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The Chuck Norris of all trips

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I shouted like a drill sergeant. We had five minutes to get from the car park to the inside of the airport. Bailey, carrying a bag full of Doctor stuff, a teddy bear and her jacket, fell as if in slow motion. “Focus Bailey, we’re on a timeline. You can do this my girl!” Three smokers stood outside in the crisp early morning air watching us. “Child Abuse” written on their open mouthed frowns. Kai was hobbling alongside. His pants too big so he kept pulling them up through tears. He was also carrying a small bag and his jacket. It was traumatic for them. Shame. But I like to think it will make them stronger. Whatever.

Fast forward into the plane. I sit and utter a sigh, we made it. We’re actually here, seated. Baby on my lap, the other two next to me. Holding Tom is like holding down an octopus on drugs. But we’re doing this, yeah baby (exclamation mark?). Then Kai needs a number two. I convince B to wait outside the door of a toilet the size of a match box and squeeze myself with Tom strapped to me into the smelly confined space. We’re OK until Kai wants to turn around for me to wipe his bum. I do a dance to sidestep the dirty bum, banging Tom’s head against the wall repeatedly. Poor kid, he’s growing up tough. When we exit Kai asks loudly “are you sure my bum is clean? Sure sure?” followed by “pinky promise my bum is clean?” Why do toddlers shout every word? I die a little inside. Just 45 minutes to go. On the other side of this joyride lies sanity and help. More hands. Someone to make coffee and someone to hold the baby while I sort the others out. I feel like Frodo on that all important journey. I think of Kev, working his butt off and I’m jealous.

I should have known this morning when I got up shortly after 4 to get us all ready and Tom slipped and fell in a puddle of his own wee. On his head. And when I could not find his birth certificate, running around panicked and out of breath. I should have known that today was going to be a test. The Chuck Norris of all trips. But I have positivity as one of my top 5 according to the Strengths Finder and so I WILL see the positive and I will (stupidly) take on any challenge.

The trip back was not so bad, considering that I had to ask a stranger to tie my shoe laces. I initially asked Kai – we were in the queue to board, I had Tom strapped to me, carrying two bags, a real donkey, and that shoe was tripping me up. Kai bent down and pulled the wrong two strings. Again, slow motion. “Nooooo!” I shouted too late. The dad behind us did not mind, because he is, you know, a Dad. Thinking back on the whole thing now I can categorise it as an adventure. Some of the kid’s comments were truly hilarious and the loud debate on the way back about why this plane was white and not orange entertained many around us (because they forgot to paint it, because it’s just been washed, because some come in white). There was an ancient lady behind us on the way back and her and Tom exchanged laughs and giggles all the way. I know I sound corny but it was poetic, it really was. The people of all ages and races who helped and interacted and who were generally just kind and decent makes me proud to be a mom in this country.

And as a last thought; the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything is not 42 as claimed by the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is Flings. Trust me.

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