Part One: And Then She Began To Whistle.

These days I only make it back home once a year. I used to visit way more often, but with geography and kids and million dollar plane tickets, Christmas was the last man standing.

And, we’ve only made the journey by car. Until this year, when I pictured myself on a five hour drive with two energetic boys and came to three hours later wandering the streets and begging someone to hold me. Upon returning home, I promptly bought three plane tickets, breathed a sigh of relief, and yelled “wheels up bitches!” to my dogs.

– – –

Day one: The Departure

Contrary to my usual disorganized but totally charming ways, I stayed up late the night before prepping and packing. Before turning in, I lined up our things neatly by the door so I could focus solely on yelling at my children the next day. As I was falling asleep an odd feeling washed over me, which turned out to be nothing more than me feeing like an adult.

The next morning I got both boys in the tub using my calm and patient Montessori voice. In fact, I was so well prepared I even had time to snap a few photos and talk my dogs, who’d been pacing back and forth next to my suitcase, off their sad little ledge of despair.

The trip had yet to even begin and already I’d made it my bitch.

We sang Christmas songs in unison on the way to the airport and arrived way early. I should note that the first part of that sentence is a lie. But we did in fact arrive early, giving us ample time for the airport gift shop to bend us over and give us a good old fashioned price gouging.

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We headed over to check our bags and that’s when it happened. Just as I began feeling confident enough to whistle, the first red flag appeared. Our ticket said we were flying out of Terminal B, but our airline was out of Terminal C.

Hmmm.

(Terminal confusion is relevant to my life in more ways than one.)

I laughed at their silly inefficient little system, wondered why everyone couldn’t be blessed with my brand of togetherness, then hopped on the train to Terminal C.

Once I’d arrived, I entered the confirmation number into the baggage kiosk, answered one million questions, and waited for our labels to print. And that’s when I tripped over the second red flag, landing flat on my face.

“We’re sorry. We are unable to process your request.”

What the…

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

“We’re sorry. We are unable to process your request.”

Stupid machines. LOL. Come on kids, follow me. 

Three error messages later I approached a real life person. Equally confused, she and I stood there for who knows how long, cocking our heads from side to side like two dogs desperately trying to understand english. Finally, another real life human noticed, walked over, and snatched my boarding pass.

In painfully slow motion he looked up at me with pity, or disgust, or possibly both, and said, “This flight is out of Hobby. Not Intercontinental. Mam, you are at the wrong airport.”

*Record scratch*

In unison, much like the Christmas songs we didn’t really sing, both my kids began to scream hysterically because now they were going to miss Christmas.

I think the take away here is obvious: Never ever start to fucking whistle. Or at least not until those wheels are actually up.

 – – –

Part 2, “Will someone please slap an unaccompanied minor sticker on this bitch?” to follow.

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