Wednesday, August 13, 2008

dutch. denver. devil wears a tsa uniform.

this weekend dutch and i embarked on our long awaited trip to denver together. zach wasn't able to make the trip so it was just me and little man. now, i realize, as a mom traveling solo with a little one, there is a certain amount of inconvenience involved in this process. mostly for other people, and i had done all i could do to pack minimally and make the process as easy as it could be. all prayed up for favor with any and all nearby passengers, we headed to the airport on friday. my theory was, if i don't get stressed out, dutch won't get stressed out. and i have to say, my little angel did great!

i was pleasantly surprised when we got to the security line and the tsa lady got up from her post and called a co-worker over to help me take apart my travel system stroller and car seat in order to get it all through the x-ray machine. she also helped me reassemble everything on the other side. and she called me 'honey'. anytime a black woman calls me "honey" i feel happy.

once on the plane, we were surrounded by lovely ladies who chatted me up whilst letting dutch climb all over them and pull on their various pieces of jewelry. everyone commented on how good my little man was on the plane as they disembarked and i beamed with pride.

denver was awesome. my best friend from high school, katie, whom i hadn't seen in over 2 years since our high school reunion, is still as amazing and wonderful as ever. it was like no time had passed. i love friends like that. they are few and therefore even more special to me. aaron, her new husband of one week, was equally amazing; such a sweetheart, and he and dutch bonded immediately. he builds custom motorcycles in his spare time, and after having looked at two such bikes, i just know he will be madly successful once he gets his business off the ground.

we decided to ride together out to yuma (aka BFE, Colorado) for the wedding reception we were attending on Saturday. dutch did so well the entire time, despite staying up late, missing naps, and sleeping in two different hotel rooms in strange cribs in as many nights. this kid was born to travel.

the time came to come back to dallas all too soon and we headed back to the airport to return my car. to my surprise, avis offered to drive us straight to the airport in the car so that we didn't have to try and navigate the rental car bus, which i thought was really really nice of them.

now comes the part that has instilled a loathing of sorts for denver tsa uniformed women. denver has a very good and efficient set up for getting a ton of people through the security line quickly, and before my turn, i was very impressed. knowing what to expect this time, i had taken dutch's shoes off and put them in my bag, pulled out all my "liquids in the baggy", and unbuckled dutch from his seat to make a quick exchange. as i struggle one handed to pull apart my travel system meanwhile informing the guy behind me that he is more than welcome to go past me, i see the security agent in her ill fitting tsa uniform glaring at me. great! i put all my stuff in the little bins and take the car seat off the stroller and take dutch out. somehow, i am able to get the car seat onto the conveyor belt one handed and inform the lady that the stroller won't fit through the x-ray machine (i know this because it didn't fit in dallas either, they had to push it through and scan it with the wand). apparently this lady did not believe me and told me to 'put. it. on. the. belt.' sure, okay.

the car seat was having issues getting through the machine and the lady tells me i have to fix it so that it will go through. this is a two handed effort and so having no alternative, i have to set dutch on the nasty airport floor where people with naked sweaty feet have been walking all day long. i quickly fix the car seat and see it safely through the machine, and quickly pick up the kid thankful that he hadn't had time to crawl anywhere.

back to the stroller. also a two handed effort. put the kid back on the floor and collapse the stroller and try to put it on the belt in a position that it might magically fit. pick up the kid off the floor again, as the lady informs me that the pint size hoodie in the bottom of the stroller needs to be taken out and put on the machine separately. which of course, requires me to take it off the belt and with two hands mind you, open it back up, take out the potentially life threatening hoodie and re-collapse the stroller. as i throw it on the belt i see in my peripheral dutch zero in on a rebel goldfish cracker lying under the x-ray machine and start crawling towards it.

pick up the kid and turn to see that yes, i was right, there is no way the stroller is going to fit through the machine. the tsa lady glaringly says to me with a sigh 'put it back together and push it through'. yeah, remember me telling you not less than 3 minutes ago that it wouldn't fit. as i put the kid back on the floor and open up the stroller for the nth time, i mentally tick off the various diseases he is probably picking up right now. syphilis - check. hepatitis a, b AND c - check, check and check. west nile - check. finally we get through the line and i am left with a pile of stuff to pick up and put together. thank God we are done, right? ha!

the lady holds up my diaper bag and asks if it's mine (as if the business man behind me might be the owner instead) and begins to rummage through it, taking out everything i had so painstakingly put in there so that it would all fit. she finally finds the object of her search, a jar of earth's best bananas. yes, i was planning on a hostile take over of the plane using a jar of baby food, thank God you uncovered my plan before i hurt anyone.

satisfied with her find, she glares at me one more time for good measure before shoving everything back into the bag 'willy nilly' and proceeds to try and hand it to me as i am trying to put my shoes back on, hold onto dutch and grab my car seat all at the same time. if looks could kill, there would be a dead woman in an ill fitting tsa uniform laying on the floor in the denver airport.

the worst behind us, we made it to our gate only to find that our flight was running 1.5 hours late. we hung out and dutch crawled on the carpet picking up the rest of the diseases he hadn't already caught in the security line. he was enthralled with the moving walkway and that may have been the saving grace of the entire wait. two hours later, when my little traveler had reached his limit, we were reduced to walking circles in the terminal waiting to board.

once on the plane, we are informed that we are going to wait for another late plane to arrive so we can take on more passengers. having tired completely of his toys, i am forced to use my creativity and viola, find gold in the form of a plastic barf bag in the back of one of the seats. they should sell these things at babies r' us, he LOVED it! 45 minutes of barf bag fun, and the other passengers board and we are off to dallas. finally.

we got home at 1230 the next morning and i cannot tell you how happy i was to walk in our back door and put my sweet little man in his own crib. despite our rough ending, this trip was awesome, and well worth the time, money and mental effort i put into it. i foresee many other such trips in the future.


Des said...

Oh the joys! I took Lyric just half a trip by myself from PA to Dallas and I was SO tired after it. It's a lot of work... but hey, our babies are world travelors... they're used to it :)

Missie Rose said...

oh my gosh, that baby is ZACH. the resemblance to your hubs in those pictures is insane. wow.

well i'm glad you had a sucessful trip with dutch. i've traveled by myself, airplane style, with conrad four different times now and each time is a new adventure with new trimuphs, new obstacles, and always, new germs to be unearthed in the airport terminal. i will congratulate you on the forth sight to get dutch his own seat. i've had to do some pretty hairy diaper changes in my lap i wish i could forget.

LIZZY said...

Actually, he didn't have his own seat, we could only afford one. ;)

Adventures with kiddos are fun, hey?

Anonymous said...

I must commend you on your detailed description of traveling with an infant! he was definetly created for world travel. Emily would have given up and gone totally insade hours before.... or would that have been me? :-)