Both of my children are peacefully sleeping right now. Which makes it hard to sit down and think about The Plane Trip. There are few quiet moments in parenthood and most of them are indicators that Nathan is on top of the refrigerator, so I tend to savor the restful moments and not muddy them with dwelling on the incidents that make Chernobyl look like spilled glass of milk. But I’ve been putting it off, so here is an account of the The Plane Trip.
I had help. My dad was in town for a business trip and we wisely booked our flight to Virginia together, so that the adult to child ratio would be two-to-two. Or, if you consider the following events, two adults to one baby and one Hurricane Sandy, which is more like two-to-thirty seven. And also a baby.
I have no lack of airplane stories featuring Nate. He earned his nickname, “wolverine” on a plane trip to Utah. He sobered his “let’s have more kids” father on a pretty mild trip to Virginia. And this time, he successfully secured the voluntary sterilization of all travelers on United flight 257 from San Diego to DC. The first indication of which, they may have noted, was upon taxi toward takeoff, when Nathan wriggled out of his seatbelt, stood up in his seat and loudly announced, “I be right back, Mommy”.
Oh no you jolly well will NOT, my boy.
And thus it started. It proceeded like this:
I jolly well WILL press the call button, kick Evelyn in the head and climb over the seat in front of us with a rebel yell ... simultaneously.
You jolly well will NOT.
King Kong meets Godzilla and neither back down. FOR THE REST OF THE FLIGHT. Apart from a couple 20 minute naps (necessitated by pure exhaustion), Godzilla screamed at the top of his lung, flailed and turned an alarming shade of red whilst King-who’s-your-momma-Kong held him in a wrestling hold to keep his flying feet from hitting the seat in front of him, Evelyn and his grandfather… simultaneously … for, pretty much, the entire flight. Upon landing four hours and forty-five minutes later, my dad (who does not exaggerate) turned to me and asked, “Do you have bruises?”
When we escaped the plane, a man who had been sitting in the very back came up to my dad and asked if it was Nate who’d been screaming that whole time. We were in row 10. Of approximately 40.
And that is how I became deaf.
That is also how I justify the statement that I am a battered woman. I will henceforth refer to Nathan as, “My Abuser”. My dad has renamed him “The Tasmanian Devil”. Evelyn simply thinks of her brother as a noise machine.