Posts Tagged ‘ traveling with baby ’

Fia Friday: Babes In The Bayou

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Before Thanksgiving I took the kids on my own (gasp. Read about my horrendous challenging trip down there) to see my Baba Yaga (Aunt Nancy) outside New Orleans.

Emmett had never been to her place on the bayou, but Fia had. When she was 18 months I took her down there. What a difference another 18 months makes. The first time around she almost murdered Peg and Peepers, the lovebirds. This time it was far different. She took poor little crippled Peeps under her proverbial wing. Every morning all she wanted to do was hold him, lie with him, put him on her head…you know, all the normal things people do with birds.

 

Granted, at times she accidentally put him in a chokehold, but alas, he did survive. And not just barely…like last time. My tot is growing up and she is learning what it really means to be gentle (sorry, I’m getting mushy with her 3-year birthday on Sunday).

Oh, there were other things too…the stuff of the swamps.

Frogs…

And lizards…

And giraffes. Wait? Huh?

The giraffes are one of 3000 animals on 900 acres of land at the Global Wildlife Park. I would say it was amazing, but, well, we did think at one point we might not survive. Baba has a bad shoulder. Emmett is 9 months old. And in our private tour we took– which consisted of a flatbed pick-up with some benches and rails but nothing else–there were moments of sheer pandemonium…and a little fear that we might get eaten, or more realistically, bitten, by a zebra…or five. We didn’t realize that by taking the private tour, you get so up and close and personal, you may not make it out alive. At least if you’re with tiny tots.

Oh, and I should also mention who our guide was: an 18-year-old kid who clearly never had been around babies, at least not while four-wheeling. He was tossing us all over the place. We would be screaming in the back as we got pushed from side to side. I’d be holding onto Emmett for dear life, while trying to fight off buffalo mouths full of saliva on one-side and elk antlers nearly blinding us on the other. All the while he’d be up front, gassing the engine and yelling to us about the difference between a black duck and a camel. Or something to that effect. I honestly didn’t hear a word he said.

All he told us before he took off was, “Zebras bite, elk have antlers that can maim and the giraffes like to get into your space.” Then he plopped a huge bucket of corn down, gave us some cups to throw feed out, and went flying. By the end, we were covered in corn dust and spit from many species and utterly tuckered. I wish I could post the video…but technology isn’t my forte and I could barely keep my son alive, much less capture pictures to show the chaos that ensued.

That day was about the perfect example of how Baba and I roll. Just like we did on our Kilimanjaro adventure…laughed through the hazardous feat. Like I said before, no one quite “gets” us, but that’s the way we like it. I do think Fia is going to have that same kindred spirit with us. And Emmett, well he just goes with everything. BEST BABY EVER. And a reminder that there’s never a dull moment in the Bayou with Baba.

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Travel Fiasco–My Scattered Self

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

I swear something happened after the birth of my child that has affected my brain circuitry.  Lord knows I want to be a good mom. I try and multitask with my husband, baby and job but…

3 WEEKS AGO…

–I took our cat, Wayne Sanchez, to the vet and paid $300 to find out he is still obese (He barely fits in his Sherpa bag). Then I ran errands. The next day my keys were missing. For nearly a week I searched while pretending nothing was amiss. After pressing our apartment buzzer every time I came home, Phil asked me to fess up. Then he said I need to focus more. True. I need to be more aware. True.

Wayne Sanchez and his co conspirator

Wayne Sanchez and his co conspirator

To redeem myself, I took a time out and sat in a quiet corner. I tried to retrace my steps, mentally. Wayne rubbed against me -boom! I had it, the Sherpa bag! I felt like I had just won the Pulitzer Prize for Missing Things. I called Phil on his cell and shouted, “I FOUND THEM IN WAYNE’S FAT CAT CARRIER!” “Um, okay, I’m in a meeting.” He wasn’t nearly as excited as I was.

2 WEEKS AGO…

–I was really trying to stay focused; I wanted Phil to see my improvement. We went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and, whilst in the tropics room, he asked me to hold his Ray-bans. Instead of putting them in the diaper bag, I made what I thought was an intelligent decision… I held them so I didn’t accidentally crush them in the bag—something I’ve done before. I was smitten with myself. We walked outside and he asked for them. I looked into my hands – they had vanished. Poof! Just like that.

“A palm tree must have plucked them from my palm,” I said, attempting to joke.

Sigh. I went back into the jungle and crawled on all fours, searching Bougainvillea’s and Bromeliad’s to many a strange look. Nothing. If anyone goes there and finds them in the foliage, please let me know.

1 WEEK AGO…

–I blew so many fuses in my brain that I needed a circuit breaker. We were at the airport, checked in and at our gate. I went to change our seats while Phil watched Fi. The counter agents had me leave our boarding passes for them to work on. I went to sit down and Phil said, “you’re being paged.” Huh?

Before he could spit out the next line – Now what did you lose? – I bolted. Think. Think. Think. What. What? What? I had my laptop. Fia was accounted for. I looked in my purse. OH MY GOD. MY WALLET IS MISSING. My bolt turned into a sprint. At security they said it wasn’t their page, that I must have left it at check-in.  I got to the counter, hunched over, gasping for air. “I’m the o-o-n-one wh-wh-who left my wallet.” As I said this I realized I was holding half a bottle of formula. No clue why. It just added to the absurdity of it all.  The agent told me another worker had already taken the wallet to my gate.

As I began to run back to security, I stopped dead in my tracks. I turned towards the agents and frantically wailed: “I don’t have my ID to get through! My flight leaves in 20 minutes.”

They must have taken pity on me, because a very kind, calm agent took me by the arm.  “I’ll help you honey. It’s hard being a mom,” she said, as she glanced at the seemingly random half full baby bottle. We cut to the front of the line and she explained to TSA the problem. They asked for my boarding pass. Time once again stood still as the realization hit me: MY BOARDING PASS IS AT THE GATE. My entire torso began gesturing towards D-15. I was nearly hysterical. As my arms waved madly, formula began to bounce out of the bottle, spraying others – I swore I heard one woman say, “She needs a Xanax.” They called TSA supervision. I whimpered my pathetic situation to them, and they let me through.

I sprinted to the gate counter past a bewildered Phil and into the arms of yet another kind agent who was standing there—smiling– with my wallet.  Dripping in sweat and panting, I tried to explain all that had happened. “Slow down and breathe,” she said, “Motherhood is hard – Just don’t forget your baby!”

I dejectedly walked back to my family. “What the hell is going on?” Phil asked.

I begged, “Don’t be mad at me. You have to promise. Even they (gesturing towards the agents) said being a mom is hard.”

Fia, obviously unaffected by Mom's commotion
Fia, obviously unaffected by Mom’s commotion

“Okay, okay, just calm down. You’re kind of making a scene,” he said. True again.

“I left my wallet at check-in.” If my head had hung any lower it would have hit the filthy floor of LaGuardia.

He patted my leg. Fia hugged me, then bit my knee and laughed.  I began to breathe. We boarded. I collapsed into my seat and slept the entire time.

YESTERDAY…..

– I didn’t lose anything.

TODAY…..

– So far so good.

LOOKING AHEAD….

–I booked a woman’s yoga retreat this winter. In Belize. My justification: I need to learn to focus. Phil didn’t buy it, but he did give me his blessing (He probably needs the break). It will be my first trip away from Fi, so at least I know I won’t lose her.

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