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June 30, 2009

Yet another test to get into Mommy Heaven.

The plan was to travel from Zurich to Chennai together. With Hd. But as always, work came up and Hd asked me to postpone. But me being me, asked aloud "whats the worst that can happen" and decided to travel alone with 2 kids. I knew Ashu would nt be a problem as long as shes not told to walk while shes sleepy. Antu would be ok too since I have sure shot way to shut her mouth, by breast feeding! Kodis Mom, who I think is being my guardian angel without actually knowing it herself, posted recently about her trip alone with the kids and that gave me more confidence. I prepared Ashu for weeks that she was muttering, "I ll cooperate, Amma" even in her sleep. I tried making Antu walk but no luck there. She had her mind set only on crawling. May be she ll change her mind once she saw the airplane bathroom, I told myself. So on 20th afternoon, Hd left us in the airport, shook his head one last time at my foolishness and walked away. This is it, I told myself. The ultimate test!

I carried only a backpack with the bare minimum requirements. Ashu carried a tiny backpack and also a small children's pullman suitcase. It carried a set of clothes, toys, books and snacks for her. It was very light and I could carry it if it was too much for her. But the poor darling, pulled it by herself everywhere. So it sure was a good buy. Emirates has a good in flight entertainment so from Zurich to Dubai, she watched Mickey Mouse Wonder house and Little Einsteins back to back, sipped juice, nibbled on the flight food and had a good time. Antu slept off during take off and slept for two hours in the bassinet leaving me to eat in peace and also visit the bathroom. Then I fed her some baby food, read to her, sang to her, changed her and kept her busy. When a kind gentleman smiled at her, I narrowed down the victim and plonked Antu on his lap and used the bathroom and came out in a record time of 5 1/2 seconds, thanked him and picked Antu and walked back to our seat before the man could realize what had happened! Ashu nodded off just before we landed in Dubai. Trouble, I told myself!

Ashu cried when I woke her up and asked her to walk. But she was ok within a few minutes. I found the complimentary strollers at the Dubai airport for Antu and after that, it was an easy ride. We window shopped a bit, had hot chocolate and I fed and changed Antu and it was already time to board the Chennai flight. We did nt get the first row seats with bassinets for this leg. But it was no so bad. Ashu slept the whole time. Antu was a little fidgety but otherwise ok. One thing I should ve done was to take Ashu to the bathroom and used it myself just before we landed. But there was no time and on hindsight, that was a big mistake. We landed in Chennai and I felt invincible and patted myself at my back not knowing what was in store for me!

I had filled all our immigration forms in the plane. When we walked out of the plane, there was a long line for the swine flu test. Since there are no complimentary strollers like in Dubai airport and we dont get our own strollers at the gate anymore, I had to carry Antu all the time and my hands almost died on me and fell off. Ashu seemed to decide enough was enough and refused to do anything I said. And then the swine flu testing person asks me to fill 3 more forms with all our details. What am I supposed to do with Antu? Leave her on the tobacco spat, stained floor and fill the forms? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, thats exactly what I had to do. The lady just felt Antus head for temperature, asked us if anyone has fever or cough and sent us off. When she tried to touch Ashus head, she wriggled and ran away! Then we stood in the immigration line for a long time. Just before it was our turn, Ashu started bawling and said she wanted to use the bathroom otherwise she ll just "go there"! I thought about it for 2 seconds, then took her to the bathroom which was way past behind the swine flu lines. Ashu took one look at the bathroom and refused to go in. Then she did nt know how to use the Indian style toilets, I did nt know what to do with the small suitcase or Antu. Thought its ok to lose the suitcase than Antu and took Antu inside leaving the suitcase outside. Ashu created all sort of mess you dont want to know about and after almost slipping and dropping Antu in the toilet, we came out unhurt but not the most hygienic!

Then we came back to the immigration line and when I requested a person in the front if I can go before him since I was standing in the line before, the man REFUSED! I thanked him and tried the handicapped and diplomat line. Since there were many wheelchair bound people before me, it took almost 30 mins for our turn. Antu cried 29 mins of it and both my hands were completely dead and I would nt even have realized if they had fallen off! Ashu was the most cranky by this time and when we reached the hand baggage screening area, she refused to part with her backpack. The kind man at the security took one look at me and waved us off. I crossed the exit to go to the baggage claims where my father and father in law waved at us. I glared at them and if I had a third eye, they both would ve been burnt to ashes in 2 seconds. As luck would have it, I got my stroller and the two checked in suitcases after 40 minutes. By this time, I was beyond caring and left Antu on the floor where she was crawling and almost getting trampled by people and their trolleys. Ashu was a little recharged after seeing a glimpse of her Thathas and looked out for our suitcases which showed up at last. The porter helped me with the baggage and after what seemed an eternity, we walked out. I plonked Antu to the first pair of hands that reached towards me. Thankfully, it was my fathers.

