And so it was with a heavy heart that we left our friends and family in Kansas City to board a plane back to Athens. We were sad to say goodbye, but happy to get to see daddy again after three long weeks. Look how happy we were:
Little did we know what we had in store.
You’d think with the mishaps from our trip to the US three weeks ago that things would go better. And they did…but just slightly. The first leg from Kansas City to Toronto went pretty smoothly. In fact, the passenger load was so light, I’d almost venture to say it was pleasant. Freezing…but pleasant. We arrived in Toronto to discover our flight was on time as scheduled, woo hoo! We had time for some duty free shopping (mmmm…ice wine) and a meal before we had to board.
As we made our way down the aisle, I noticed there were no TVs in the backs of the headrests like on our last flight (and every international flight I’ve taken in the last two years). Liam noticed, too. Here we go again.
The friendly flight attendant informed me that I was welcome to use the CanadaAir app to watch an array of programing on the device of my choice, except there wasn’t actually any wifi I could use or headphones I could borrow, so really he was inviting me to go back in time, download the app, pack my headphones and the iPad charger in my carry-on luggage, then board the plane with a happy child. Instead Liam sullenly informed me, “You know, mom, I can be angry for 11 hours.” Don’t I know it.
Amazingly, this wasn’t even close to the worst thing that happened that night. We boarded around 4:30, and after awhile they decided to inform us there was a problem with the plane and maintenance was coming to fix it. THREE HOURS LATER, they announced that (yay!) the problem was fixed…but (boo!) there appeared to be water leaking on some electronics somewhere. “The plane is broke…everybody off!” Actually, this was Canada, so they were very chipper and polite…but that’s basically what they said. Eight hours into my second trip flying solo with two kids, and this pretty much sums up my reaction.
But my children, my sweet unassailable children, got off that plane and delightedly ran around the terminal with laughter and smiles. Watching them, I couldn’t help but dry my tears and realize how lucky I am.
Liam took his big brother duties very seriously, chasing his sister as she went and making sure they both stayed where I could see them. Many of the passengers already knew Violet — she’d mosied up and down the aisles to say hello to everyone while we sat on the tarmac. One woman, who said she was a dance instructor, remarked that Violet had very good coordination for her age, and I should consider signing her up for dance. They start as young as 18 months. Wow!
We boarded the new plane at 10, then sat around for ANOTHER HOUR after the pilot apologetically announced they were having ANOTHER problem with the new plane. You have got to be kidding me. Thankfully this problem was fixable, and no new problems were discovered, so by 11:30 we were off! By this time Liam didn’t care to watch TV. In fact, he passed out before they even served dinner. He slept well…Violet and I not so much. Violet finally settled down when I resolved to just constantly nurse her, which meant I didn’t really get to sleep.
We finally got home, six hours delayed, an exhausted heap. Everyone went to bed early. Except the baby, who woke up at 1 AM and didn’t settle down again until 4 AM. James went to work, and the next time I looked at the clock it was 3 in the afternoon! Tonight Liam went to bed at 1:30 AM, Violet went to bed at 3, and I’m still wide awake at 4:15. I was thinking the jet lag going from Europe to the US was worse, but it appears I had that backwards. We’ve got until Monday to get our nights and days straight again: Liam starts summer camp at 9 AM.