Friday, September 24, 2010

Where did Mommy Poot my tooth?

My oldest daughter, who I call Queen Bee, finally lost her top front tooth. It's been loose for weeks, enabling her to do all sorts of gross things with it. We've been calling her snaggle (short for snaggle tooth) for the way she could make it stick out between her lips with no other teeth showing. So this tooth has been the talk of the family for weeks.

Well it finally came out on Tuesday - so night of celebration and exciting tooth fairy planning? Uh, no. That is our night out and the sitter pretty much gets to our house when I get home. So we had about 10 minutes of high-fives, looking at the hole in her mouth, loo
king at the tooth, and then rush, rush rush. Go over dinner with the sitter, get changed, look at homework, feed the dogs and I'm out the door. Didn't think another minute about the tooth. I put it on the top counter, very obvious to anyone over 4 1/2 feet tall. Oops.

When I got home, after the kids were asleep, the babysitter informed me that QueenBee was very upset that she couldn't find her tooth to leave for the tooth fairy. She had looked everywhere and couldn't find it. So now the dilemma - do I put it under her pillow for her, or not? Would she want the dollar, or want the experience of putting it under herself? I chose to wait, figuring I could apologize in the morning and talk up how now Daddy could see it (he had been out of town until Wednesday night).

Well the morning was a disaster. On top of the fact that I have to get everyone up, ready and out the door by myself since my husband was out of town, I had clearly made the wrong choice when it came to the tooth. QueenBee was so upset she wouldn't speak to me (or do anything to get ready) for 30 minutes. Which of course led to frantic scrambling to get out the door, coupled with some yelling. Always good to yell at a kid who is already down, right?

Here is the topper - last night I found a note she had written to the tooth fairy. It had slid down the side of her bed. Here is what it said:

No mom of the year prize here, I tell you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Planes, Shuttles, a 100-yard Dash, and Automobiles

Here are the reasons I wish there was some market to sell all the American Airlines miles I have:

1) They seem to have problems timing their crew's breaks. I know there are weather delays and all those "acts of god" they aren't liable for, but I keep hearing over and over about how American flights are delayed because the crew had to clock off. Now of course, I don't want to fly with a tired crew, but do you think they could have a contingency plan? The rest of us have to when they screw up!
So here is the story: We show up, Thursday before Labor day, at 6:00 a.m. to catch our flight to Dallas and then to Pensacola, FL. From there we will be going to beautiful Destin, FL for my sister-in-law's beach wedding. The way our flights are scheduled, we should arrive in Destin by dinner time. We get to the airport and discover that the 7:00 a.m. flight has been delayed for 3 1/2 hours due to crew unavailability. After waiting for an hour in line, the ticket agent asked where we are heading. He typed for a bit, and then said he could get us there by Saturday!!! So then began a 30 minute process of looking for 5 seats on a flight to somewhere near Destin. Mobile, Alabama? Biloxi, Mississippi? In the end, the only way to get there that day was to fly to LA and then to New Orleans and then drive 300 miles. Not much to do but accept that and hustle up to where our flight was boarding to LA . . .

2) No food at all on flights. When you have had to run across 3 terminals at break neck speeds with 3 kids in tow and have had no time to buy food, it would be nice to get a pretzel.

After negotiating and trading seats with fellow passengers, we are now all sitting relatively close to each other on this full flight to LA. We will have an hour and a half in LA to get seats, get some food and get on the plane. "This is your captain speaking . . ." Crap. Fog in LA. We sit on the tarmac for over an hour. Yes, you do the math - we now have less than 30 minutes to switch terminals in LAX. I spend the flight trying to hum myself into calm, "Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be..." Yeah...that worked. We land, grab the back packs, rush the girls, push past everyone and STOP. We are at American Eagle's commuter terminal which is all the way past terminal 8 (where our flight is leaving from incidentally) and now we have to wait 10 minutes for a shuttle. It was all I could do not to just make a dash for our plane. But being arrested in LA wouldn't do do much for my career, not to mention it might scar the children. When the shuttle comes we drive past our plane all the way to terminal 5. And then we ran. I am so proud of those girls. They ran like I have never seen them run. Even so, we would not have made it without those 2 "Excuse the Cart" drivers that gave us a ride when the terminals allowed it. I cannot believe we made that plane - they literally shut the doors right behind us. Of course, no time to fill the empty water bottles I had so cleverly packed. Or buy the lunch we were planning on buying on our layover. . .

3) No movie on flights. Again, when you have to run across the airport, it would be nice to get some entertainment to distract from the fact that you smell like you've had a workout and then sat in the sauna.

Did I mention the running?

4) No reimbursement for ground travel issues caused by American Airlines screw-ups: Like when you are rebooked to fly into a city 300 miles away from where you were supposed to land, do they offer to pay the one-way rental fee? No, they offer to rebook your return out of the city 300 miles from your destination. So on our last day of travel, we had to do the entire drive again. Across 4 states. With Labor Day traffic. To a flight they actually forgot to finalize our booking on so we had to wait for reissued tickets and then run through the airport. Again.

The poor kids. . . when we got on that flight in New Orleans, after running again and negotiating with fellow passengers again, LittleBug said, "Mama, for our next flight are we going to have to run?"

Despite all of that drama and the fact that I swear I will never fly American again (until they offer a good fare and I have suppressed all of the above memories), the wedding was beautiful, Destin was gorgeous, and the time with family was irreplaceable. Plus the girls have now been to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida!