flightmum











So, it’s been almost six months since I blogged. I just ran out of time for this activity. I had a choice to either spend what little spare time I had to blog after the kids went to bed, or to do laundry. After a few days of the kids running around buck naked, I knew I had to return to becoming a dazzling laundress instead of a famous blogger. But I had hoped that I’d come back to writing again eventually because I enjoy composing (I hope) witty and thought provoking words and, well, gosh darn it,  I like the attention of my followers.  Plus, my aunt told me that she likes reading my stories and that I am talented. Thanks,  Auntie.

So, I am back. Not sure what kind of schedule I will keep. Might write again tomorrow or in six months time. Who knows. We shall see.

To the meat of my blog:

I flew with a husband and wife team. They were so adorable.  They buddy bid to fly together on as many flights as possible.  Their children have grown up and moved away and they are a few years away from retirement. They drive in to work together and bid to fly to fabulous destinations with long layovers. Essentially,  they are getting paid to have several mini holidays together every month. This month alone,  they have ‘vacationed’ in Santiago and Bejing.

When their daughters were younger,  they would choose to work opposite shifts so someone was always home with the girls.  They did this for many years.  Working opposite days could really take a toll on a marriage.  It’s a gamble and doesn’t always turn out for the best. Look at all those movie stars married to each other, who take turns going away on set and making films while the other stays home with the kids. Conscious uncoupling, I tell you. Otherwise known as Splitsville. See, same could happen to the flight attendant power couples, except for the three million dollar paychecks.

I know another airline couple who decided to work opposites to raise their kids. Well, eventually they got used to their own time alone with the children and didn’t know how to be a couple anymore. Now, they still bid opposites, but the kids live with mum half the week while dad flies and vice versa.

Anyway, back to the love birds, they were so sweet and still very much in love after all these years. They were a pleasure to work with. They shared their stories with me about their doctor and pilot daughters. Ironically, their life story goes as follows: two flights attendants met, married and had two daughters. One daughter became a doctor and married another doctor. The other one became a pilot and married another pilot! Maybe that is the secret of a strong marriage…marrying someone with the same profession as you,  as they will be very understanding of your job constraints and the unusual hours you work.

Perhaps it’s true: Birds of a feather flock together. 

 

 

Advertisements


{June 6, 2013}   THE PHONE CALL

Last week,  I was at home, minding my own business and trying to keep busy (yes, it is extremely  difficult  to keep busy with three young  kids!). 

I was on the phone with my bank when lo and behold,  my other line rang. I asked the nice banking woman to hold on a minute while I answered call waiting:

Hello?

Hi. This is your son’s teacher.  Do you have a minute?

Yes, hang on. I’ll just get off the other line.

I swiftly hung up on the banking person. My mind was racing with different scenarios of why my younger son’s teacher was calling me during the school day.  What did he do this time? I started sweating and hyperventilating a little.  I was forming apologies in my head to extend to the teacher or the latest victim. I was crafting firm punishments to force upon my son as soon as he walked through the front door. I imagined saying in a Ricky Ricardo voice: Lucy, you have some ‘splainin to do.

I took a few deep breathes and a couple of swigs of booze (conveniently kept close for JUST these occasions) and used up all my courage to breathe:

Hello? I’m back.

Yes. I am just calling about something that happened today at school.  I tested all the children’s reading levels today and your son scored a 28 out of 30. Even though he is in grade two, his reading level is two thirds through grade three.

Wow! That was not the phone call I expected to get.

Well, I thought it would be nice to get a feel good phone call for a change.

Thanks!  I really appreciate it!

Both your son’s are great readers. You are very lucky that they enjoy reading. In fact,  I think your middle son might even be a higher achiever reader than your oldest son was at the same age.

Thank you but I think I had something to do with their love of reading!

Oh yes. Of course.

Thanks for the phone call.  Bye.

And that was that. I worried for nothing. I drank in the middle of the day (gasp. BEFORE noon) and all by my lonesome for no good or valid reason. Something to think about, indeed.

When my son came home from school, I gave him a great big hug and told him how proud I was of him.

When my husband got home, I told him that our son got a call from his teacher today.

Instantly, he started sweating and shaking with anticipation of the news from today’s PHONE CALL.

I silently chuckled and sat back to enjoy the show.



{April 8, 2013}   Freedom Flight

As a mum, it goes without saying that my kids (especially when they were young), preferred me to do things for them or sit next to them. As opposed to their father.  My younger kids constantly fought over who got to sit next to mum at dinner time. When they woke up in the morning, they’d crowd me in bed while my husband had half the bed to himself. I’d tend to have two children sandwiched around me and one child with the coveted position of lying ON me. Their dad is a good sport about all this. He knows the kids love him immensely.

