Up so revoltingly early, all of us, for my bigger two are off on an adventure without us.
Flying up to spend some time with their Grandpa and Nanna, and to partake in the ANZAC Day march my Dad (their grandfather) is organising up where he lives.
We had all intended to go, but Life and Other things got in the way; Grumpy Pants has not yet sold his business, and I scored this amazingly fun, yet totally convoluted and chaotic contract for a project.
Grumpy and I figured it’d be a Good Thing for the kids to take this adventure without their parents, not to mention the opportunity to participate in something as profound as the 100th Anniversary of the ANZACs, wearing my grandfather’s medals.
Flights were booked, by a family member who is also a travel agent, and we awaited in anticipation for this day.
Excitement and anxiety.
A sense of pride, and of worry.
Of hoping they would behave, and of being rather annoyed that I knew they’d behave for their grandparents, and we get all the icky bits.
Chippie was most excited at the idea of not being tormented by his older brothers and was very much looking forward to the peace.
He was, however, most incensed, at being woken up “In the middle of the night” to take his brothers to the airport.
I must admit, I agreed with him.
Bags packed and in the car the night before, the kids in bed in their clothes to make this morning easier, we set off in the pitch black and arrived at the domestic terminal well before anything I’d actually refer to as A Time.
It was when we arrived that, basically, it went to shit. Godzilla, only days off turning 12, must be in the company of someone aged 15 or over, and not the 14 and a half that his older brother is.
The suggestion that he ‘upgrade’ to being an Unaccompanied Minor was made and for a small fee, we agreed. They were, after all, being greeted at the other end by their grandfather, so it was no biggy.
Except, there was a change over of flights in the middle somewhere, not a direct flight.
No longer does the Unaccompanied Minor looker afterer actually look after the child in such situations, and it was essential that we had an adult meet my kids- or Godzilla more specifically – at the gate to walk them to the other gate, and sit with them for the ten or so minutes between the flights.
Had I been in possession of this information some weeks ago, when we booked the tickets, this could have been organised. As it was, at 6.00 a.m. and pre-coffee, we had no one we knew in the area who could perform this duty.
We rang the grandparents to advise, and to see if they had a solution; they did, for there are relatives of my step-mother nearby.
We has six minutes to organise someone to come and do the Walk Between Gates duty.
It crossed my mind that I was required not to allow my kids, whom I trusted implicitly, to walk from one gate to another, but to have them accompanied by someone I had met twice over the last fifteen years.
It was best I didn’t think about it too much, as I was already extremely frustrated, and trying extremely hard to keep my anger in check.
It transpired that nothing of the sort could be arranged. At least, not for that flight.
We spent much more time at another counter, organising different flights.
I witnessed a man, close to breaking point, clearly distressed about something try to book tickets to somewhere, only to be queue jumped by a man who clearly had priority because he was “going to LA!”
I was tempted to trip him up myself.
The distressed man was clearly having a crap day, and it was only getting worse. He had left his wallet in the car.
In the long term carpark.
He couldn’t book his flight he needed to be on.
I wanted to give him a hug.
LA man escaped without being punched in the face by either one of us.
Flights changed, Unaccompanied Minor status organised, and my Dad commenced his three hour drive from his home to the airport so he could collect my kids.
A layer of pissed offedness descended as I realised all the hours I had in my day had fluttered out the window, AND I had to do another run to the airport.
Chippie dropped off at school and Grumpy Pants at work, it was just Monkey Boy, Godzilla and I.
We made it back to the airport on time, and with a minor incident with a Nerf Gun (whilst waiting for Airport time, we went shopping and purchased a birthday present for their grandpa; a Neft Gun because he is also a six-year-old boy and apparently