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Penélope and the Plane

Penélope and I are back from our family reunion safe and sound. However, I am not sure what to feel about the nice girl who was sitting next to us on the plane. For her $250 ticket, she got more than a trip to Detroit. I think we convinced her not to have children. She must have been about 22, young enough not to give a second thought to sitting next to a mom with a 18 month old lap “infant”.

A more seasoned traveler would have moved or ordered a few (dozen) scotches before take-off.

20 minutes on the plane, Penélope decides she has had enough of sitting and we haven’t even left the gate.

Like a good mom, I reach for the sugar. Cookies, candy anything to make her happy. It’s a 2 and a half hour flight. In my head I’m breaking that down into 5 minute Penélope Attention Span intervals. Only 30 5-minute units to be filled. I must have a repitoire of 30 activities, right?

For 5 minutes Penélope has taken off her shoes. 5 more minutes I give to the socks. 5 more minutes for mommy to find the shoes and socks and put them back on. That’s 15 minutes.

…Why the hell is the plane not taking off. We’re 30 minutes late for takeoff, that’s 6 intervals wasted….

O wait, Penelope has fallen asleep.

10 minutes later, the plane takes off and look who’s up again.

Look who now wants up, up,up.

How do I know this? Because she’s thrashing around and telling me, up, up, up.

Funny how proud we are when our children say their first words and how soon it happens that we wish they were quiet.

I filled the next 160 minutes with dancing stuffed animals, bathroom trips, walks up and down the aisle, cheese and cheerios, juice, crayons and rip the pages out of mommy’s book. Yes, I actually thought I'd read a book. HAHAHAHA.

I must have blanked out the rest. I was smart enough to have filed my allotted plastic quart sized baggie with little scotch bottles. No room for shampoo or toothpaste but, whatever. I could shampoo again in 4 days and the good thing about family reunions is, someone will lend you the toothpaste. I needed the scotch to get through the weekend, well, to get through the flight.

Actually, passing out was wishful thinking, I did something even less socially unacceptable on a nearly full plane and that’s sing out loud to my daughter. To keep her busy I sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” over and over, about 20 times (6 units) if only to keep my daughter patting her own head and not the head of the now not-so-nice lady next to us. And if 8 rows of people didn't know their A-B-Cs or Elmo's song, they do now. And wit my singing ability, snakes on a plane would be a less scary step up.

Three hours and something since we boarded, the plane lands in Detroit. Only a 2-hour car trip ahead of us, so it’s me, Penélope, and my mom, with my Michigan based uncle at the wheel.

I sat up front.

And with my mom in back, Penélope sweetly naps.

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