Verdict: Doable journey with a nightmarish end.


Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Its scary Boo ... and guess what I am imagining myself to be in the exact same situation 10 days from now.
The restroom visit with a carry on luggage and 2 kids ... is something i am dreading.
Oh wait ... I have another person to take care of my aged MIL ... who gets scared of her health condition when she sneezes and cannot handle her purse by herself :(

Anonymous said...

Oh woow kodos to u..u finally made it...the first para seemed like a breeze...oh we can do it...but the last one was really tough...

Anyways hope all is fine and you have a good vacation. Happy Birthday to Antu..she looks so cuute...


Me said...

Boo...if you are going to do this again on your return should ask YaadaYaada to get you something like thiswhen she comes to India...

Anonymous said...

YAY! But it was all worth it right at the end of it? To see the tatthas and pattis :)(My best friends growing up spoke Tamil and I tried to learn :))

That what I focused on when I was travelling with my gang last year.

I have to do a post on this.

anatlus said...

heyya,first time commenting on ur blog....i can imagine how difficult it would be with 2 kids and travelling alone,mine was bad though we have one child and my hubby was there with us.. it was our first time travelling with a baby so we had a hard time and coming to ur tags sethu sunnabaiten.... chancea illai,sooper..

NC said...

I know, it must have been extremely tiring. But you have still put it in a humorous way. Must appreciate you sense of humor.

Artnavy said...

welcome to chennai...bravo!!

even anush who knows how to us eteh indian loo - does not like using it at public places

Anusha said...

hey you made it!!!
forget the ending - this is exactly the kind of scenario you hope and pray doesn't happen - but Murphy has his way.

Saya said...

your labels are hilarious..

Anonymous said...

Boo! Only you can do it and also write about it. Bravo!! Have fun in for the rest of the trip.

Unknown said...

omg...after reading this account...i am terrified of the trip i have to make back to india in have no idea how strong willed and hyperactive my son is!

Anonymous said...

wow! you definitely going to Mommy heaven.

dipali said...

Phew:( The last phase sounds so dire.
I hope your husband will be going back with you!

Anonymous said...

The last part sounds so exhausting... sympathies :(
I've decided not to travel with my baby alone EVER! :)

DotThoughts said...

Damn. sounds horrid. why don't they give strollers at the gate anymore? utter nonsense that is!!!

yaadayaada said...

Tch! Tch!

sole said...

A tag ...please take it up! Thank You :-)

Poppins said...

Oh my God. I was just applauding your flight, but yes it was only the peeing that did you in.

But gosh you are now guaranteed Mommy heaven. Which I imagine is a place where potty trained and independently eating babies are always smiling.

Moral of the story: Do not attempt to use a public restroom in India.

Kelvy said...

ohh wow, its good to know u traveeled alone with 2 lill ones..thats brave...atleast good that u dint hav any probs till dubai atleast...
humm i can imagine abt the hygeine conditions in the indian toilets and i just hate stepping into all that water and puddles too.. always i end up slipping but thankfully not falling...
humm and now i'm expecting my first lill one and wondering how i will travel after the lill one is born to india...

Subhashree said...

Aww... hugs Boo. But the best part is YOU SURVIVED! Loved your labels :)

Momo's Ma said...

hey, commenting 1st time. ur sure r a brave woman. hats off to u n ur little angels and happy bde to antu. been following ur blog for some time now. its awesome , u write really well, cant read the tamil blog cos dont know how to read tamil, can only spk, but i do enjoy the tamil words u use in between here. i remembered my first and only trip alone till date with my kid, Momo when she was 6mths old. it was a breeze thankfully. look forward to more updates on the india visit :)

shraddha said...

i can so relate...

joys of motherhood...

great blog...

Noodlehead said...

omg boo! sounds really scary :( poor you and the kids...but al's well that ends well, i guess. i dunno if i would have been so patient if i was in your place!

Mona said...

i think for this you get the fluffiest cloud in mommy heaven.

Ardra said...

Boo! have been meaning to tell you this for a long time- you're almost as cute as Ashu and Antu...and your labels! :-D

Mama - Mia said...

woman! you are awesome!

hope the rest of the stay is fun!


Sue Gir said...

Congratulations on making it alive, unhurt and ahem... even though not very hygienic.
We flew to the chennai airport twice and both the times, you know, I refused to use the toilet. Things can wait until we get back home! May be I should practise my kid to HOLD IT for longer intervals while I potty train him LOL!

AMIT said...

Hey thanks for sharing this with us here.

Lingerie news

Raj said...

Got to read this only now.
kudos to you for handling ur kids and the way you wrote this stuff. sorry but just could not hide the little smile in the face while reading ur story (sadist ellam illaba..)

and not to forget ur labels were soopero sooper. Kadaisi label puriyarathukulle nane apdi ayiten


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