipate that they would not allow B to get a temporary pass and accompany me to the gate! The agent at the check in counter was a middle aged guy with a stern look and he quite firmly told me that their airport was too small and they just did not have the man power to screen people who are not ticket holders! He assured me I would have an airport aid helping me!
I was glad to accept help from this person but my children were certainly not!
We waved bye bye to "Daddy" and I pushed the double stroller to the security gate. I was asked to remove my jacket and shoes and had to do the same for the kids! Goodness! I asked this tall, very young woman (the airport aid) with long black hair and a friendly smile if she could hold baby girl while I got kutti boy out of the stroller. I had to remove KB's shoes and put it in the X-ray bin - the moment I removed his shoes, he started whining loudly "Shoes, Shoes"! I told him I would give it to him in a minute.
"Shoeeeeeees", he cried.
In the meanwhile, baby girl started crying because this woman really did not know how to carry her snugly. I managed to take my shoes and jacket off and put my hand bag into the bin.
"Mammma handbag!" cried KB.
Oh god, he saw his shoes, my shoes, mamma's handbag all going into random bins and disappearing.
He was in tears now.
In this mood, I came for his jacket!
"No...no...Jacket pottukanumaa" he said. Meaning "I want to wear my jacket".
"I will give it to you in a minute".
"Jackkkkkkkkkkkkkett"....Loud crying ensued.
Baby girl crying in the background. I managed to fold the double stroller and dump it on the X-ray path.
I held KB who was now really crying and walked through the gate and out.
I opened the stroller out and strapped both kids after putting their jackets back on and somehow managed to calm them down and walked along with the agent to the gate.
I had to check in the stroller at the gate - so I picked up baby girl and I handed her to the aid and tried to unbuckle KB. Suddenly he resisted and said "Daddddy....Dadddyyyyy" and cried very loudly with tears streaming down. I felt very bad that he was missing his dad and didn't know why dad suddenly disappeared and was not coming with him. We had prepped KB for this and yet he was taken aback by the new person who was holding baby girl and was trying to get him out of his stroller.
Amidst loud wails I got him out and handed the stroller to the agent.
We were the first to board the flight. We had to walk in a zig zag ramp in open air and enter the plane. KB who had calmed down by then was happily walking along saying "zigzag" and looking out at the other planes while a long line of people started coming behind us. I was holding baby girl in one hand and dragging kutti boy with the other. As he was about to enter the plane, our little dreamer put his little foot in the tiny space between the plane and the ramp. He slipped and I tried to get him up but couldn't with one hand. The flight attendant finally stepped forward and tried to hold KB. He screamed as if some monster was grabbing him. But she got him into the plane and we started walking in. Prompted by this foreign invasion into his world, he again started asking for Daddy.
"Daddy is not coming with us Kanna. We are going to see P and L", I told him.
He calmed down a little at that thought and we managed to sit in our seats.
PHEW!!! Now I was praying that the plane should take off on time.
As it neared take off time, the flight attendant came to check if every one had their seat belts on. This was the first time KB had a seat for himself (since he turned two). He was excited to look out the window or stand on his seat and look at the back of the plane. But at that moment, he decided to climb down and sit between the seats.
"Kutti, please come and sit in your seat. You have to wear your seat belt, illati Aunty kochipaa (that lady will get angry with you)".
"Aunty kochipaa" he says with a mischievous smile looking at the flight attendant.
"Kanna, it's not funny. You have to wear your seat belt, come back up. Right now".
"Right now" he says smiling at me!
I put on a strong and stern voice and said "COME!!!".
I had baby girl in my hand who was leaning on me and had almost fallen asleep. I could not move too much. Next to me was an older Chinese guy who was in his own world with head phones and listening to music. No help there!
Finally I had no choice but to hand over baby girl to the attendant and use brute force to get KB into his seat and buckled. Baby girl was now rudely woken from her nap and not only that she was held in the most awkward position - her entire body facing up! So she started wailing, looking very annoyed at being disturbed from her cozy position and being exposed to the cold.
After what seemed like eternity, KB was in his seat, baby girl fell asleep in my arms and the plane took off.
In the couple of minutes I had before take off, I called B and told him to book tickets in the same flight for my return journey. I did not want to go through this again on the return flight, more so, I did not want to put the kids through this if I could help it.
OK, I will stop here! For those who were curious about how my flight went - I wrote this. Turned out to be a long and vivid description. I have to begin the week - without mom or B during the day. I am glad to be home and I hope the kids fall back into routine and enjoy the feeling of home. Will continue about my trip in the next post.