Greetings from the Motherland!

Yesterday, I confirmed that I really am soft on the brain: I flew to Canada with my two children. Solo.

My niece is getting married next week and my husband Jamie could not take the time off work to attend. To be honest, I thought nothing of going it alone. Our recent trip to Mexico was seamless. So seamless I even received the following email from Kathy, a lovely woman we met:

    What a pleasure it was to sit in front of your family on the plane…and I don’t say that to many mothers. I am not normally so chatty, believe it or not. Especially not to people with little kids. Even though I had my own, I am kind of over it unless the kids are exceptional like yours.

Exceptional? Too bad Kath was not privy to our latest flight experience.

It went badly from the start and the kids were only partly to blame. It took 15 minutes to retrieve Bode’s carseat that a firefighter had practically dead-bolted to our backseat. Next, I had to bribe a porter to haul all my crap, which he unceremoniously dumped a football field away. And then the snippy United Airlines staff member harassed me about failing to go through self-checkout. You know: with my two young children and five pieces of luggage.

Though it may seem to the contrary, I had actually consolidated most everything into one large suitcase and when I say everything, I mean it: diapers, clothes, make-up, the kitchen sink. I also carefully packed two carry-ons: one with bribery food (i.e. sugar), the other with silencing entertainment (i.e. duct tape for mouths).

Then there was security. Do not even get me started with that 75-minute ordeal as the children who were manhandled like mini-Taliban. By the time we finally broke out of there, we were supposed to be boarding. And our gate was B82. If that sounds like it is in the boonies, allow me to confirm this for you.

After a veritable sprint, we were the final people to board. And we were greeted by the greatest bombshell of all:

“This is a small plane. You will have to leave that [pointing to my silencing entertainment] and we will stow it with the luggage down below.”

I looked at her dubiously. “Do you really want me to board this plane without any form of diversion for these children?”

The woman personally escorted me on the plane with the contraband carry-on.

The flight was stressful and long. When we arrived in Calgary, we were informed that two pieces of luggage had not arrived: a carseat and The Mother of All Suitcases.

I practically collapsed at that point and made the avowal then and there that I would never ever again in a million gazillion years attempt to fly alone with my children.

At least not until my return flight next week.

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