And my friend Deana is no exception. She entered Motherhood with a "two for the price of one" deal: twins. Twin boys. Who just so happened to be 10 days older than Scotty (I like to end emails to her with "August 09 Babies Unite!") She, too, was on bed rest during the last third of her pregnancy, but I didn't really know her well at that time. She and her husband split their time between California and Las Vegas, although she originally hails from the south suburbs of Chi-town. It was at a dinner this past summer with a big group when she disclosed several interesting facts that made me sit up a little straighter: she worked on a political campaign in 2008 (me too), she has vacationed at the Grand Wailea in Hawaii (me too), her husband is a crazed, over-the-top Packer fan (um....sooo me too) and then finally, she was very sad when the last Harry Potter book came out since it was directly after her wedding, and that meant she had to ignore her husband (and the Italian countryside) for three full days to finish the book. Um...this is exactly what I would have done too. (I seriously considered closing the practice and canceling clients until I had finished the book). I really had to keep my comments in check during that dinner, since I felt like I kept squealing "ME TOO!" after everything she said and I would eventually creep her out.
Anyways, she wasn't creeped out and quickly grew to be a great friend and fellow adventurer in this crazy land of Motherhood. We are both provisionals in Junior League this year (essentially pledges, if you don't speak JL) and we even co-hosted our first-ever Halloween party, a tradition we are hoping to continue. (and you know what? She was just as into the details as I was. Signature drink? Check. Lighting? Check. Blood-splattered, torn clothes to hang in the eaves as decoration? Check, check, and check. I do think she is my long lost twin sister, minus the fact she is four inches taller than me and two years older.)
Anways...Deana is guest blogging today, and sharing a TSA-themed tale of woe. Traveling during the holidays? Don't travel with Deana. Clearly twin-moms are the new group that needs to be watched carefully. After all, "double BOB" does sound suspiciously like "bomb" if you say it with your mouth full.
Ahhh…. the holiday season is upon us again. We anticipate the smell of the Turkey. We plan on having seconds of the stuffing, so we don’t eat all day Thanksgiving Day. We drink wine and toast to how thankful we are to be where we are and whom we are with.
We look forward to putting up our Christmas trees, the smell of fresh pine, a roaring fire, and maybe a few chestnuts roasting on this fire? We have all of our plans for the holidays laid out in front of us. Most people will inevitably get together with family and friends, where they will, once again, hope to recreate the scene from the movie “How the Grinch stole Christmas” where everyone eats their “roast beast” and sings carols while holding hands.
My Christmas/Thanksgiving has always looked more like the dinner scene from the movie “Christmas Vacation” but it works for me, since I prefer laughs to perfection. This leads me to my Thanksgiving 2010 story, where all hope of perfection went out of the window as soon as our little family of four booked our flight to Napa to visit my in-laws. I thought of nothing better than spending Thanksgiving in beautiful Napa, Ca, where the fall color of the trees are spectacular, and the wine is always as fresh and crisp as the air.
That is until we reached the airport. For those of you who do not know me, I have 15-month-old twins named Jackson and Alex, and my understanding husband is Jason. I am a stay at home mom and Jason travels for work.
I digress…. The Airport. We entered the airport, Jason loaded up with our bags like a Sherpa, and I pushing the double stroller with 2 very confused and sleepy boys and made our way to the line. Yes, the LINE. We had to go “old school” because we couldn’t print our boarding passes due to the fact that we had 3 bags to check for a 48-hour trip (gone are the days of the small duffle bag put in the overhead compartment). After some confusing exchanges with the ticket agent, who kept telling us we were going to Baltimore (I should have known then to turn around and go home) and us firmly restating that we are flying to OAKLAND, one of our bags tagged and sent down to the luggage hold with a tag to Baltimore, and a scuffle over how old our kids actually are (boy are they tall), we made it to the other line. The dreaded TSA security line, where many intimidating agents were lined up, hands on hips, ready to do battle against terrorism.
The last time we traveled was late August, where it was a pleasure to be greeted by very understanding TSA agents who thought our kids were adorable, were ok with all of the extra contraband we had to carry, and viewed the double stroller as a mode of transportation only. Boy things have changed in the last few months.
We were immediately escorted to the “family” line and being forthcoming, I declared we had formula in our carry on bag. I was told rather rudely to remove my kids shoes (Really?? Do these people know how long I had to chase them around the room to put them on??) and walk through the metal detectors. Fine, DONE.
They took our double stroller over to the side and began to inspect it and swab it like it was the newest nuclear device. As that was going on, Jason was through the detectors, and was beginning to get dressed again and gather our stuff.
“MISS, WHAT IS THIS?” I hear the female agent say while holding up a small metal can of formula. Well, it is clearly labeled formula and it has NEVER been opened, so I guess it is plutonium, but I bit my sarcasm back and said “my baby formula for the kids”.
The very understanding TSA agent (sarcasm again) said, “Well, it is over 4 ounces and you have a few cans and that is not acceptable…”
I immediately said, “The rule doesn’t apply for breast milk and formula,” and explained that we traveled 2 months ago with no problem.
“Rules have changed”, snapped Attila the TSA agent.
“Well how am I supposed to feed my kids?” I asked, because really…HOW?
Well, after a very thorough search of my body, and swabbing of my hands she deemed us not a threat, released us, our formula, and our stroller into the airport to continue our travels.
I looked at Jason, who was shaking his head, and felt the rage build up. They kept us there 10 minutes. A family of four with toddlers held up a security for 10 MINUTES!!! WHAT is this country doing??? I am all for security but this is ridiculous. Maybe it is just this airport, I said and continued on to our Thanksgiving holiday.
Fast forward to Friday at Oakland airport. I have dropped the attitude about the TSA and have decided to kill them with kindness. Maybe that will move us along this time. First, one clueless TSA agent sent us to the wrong line, where we were informed, “For future reference, there is a family line.” I piped up with “ we were told to go to this line by that guy over there” and the TSA agent looked over at his colleague and rolled his eyes. NOT my fault I am in this line. Attitude not appreciated.
We push onward, ok, here we go…. We begin pulling out our portable electronic devices, stripping off shoes, unstrapping babies and declaring our formula. Deep breath.
Here we go, through the metal detectors. Whoosh, no problem.
Jason is through; our bags are at the end of the belt. Cleared!!
Here comes the double stroller. Oh no, it didn’t pass the swab test!!!
“Miss, can you come here so we can do a pat down on you?” AGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Pat down begins; Jason has both boys in his arms. Both boys are watching this lady feel me up, and begin to scream. Red faced, screaming, and trying to jump out of Jason’s arms. Jason is struggling to maintain them and begins to try to put them in the stroller. They are falling, there is no way one person can navigate putting them in the stroller. The two TSA agents are watching this, offering no help, and the other one tells me to sit down and wait. Don’t move. I want to scream “CAN’T YOU SEE HE NEEDS HELP? THE KIDS ARE CRYING, THEY ARE FALLING OUT OF THE STROLLER, AND YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!!!” But alas, I don’t want to be arrested.
They let us go finally, after another 10 minutes of searching and probing.
Aren’t you glad the US is safe? Who knew 15-month-old boys would instill panic in even the most jaded TSA agents?
Jason and I have made the executive decision that we are not traveling for the holidays for the foreseeable future. We have also decided that we never want to hear the phrase “For future reference” EVER again.
I sincerely hope that everyone else’s holiday plans go smoother than ours, but if you do have to travel on an airplane, bring nothing, say nothing, and keep the double stroller at home! Unless you like the “pat down” J