Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What IS that? And Keep Reading to Really Laugh...


No, it's not a bad photograph... You can't really see much because my window shield is COVERED in slimy, blackish-brown slush. The whole car is COVERED. You would NEVER believe (unless you live in Moscow) that I had the car washed last night.

That car in front of me? IT'S ACTUALLY WHITE, PEOPLE! 

Ugh. Sigh. 

And yet for all the "Oh, wow, I'm back in Moscow" moments... It DOES feel good to be back in our own place, pretty much unpacked. You'd never know I'd brought back 410 lbs of allowed luggage, plus the 150 more I managed to sneak on in our carry-ons and car seat bag...

For those of you readers who get a "soap opera" kick out of our adventures, I can't disappoint...
Highlights of the return trip? 

Delta's computers at JFK incorrectly had Katya down for only 2 50 lb bags instead of the 3 70 lb bags she's actually allowed due to her frequent flyer status... They tried to make me pay almost $500 I didn't actually owe -- or have. They tried to make me leave my children and all our bags AT THE CURB at JFK to get any assistance in the matter. Had to treck outside with the girls, leaving all our bags unattended, to find help in another terminal... It took over an hour and a half... Katya had a petit mal seizure from the stress of the situation... 

Finally got checked in without paying more, only to not have seats -- any  of us -- together... People did move, but not without being rather peeved... I explained that my kids have some special needs and that I *had* to be with them, but no one really believed me... 

Natalia then graciously proved to anyone who had doubted me that YES, indeed, she needed her mother beside her... Her ten minute all out hysterical fit during take off -- during which I had to pin her into her seat -- while one of Chris's colleagues looked on from a few rows behind -- and during which I tried to calm her down by whispering, only to have her shout to EVERYONE on board how awful my breath smelled...

But heck, that was nothing in the "embarrassing behavior" department in comparison to what she'd done two years ago! While waiting to board the very same flight, she kept trying to interrupt me while I worked out our seats with the agent. I wouldn't answer her persistent "Mommy!" cries so she then SHOUTED to everyone at the gate, "But MOMMY! I need to know! WHY do you have a string between your legs??!!" Ah, the joys of young children. The joy of having to bring your kids into the stall with you when in such a public place. The joy of kids who don't turn around and give you privacy when you think they are. The joy OF THEN RUNNING INTO PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN ON THAT FLIGHT AND WHO KNOW YOU LOOK FAMILIAR, BUT THEY JUST CAN'T PLACE YOU... Seriously. It happened. With the people who had been next in line.

OK, sure, I've just further shamed myself publicly, but weren't all those snarfed cups of coffee you readers are drinking worth it? Come on, all of our kids have humiliated us in some way...!

The rest of the flight was absolutely fine, as far as being confined in a small space with your two kids for twelve hours goes... 

Then there was a snafu at the airport when for about half an hour it appeared that only a cab driver with a regular car was meeting us, and there was NO way even our luggage would fit... 

But it all worked out, hey, we arrived safely, so did all our bags, and I took advantage of our sleepless jet-lagged nights to get almost everything put away before heading back to work. 

Yay!

17 comments:

Tami said...

Oh honey! I don't know how you do it! 410 pounds of luggage!!!! I can't imagine. But I bet it was full of all kinds of goodies!
And yes, my children embarass me...all the time. Although I've never had one of them shout that in the middle of a crowded airport! ;>)

Tony and Dawn said...

I can not imagine trying to get that much luggage into a taxi at SVO! Glad to hear you made it home safely. Happy New Year and God Bless -

Tina in CT said...

I have told you numerous times that you should write all these things down and someday (in your spare time) write a book. The girls sure give you enough material.

Natalie said...

Wow, how funny! You poor guys! Glad you made it home safely. I've heard kids can be embarassing, sounds like they have stepped up to the plate a time or two.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you made back to Moscow OK. The traveling is so unpleasant these days, all the rules and regulations and none of the service.
Olga

Carey and Norman said...

Kids can say the darnedest things. And, never at the right time or place. Sometimes even at church for us :o) Sorry to hear that your trip home was a little crazy, but it does make for some funny stories (appreciated by us moms as we've all been there/done that). Thanks for sharing.

AdoptaMama said...

So very funny. To me, perhaps not to you? ;)

So far I've managed to keep the 'string between my legs' my little secret. Not sure how as we always manage to hang out in the stalls together. Just tonight though, there was a tampon on the floor in the restaurant bathroom (not mine, I swear) and Katrina reached down while saying, "Mama, someone dropped something..." I managed to stop her before she touched it (ick!) and told her that it wasn't her job -- there are people in the place who are responsible for cleaning the bathrooms.

Love your stories and I'm thankful it's you and not me. ;) At least for now!

Glad you're home safe & sound. I'm sure you are, too.

The Expatresse said...

OY! [smacks forehead]

Cecelia said...

I can't believe you were able to do that and remain calm. Loved reading your story.

Rachael said...

You lugged around 150# of CARRY-ON? Yipes.

You need to write a travelogue. Your trips are classic.

I think you should have just let whoever was sitting next to Natalia (attempt to) babysit her. You could have sat a few rows up reading! Ha. Until they came BEGGING YOU to switch seat! :)

Tina in CT said...

I love Rachel's advice. Maybe on the next flight, you can get a seat alone and get some p & q.

Francie said...

Wow, I guess I must be pretty lucky just being an auntie, then! No embarrasing moments with the "kids"! Sounds like you had a great time in the states though and glad you're back, safe!

Mallory said...

I had to "de-lurk" after the "what is that string between your legs" comment from Talia that I was NOT prepared for! How funny! Just wait until she is old enough to hear these stories.

I really enjoy your blog by the way. I had the opportunity to spend a month in Russia and loved it! Your blog brings me back to then. Thank you!

Annie said...

Well....this was well worth waking the kids up late for!

Must run, but I laughed out loud.

And think - every person on that flight will be more than happy to let the next parent sit with their child, no matter HOW angelic the child looks!

Tina in CT said...

Annie,

My granddaughters look very angelic in their matching velour outfits too. My daughter always has them in matching comfy outfits for traveling as it's easier to keep track of them when they are dressed alike as they stand out.

Tina

MamaPoRuski said...

So good to catch up on your blog and get a good laugh! You truly are a seasoned world traveling mom!

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