The second flight went well enough, but when it came time to land in Philly, we were informed that a “people mover” was coming to transport us to the terminal. Evidently they don’t have enough terminals available, and this is one of their short-term solutions to the problem.
Even the flight attendants were baffled by this change of plans, and I have flown into Philly quite a few times in the past few years and hadn’t encountered the people mover until this trip so I couldn’t help but wonder if everything was okay. ‘Cause terrorists are known to use people movers to transport their victims to their fates, dontchaknow. My imagination, it is a dangerous thing.
As the people mover began to move, my 2-year-old got up from where she sat beside her brother, a few seats down from the rest of us, and started walking towards me. The movement of the vehicle caused her to stumble and fall down in the aisle. Several well-meaning people tried to help her up, but Miss Independence did NOT appreciate the stranger intervention.
I reached for her to pick her up, and the next thing I knew, she was kicking and screaming and flailing like a fish on dry land. I tried to grab her and bring her onto my lap, but she was determined to go back and sit with her brother. I couldn’t let her walk around the moving vehicle, so I insisted that she remain with me.
And with that, she proceeded to throw the most impressive temper tantrum I have ever witnessed on anyone at any place or time in my entire life. It lasted several hours (okay, it FELT like it lasted several hours) as the rest of the passengers looked on, and there was nothing I could do but try to contain her and prevent her from kicking me and the people close by.
I couldn’t exactly ignore her and let her flail in the floor and risk injury to life and limb (her own and others’ around her). And I couldn’t discipline her in such a public environment, which is the only thing that may have stopped the scene. I was pretty much at her mercy. In nine years of parenting, I have never had a child throw a fit of that magnitude in public. I guess I should count my blessings that I made it this long. Perhaps I was due.
I’ll credit my nine years of parenting and three children with my ability to maintain my composure throughout the ordeal. Or maybe it was the Ativan I had taken earlier in the day to combat my fear of flying. Whatever it was, I didn’t get flustered or upset. I probably should have been mortified, but really I just felt like laughing at the futility of it all. In fact, my husband and I did laugh. It was just so ridiculous, being held captive by a stubborn 2-year-old.
I did my best to contain her and soothe her, and fortunately it was a short trip to the gate where the other passengers parted like the Red Sea, allowing us to make a swift exit. I’m sure they were as happy as we were to go our separate ways.
As soon as we were in the terminal, Mr. Hyde turned into Dr. Jekyll, and everything was once again merry and bright. As far as my temperamental 2-year-old is concerned, anyway.
Back at the baggage claim, things weren’t going so well.
Remember that short layover due to our first delayed flight? Evidently our bags did not make it from plane 1 to plane 2. Oh the day just got better and better, I’m telling you.
We were informed that we should continue on to our destination (which, fortunately, was home) and our bags would be delivered to our door later that evening. Sure enough, right around midnight, our bags were dumped on our doorstep. Oh happy day.
So we took a shuttle back to our car, and I can honestly say the frumpy mom-mobile never looked so
welcoming as it did that night.
We strapped our most precious cargo into their seats, and away we went. We hadn’t been in the car three minutes before we looked in the backseat to find my 2-year-old out like a light. She slept soundly the whole hour-long ride home, and I soon joined her in her slumber.
When we were almost home, we made a spontaneous detour past our favorite sandwich joint where we loaded up on cheesesteaks for dinner. As we drove home in the waning hours of sunlight down familiar roads with the savory aroma of steak and cheese tantalizing my senses, I knew that, in spite of my love affair with our southern vacation destination, luggage or not, I am exactly where I want to be.