Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Journey Outward

The good news is, D1 is a great little traveler. She loves airports, she loves flight attendants, and she doesn't seem to have much trouble with ear pressure.

The bad news is, I still am not. Especially not on descent in a small plane. So on our first flight I got sick, and then as often happens these days, got a nosebleed. With nothing in reach but the now-used airsick bag. And no flight attendants available because we were landing. Meanwhile D1 was finally starting to announce that she had had enough sitting in the car seat, thank you very much, but she finally got interested in her book again and remained relatively calm.

After we landed the flight attendants and even pilot were very kind and helped us get off the plane, set up the jury-rigged stroller/car seat combo (my friend who loaned me the stroller didn't have the car seat that was meant to attach to it, so I had to strap mine on with bungee cords), and head out. Trying to explain the problem, I commented, "I get these nosebleeds a lot when I'm pregnant, I don't know why."

Just as I was saying that, though, one of the attendants exclaimed, "You're pregnant?" (Guess it's still not too obvious.) So it sounded to them as if I was saying I didn't know why I was pregnant. I think I more than paid them for their helpfulness in amusement.

By the time I had fed D1 (now I know to always do this on the plane, not between flights) and transversed the many miles of Minneapolis airport, initially going the wrong way at every turn, I was far too late to pre-board the next flight. So I struggled to disassemble the stroller in the crowded jetway. A gentleman kindly offered to haul some of my stuff, and we got on board and settled. Then we got unsettled when the stewardess came by and pointed out D1's seat needed to be against the window, where an older businessman was sitting. He was nice enough about it.

By this time I was starving and had had no time to buy anything while crossing the airport. I settled in and anticipated the rubber chicken and limp vegetables, or at least a bland sandwich, that had been provided the last time I flew. And then the announcement came on and I discovered that, as a security measure, all food substances that originate in carbon-based life forms are now banned from commercial flights. The only thing available was a box of junk food for $3. Well, it would have to do.

I looked for my purse. It wasn't there. Checked under the seat, under the diaper bag, under my coat. Wasn't there. Checked again. I began having visions of the confusion in the jetway--I remembered setting it down on the diaper bag, but not picking it up again. I tried to imagine how I would survive the flight without food, or how I would ever return home without my ID. I explained the situation to the gentleman next to me, who kindly offered to buy me a snack box, and also suggested we ask the flight attendant to call back to the jetway and see if they could find it. We did this, the flight attendant asked the pilot to call back, and then, for reasons I cannot now recall, I reached down between me and D1's car seat. There was my purse.

The rest of the flight went just fine, and we arrived in good order.

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