Monday, May 14, 2007


Now, nobody go getting uptight. "Jesus" is a very acceptable word to demonstrate the letter "J" It can be said in multiple contexts, not just J*!, but also like, "Thank You J*!" or "Be With Me J*! I'll let the reader choose the inflection.

Our trip to Providence. J*!

So there are multiple people to whom I owe my life:

  • My coworkers/travel companions--aka Khubz's playmates & my guardians (Thanks for taking care of the girl and also for taking care of me)
  • Two Shews, Our personal baby gear & flying advice shop (The carseat was perfect. So much better than lugging the carseat + base. As for the stroller. . . more on that later
  • My sister, K, who took a personal crisis call in the midst of a larger family-wide crisis
  • My sister, Chiquita, who (though she needs to update her blog) also took a personal crisis call in the midst of that same family-wide crisis
  • My sister, SaBdM, ever ready with her working credit card number and flower-ordering husband
  • Sommosa (also needing to update her blog) who called and let me rehearse, ahem, excuse me, relay the whole terrible tale
  • And, last but not least, Scully. (the votes have been counted--you can relax tinkerbell) My daring partner in this parenting and life adventure who, amazingly, still trusts me to be alone with our daughter.

If that doesn't scare you off then read on, gentle reader, read on

Khubz did great, so great, so great, on the plane. She slept through most of staff meeting on Tuesday morning. Slept in the car to the airport. Slept in the stroller at the airport. This was all before the first dose of benadryl.

The KC airport was uneventful. I nearly crapped my pants when the TSA security guy grinned at me and waved at Khubz. "Um, did you really look at my ID? Did you see my last name? You're smiling at us?" Our first plane boarding was unorganized but ultimately fine (with the help of benadryl) In the Detroit airport she got a little more benadryl. All clear to Providence.

Checking in to the hotel I start to pull out my purse. Unhappily I realize I've become that woman that must dump everything, everything out of a massive diaper bag to find what I'm looking for. It's been a long day. I have a half sedated baby, a milk stain from where I leaked out on the plane and I'm pulling out diapers, a baby sling, toys, a onsie, everything really. No purse. Let's say that again. We have arrived in Providence. I have my infant daughter and no purse. NO PURSE.

No ID. No credit cards. No phone with everybody's number in it. No ID. No ID.

I'm on the east coast with my infant daughter, $80 in cash (stashed in my suitcase) and no ID with a Saudi name. I am freaking out. My coworkers get me checked in, loan me a cell phone and call the Providence airport to go search the bathroom where I stopped and last saw my purse. I have images of some random person listening to my ipod (named Zora, which I never should have bought in the first place but LOVE) spending my $100 in cash, charging to my credit cards and making calls on MY cell phone while handling MY daughter's birth certificate and throwing away MY keys. Disaster!

Scully is calming and wonderful. "It's not like you lost the baby!" It was a loving and wonderful response but anytime you're reassuring someone by saying, "at least you didn't lose your baby" you're setting the bar kind of low. Okay, okay, okay. I'm just going to go up to my room, feed Khubz and try to calm down. That was the plan. In practice, I decided since I was alone in my room with my baby it was okay to openly sob. And I mean SOB! On the phone with Scully I am gasping for breath between wrenching tears and anxious cries. "You have GOT to calm down! FRUITFEMME! Calm DOWN! Where's Khubz?" "She's fine" SOB, SOB "She's on the bed" SOB SOB. "What am I going to DO?" SOB SOB


"Oh my GOD!!"

"What's wrong?! What happened?!" Khubz begins wailing and screaming

"Um, nothing! She's fine! I gotta go!!"

"Fruitfemme, what happened?! Did she fall off the bed?!"

"No. She, um, she fell backwards!!" In fact, my infant daughter has for the first time rolled off a bed. The bed she chose for her first adventure was one of those hotel beds that, by regulation, are at least 3 feet high off the ground. And she was mad. Gravity had never done wrong by her like that. And she wanted to know how I could allow such a thing. She was hollering. Screaming like I wished I could have screamed when I realized I had lost my purse.

Mother is a verb, remember. And sometimes the accompanying adverb is "badly."

The girl has been betrayed but was otherwise fine. I didn't have the guts to call Scully back and confess the truth. Apparently she was on the phone with her sister saying, "I don't know! I don't know what to do! They were both crying!" Horrible. Next call? Um, no one. I don't know anyone's number. Then I remember K & J's home number. Talk with her for a little while. Get Joe's number. Retell the whole horrible tale.

Then, in the midst of the darkness i saw a soft small light. Call the cab company. Know the cab number? No, but the driver was a grandma with a granddaughter a little older than Khubz, she get's off at one in the morning. . .

They got it.

They've got it!

Unbelievable relief. Unbelievable relief.

Thank you J*! (and isis, and gaia and others. I just couldn't find any graphics for the goddess is my homegirl)

The most wonderful cab driver in the world.

That kind of start to the trip made the actual meeting seem wonderfully uneventful. It was a great meeting, though. One of the best I've ever been to in terms of speakers, relevance and material.

Khubz did great with her N/Annie. They took tons of walks, got in & out of a very cold pool, played in the grass by the capitol, ate peaches, took some good naps, did not roll off the bed and sang endless rounds of itsy bitsy spider. Good, good times. She was completely tuckered out in the evenings when I got her and slept hard.

Providence was beautiful. There's a lot more to say about the actual trip but I've got to get on with the travels story because there's more.

The trip home:

Khubz and I were traveling home on our own. I roped a good woman from the same meeting on the same plane into being our travel companion and she was marvelous! Really, really saved us.
Because. . .

We had some problems at the Providence airport. Got the bags checked. Khubz was in the carseat in the stroller and didn't like being strapped down. She also saw some white, starched shirt business men (the men were white--not the shirts, though, they probably were as well) talking on their cell phones and decided to test her lung capacity. We snake our way through the security line. We send all our earthly belongings through the x-ray machine, the carseat and the stroller. The stroller.
It comes out the other side and the TSA staff asks me to step to one side and not touch anything. Uh. . .Okay. What's wrong exactly?
Supposedly the stroller is coming back dirty. It is testing positive for:

  • Methamphetamines?
  • Narcotics?
  • Possible smuggling of undocumented migrants?
  • Items looted from a museum?

No. . . We're Arabs! Explosives.

They say the stroller is testing positive for explosives.

Great. We're all suspect at this point, including my baby.
They pulled everything out of my diaper bag (which had been packed with the expectation that at any time a catastrophe could leave us stranded in the Detroit airport for 3 days), swabbing down the carseat, swabbing down the stroller, patting me down and wanting to pat down my baby. Luckily, my travel companion said she would hold Khubz because anything I was touching they'd have to pat down and it is not okay for them to pat down my baby.

45 minutes later they let us through, explosive stroller and all. One screaming baby and one pissed off mommy.

This post is unbearably long at this point so I'll conclude as I started.

J* or thank you J* as you prefer.

We made it back home and were greeted by Mama at the gate. Thank J*.

Then at 8 pm we got in the car and headed up to iowa. (that'll have to wait for a different post)

1 comment:

Two Shews said...

Oh my effing J*. I can't believe I forgot to tell you about Jake's latest obession-- homemade explosives. So sorry.

But, seriously, I can't believe all of that happened. I am SO SORRY about the stroller thing! I am so so so sorry. I have no clue why it happened. Here I was trying to help and I made your life HARDER! Ach!