If there is one thing that I hate, it's flying. I am so nervous and have so much anxiety every time I board an airplane, it's a wonder I travel at all. Somehow I manage to sit quietly, smiling at everyone while drawing on every bit of self control I have to keep from screaming and running through the plane trying to get the doors open so I can jump.
I think I already mentioned that we spent 17 hours traveling to get to Maui so that's a heck of a lot of time for my mind to run through the details of every single plane crash I've seen on Mayday (this is a television show where airplane crashes are recreated and the causes discovered). Well, as much as I like to stay focused on my own unfounded fears about flying, all it takes is a problem with my 3 1/2 year old to snap me around to forget my own panic.
Coming back home took about 15 hours but my thoughts of all those crashes quickly faded during our take off. Imagine how panicked I became when my 3 1/2 year old grabbed her ears and started screaming hysterically. It must have been that short runway over the water that caused the pilot to climb so quickly and steeply that my daughter had no time to clear her ears. She had been in such good humor before the take off so I knew the problem had nothing to do with being cranky. My husband and I tried everything we could think of to calm her down and get her to swallow or yawn or anything to clear her ears but she was so hysterical, there was nothing we could do but wait it out which takes a long time when you are taking off at sea level.
To the woman with the long, light brown hair hidden under her baseball cap who flew from Maui to Calgary last Friday evening, I want to say the biggest "Thank You" ever. This fellow mom jumped up out of her seat the minute that seatbelt light went out and ran over to us with a candy lollipop that she keeps on hand when traveling with her children. This 25 cent lollipop was all that our daughter needed to clear her ears and within a few moments, she was able to settle down and finally fall asleep.
Later on when I found this mom to thank her for her kindness, she happily handed me a bag of lollipops when I told her we had two more flights to get through. I promised her on the spot that I would never again travel without enough lollipops for every child on the plane and I plan to keep my word on this long after my daughter no longer needs them. I had always relied on a drink with a straw but in this extreme circumstance, the straw couldn't do the trick.
To the flight attendants on that same flight who I asked for advice or assistance, thanks a lot for the plastic cups with hot water towels that you told me would NOT help. What a total waste of f#$%ing time. Learn something here and spring for a $2 bag of lollipops and keep them on the plane for f@#$% sake! You travel for a living, have you not noticed a pattern with some children and their ears??!!
To the employees at the screening station in the Calgary airport, I want to offer my sincere apology for the vomit left behind by our daughter in one of your plastic x-ray trays. She had a rough six hours out of Maui and had an upset tummy after her ordeal. By the way, I would have loved it if she had spewed on the Canada Customs Agent instead. Might just do a blog post about my thoughts on them one of these days.
Thankfully, the other two flights were fine for her although I didn't know that at the time so instead of bracing for the crash, I worried about how her ears would be during every take off and landing all the way home. Personally, I think worrying about her was a lot more distressing than worrying about crashing Lol.
So that pretty much sums up the air travel time. After all that traveling, I can tell you with complete honesty, as beautiful and warm as Maui is, there is just no place like home!