Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm a Pistol Packin' Mama!

Mr. Sweetie and I took a one-day trip to Canada last week. The plane left at the ungodly hour of 6 A.M. (!) so we had to be at the airport an hour ahead to check in for an international flight.

For those of you keeping score, the distance from St. Paul to Canada is just Not! That! Far! Physically, culturally, Canada is like the third Twin City. Anyway, we pulled into the airport at 4:45 and were inside three minutes later. Piece of cake, right? Except.

Minnesota is Northwest Airline territory. 99 and 44/100% of all flights out of Minneapolis are Northwest. Which is in bankruptcy. With its mechanics on strike. And its flight attendants about to go. So, even though there are A
LOT of people in NWA uniforms at the airport at 5 a.m., none of them are working.

Which means that even though we got to the airport check-in line at 4:50 A.M. (!), we still had to wait in line for HALF AN HOUR!!! to get checked in. And we didn't even have any luggage.

You know what? Airline travel is really like riding a bus these days. We got upgraded to first class (Thank you, frequent flier miles!), all that meant was slightly more room, and two bags of peanuts for what should have been a breakfast flight. And since those British terrorists have ruined it for all of us, we couldn't even buy breakfast and bring it on the plane ourselves.

But--lest I sound grumpy and dissatisfied--it was a great trip. We went to Canada for a reason (that's for another time) and it was a glorious day, our business was completed in a VERY satisfactory way, and we returned to the airport with plenty of time to eat, buy souvenirs for the kidlets, and be together.

Most excitingly, however, my purse got pulled out of the x-ray machine, and handed over to a TSA guy for personal inspection. I was pretty certain there was nothing of any interest in there, so I was interested in what they were looking for. My wallet came out--it's a big thing, with a compartment in the back where I stored my iPod. My glasses case came out--it's a solid clamshell sort of thing, and the inspector opened it outward, with his face turned away--I almost expected fake snakes to come popping out. I had a digital camera, some assorted papers, and I was cleared to go.

Very nicely, the TSA inspector offered to show us what had prompted the search, and he turned the monitor around. Inside my backpack style purse, my digital camera had tipped up against my wallet, which was made opaque by the shitload of change I had in the change compartment. It really looked like a handgun.

I'm more dangerous than I ever knew!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Lessons Of The Sleeves

I never imagined how hard it would be to be a mother. The way these kidlets are central to my heart was something I had expected--what I am constantly surprised by is the way that I am so fiercely protective. It causes me a literal physical pain when I see my darling, my wonderful, my so painfully fragile little ones confront the hard things in life.

When the Pony was a tiny little baby--about four months old--there was nothing she hated more than sleeves. She'd lie on the changing table, smiling and happy, until it was time to put her arms into sleeves, and then she would cry and cry and CRY.

I was rather proud of myself for persisting. I was even able to say to her "Honey, if sleeves are the worst thing that happens to you, you are one lucky girl." I'm sure she understood me, right?

But still! Every hard lesson comes at a price--paid by me! I want to keep them safe, even more than I want it for myself. But you can't.

I mean that. Literally. You can't.

The other day, the Bunny was taking a shower. I was in the very! next! room! when I heard a blood curdling scream. The shrieking! The decibles! It was unbelievable! It was the kind of sound you'd expect to hear when a knife wielding hocky mask wearing psycho rips aside the shower curtain. The sound when a face pushes its way out of the wall and intones the warnings of an oncoming hell.

It was, in fact, the sound of shampoo in the eye.

I guess, if life is safe, the little things feel as invasive as the truly horrible things feel to the average person. This, my chickadees, is the lesson of the sleeves.