The Tiniest Threat to Homeland Security

11 Jun

And we’re here!

Actually, we’ve been here for almost a week now, but I’ve been so stunned by the aisles and aisles of food in the grocery stores that I’ve just been stumbling around in a shell-shocked daze.

So did we make that quick connection in New York? That would be a definite NO. Our flight was fantastic. We had an entire middle row to ourselves so we stretched out and relaxed. Finn was amazing. He was either sleeping or smiling at the other passengers while playing with his toes for the whole twelve hours! No crying, no fussing, no use for the Benedryl in the carry-on. He was probably the happiest person on the plane. The flight actually passed pretty quickly, but we were still wiped out when we landed in New York an hour earlier than expected and we were looking forward to getting home to Texas.

We got off the plane and collected our bags, then waited for the gate-checked stroller to be unloaded. And waited…and waited… The minutes ticked by and we started getting more and more panicked about making our next flight. I ran around talking to various airport agents, but apparently no one could call the gate for us to tell them we were just waiting for a stroller. It was a total Egyptian experience, with everyone incorrectly telling us that someone else would be able to help us.

An hour later, we collected our stroller, flew through customs, ran down the terminal at top speed. In the interest of comfort, I was wearing drawstring pants that, to my horror, starting falling down as I ran. I am ashamed to admit I briefly weighed whether it would be worth it to stop and pull my pants up before they fell, or let them fall and keep running. Luckily for everyone, I chose the former. We got to the check-in desk just after the flight had closed. I won’t get into how stupid, lazy and unhelpful the Egyptair people were, not to mention really rude. Let me just say that if you happened to be at JFK last week and heard screaming, that was me. They refused to rebook us or put us up for the night, denying that it was their fault that they took an hour to unload our stroller. The Continental people were more sympathetic though and got us on a flight the next morning. We paid for our hotel ourselves, with me muttering that our travel agent who booked us on an illegal one hour layover would be getting the bill.

Through all this, Finn continued to be amazing, much to my frustration. I kept trying to use the “I have a jet-lagged baby!” line at the ticket counter, but it loses its effect when said baby is smiling and cooing at everybody.

So we resigned ourselves to staying the night and stepped onto the train taking us to the hotel shuttle. Just as we stepped on, we realized we were on the train going in the opposite direction. I stepped back off the train and onto the platform, thinking that Patrick (who was wheeling the stroller) was right behind me, only to turn and see the train doors shutting and he and my baby zip off before my eyes. I sank into a chair and wanted to cry, but instead started laughing, like a crazy person. Eventually Patrick and Finn came back, as I knew they would and together we went off to our lux hotel, put the boy to bed, and ate Chinese takeout on our super-plush hotel beds.

The rest of our travel was pretty easy and very amusing. Patrick checked us in while Finn and I watched rats dash in and out of the potted plants at the terminal. Then, as we were walking through security, a guard stopped us and asked “which one is Finn?” I pointed to the baby and he looked at me like I was crazy and double-checked. Then he turned to the rest of the security team and told them that the baby had been flagged to be searched and patted. They all snapped to attention and started laughing. They didn’t quite know what to do, having never had to pat down a baby before. They were cracking jokes with us and having fun with it. They had Patrick hold Finn in the partition while a male agent patted Finn down. Patrick suggested that they beware of his diaper. Luckily they were all so amused that they just laughed and waved us through, rather than shouting “code red” and ripped off Finn’s diaper. I wish I could have gotten a picture of them searching our little threat to Homeland Security but that would probably be off-limits.

Anyways, Finn is enjoying being spoiled by his grandparents and great-grandparents. He’s learning Spanish, making him a tri-lingual baby and accumulating more cute outfits than fit in his closet. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying driving and going to Target and Patrick just left for a week and a half long research trip. I don’t envy him having to get on a plane again so soon. Especially now that our family has been tagged as a threat to Homeland Security. 

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10 Responses to “The Tiniest Threat to Homeland Security”

  1. Nancy June 11, 2008 at 4:41 am #

    Awesome 🙂

    I’m sorry you missed your flight…but I’m happy Finn was good for you.

    I have an idea! You can take Rachel back with you and we’ll take Finn. That solves all of our problems.

    And I love that Finn was patted down. Just awesome!

  2. Lydia June 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    I’m glad you were so relaxed about it. We are leaving in less than 12 hours and I’m ready. Let’s just get it over with!! I included my blog site: Life, Kids and Pyramids

  3. Kay June 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Yeah!! I’m glad you are safe and sound on US soil if only temporarily. We can’t wait to see you.

  4. Dre June 11, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    I’m sorry that we can only offer one set of grandparents but we have a whole gaggle of cousins that should entertain and delight (not to mention be delighted by) Finn. 21 days to Zion……….but who’s counting? We can hardly wait to get our hands on that talking terrorist baby. And P.S. we have a stroller.

  5. tracy m June 12, 2008 at 3:54 am #

    Yay! I’m so glad he was a good baby for you.

    Jeffrey got searched when he was about 18 months old- it was horrible. They actually made him stand by himself in the glass partition, and he screamed while they wanded him- And I cried from the other side of the glass. Uck.

    Here’s hoping home is wonderful for the summer.

  6. Melissa June 12, 2008 at 4:16 am #

    Tracy, is that why the Snarker refers to him as the red-headed terrorist? 🙂

  7. tracy m June 12, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    It is!! Wow, I’m so impressed you noticed that!

  8. Judy June 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi I am glad you are safely back in the United States for the summer

  9. janae Baumeister June 19, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    Mel,
    Nathan and I and Beca and David are hoping to be able to see you and the fam this Saturday or Sunday (the 21st or the 22nd). Are you available?
    You better be!!! 🙂

  10. Melissa June 19, 2008 at 11:26 pm #

    Hey! I was just white paging you to call you when I read this. Freaky! We’ll be here, just give me a call at my parents and let me know when you’ll be here.

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