Thursday, January 03, 2008

DR 5: The Trip Home

First of all, you'll be glad to know that Soren is doing great today. Happy, eating, happy while eating, kicking his legs and making lots of noise. We're happy to have him back to his old self.

Now, on to the final leg of our journey. Due to storms, our plane was 2 hours late. The drag was that our taxi showed up on time, there was no line to check in at the airport, we got through security without issue (though they made me take Soren out of his chair which defeats the purpose in my book), and passed through immigration. We thought the flight was on time (there are no monitors to check this). That is until I went to get my Nathan's hot dog and spoke to another passenger. Oh well.

Rather than have Soren sit in his chair for 2 hours before having to sit in his chair another 2 hours, we let him stretch out. And when it came time for food, we had our usual supply for him at the ready.

I don't think I've mentioned that we always carry a cooler full of Soren's food with us--eggs, squash, yams, avocados, and of course, milk. And man, having that food has come in handy on every leg. So this poor food had been across the country, come into a foreign country, and was on it's way back, though the load kept getting lighter.

Before finally taking off, Soren pooped and I went to change this diaper. Now this was an interesting experience because there are bathroom attendants at the ready to hand you a towel after you've washed your hands. One of the women followed me in when she saw me carrying Soren (always an amusing visual due to my short stature and his increasing length). She pulled down the diaper deck, covered it with towels, I put Soren down and began the clean up process. Once he was changed, I went to pull up his pants but the attendant, trying to help me, pulled Soren up to stand him on the deck.

Well, with Mr. Jelly Legs, this simply didn't work. I caught him on my shoulder and hoisted his pants up, trying to explain that he doesn't stand, though I had no idea how to say this in Spanish.

We boarded and had a slightly turbulent flight. Once we landed, we ended up sitting on the tarmak for about 15 minutes, much to the annoyance of the pilot. I don't think I've ever heard a pilot actually express annoyance at that, but he was clearly peeved. Since we always board last, we ended up meeting him on our way out. He was very kind and, as we were loading Soren up, commented that his fiance also has a child with special needs. Funny how we end up talking with folks we never would have because of Soren.

After collapsing in Miami for the night, we got up to do the whole thing again the next morning, this time finally heading home. Miami Airport was packed more than usual. I actually had to play the disabled card to get us checked in and out of the heat (which honestly is bad for Soren).

Then off to security. As I mentioned before, Miami has a well-marked disabled access line. We got in it and were going to be the next through when a band (I have no idea who) came through. Clearly being cool rockers outranks being disabled, so the whole crew got to go through before us. Actually, despite their tough guy looks, they were super sweet guys who were appreciative of getting such nice treatment.

We ended up at the gate with only 15 minutes to spare. Rather shocking considering we got there 2 hours before. If we hadn't gotten our disabled access, we may have missed our flight! I was smart enough not to warm up any milk this time 'round.

Our flight was on time and the only thing of note was that Soren pooped again. I only mention this, not because I think you all care about Soren's efficient bowel activity, but because changing Soren on a plane is a sight to be seen (not that you actually want to see it). We were lucky that he hadn't done this on any of the other legs. But there was no getting around it this time. So I picked up Soren, Aaron grabbed the diaper bag, and we headed to the bathroom.

Now, you know how small those bathrooms are. And if you've ever changed a child, you know that the diaper deck is big enough for a 2 year old at best. So imagine trying to fit a long-legged 4 year old on the deck and then try to get business done. I was calling orders out to Aaron like a surgeon to a nurse. "Wipes!" "Bag!" "Diaper!" "More Wipes!" Fortunately we didn't hit any bumps!

So back to L.A., everyone safe and sound, though a little worse for wear.

That's it for DR 5. Rogers out!


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