I don’t know if the kids gravitate towards me because of the mother/child bond OR because of the irregular hours I work. They never know when I will be available to kiss them good morning or tuck them in at night. Their dad always had more regular hours.

Anyway, no complaints.  I am very lucky. 

Many years ago,  my husband and I and our two boys were trying to fly home on standby. (Our daughter was just a figment of our imagination). The passenger agents called our name but said she only had 2 seats available and did we want to take them? We only needed 3 seats as our youngest was 18 months and would have been lap held. I asked if I could sit in the flight deck and she replied with an affirmative. My husband and I discussed the different options.  Basically,  we could pass on the seats and wait half the day in the airport for the next flight.  Or, I could sit in the flight deck while my sweetie sat with our 3 year old and a laptop held 18 month old for a five hour flight. It was a no-brainer. Ha ha.

We decided to go for it and boarded the aircraft. There were some tears as I headed left towards the cockpit and the kids and husband went right towards their seats. My husband gave me a brave smile and off they went.

I strapped myself into the jumpseat and waited for take-off. Once airborne,  I explained to the pilots that my husband and young sons were stuck in the back, while I got to have adult conversation.  We all had a good chuckle. All of a sudden,  I had a drink and a newspaper in my hands. It was a very relaxing and carefree flight…one I wouldn’t have had in the back of the aircraft with two little boys vying for my attention. It was a shame about being separated…but that is the sacrifice I made for my family that day. You’re welcome.



Sunday morning, the kids woke up and excitedly ran downstairs to search high and low for the eggs that the Easter bunny hid for them. They couldn’t find even one! Dad then  told them that he had gone  outside to put the recycling out and stumbled upon an egg. A herd of three children scrambled upstairs and outside to search and rescue 21 hidden eggs. They successfully completed their mission within minutes. Satisfied, they headed back inside and proceeded to sort their candy and started the all important task of trading their goods with each other.  The rest of the day for them consisted of sneaking off and eating lollies without mum or dad seeing. (ya right! I was on to them!)

Lucky for me, I had some important egg hunting to do as well. Why should the kids have all the fun? My oldest son had complained the night before that his head was itchy. I got out my super duper deluxe lice kit, and went to work. Crap! The Easter bunny hid many eggs (nits) on my son’s head too. But they weren’t filled with candy and chocolate and there were more than 21 of them. So, I spent several hours scouring his head looking for eggs and pesky lice. One of my least favourite jobs! 

My poor son…he catches EVERYTHING.  This is his fourth encounter with lice that he (probably) caught at school. Boy…does he have clean hair, or what! He’s had pink eye, the  stomach flu numerous times and he gets unexplained hives every year. I

Back to the Easter weekend lice-athon,  we spent the rest of it shunned by the outside world and held in isolation. My daughter also caught the critter special. Boy oh boy. More egg hunting for me even though Easter is almost over. Can’t wait to see what is in store next year!

 



{March 4, 2013}   Gift cards – good or bad?

My children were lucky enough to get a few gift cards as presents over the holiday season. We just spent them recently. 

I love watching my kids making the very important decision of what to buy. If it’s MY money,  they want everything in the store. “Please, Mummy, can you buy it. I LOVE IT!” But, when it is THEIR money,  they are a lot more choosier.  They will pick something up that they are considering purchasing and I ask them if they think they really will use/play/read it. They usually put it back down. Then they browse for a long time before they finally choose something.  My daughter usually chooses her prized possession  pretty quickly.  I guess as a four year old,  she satisfies easily.  My sons take longer. They have lived through the disappointment of a shiny new toy that only holds their excitement for a few days before it is quietly discarded into the basement, never to be played with again. They want to BELIEVE that there is something in the toy/book store that they can buy and love forever. I want to believe it too. Maybe, just maybe, this item will be played with over and over again. But, unfortunately, it’s usually not the case.  Regardless,  they take their shopping challenge very seriously. It teaches them to make a good decision about what they really want. If in a week’s time, they don’t like it, they only have themselves to blame. It also teaches them about taxes. I tell them that even though they have $25 to spend, they need to choose something a little cheaper as they have to save a few dollars for taxes, which launches me into a short discussion about sales taxes and the government and finishes off with bumpy roads and welfare.  I think they got it. 

I grew up indoctrinated NOT to give gift certificates (as they used to be called) as presents because that is the lazy person’s  gift and not very thoughtful or creative. So, I’ve rarely given them in the past. But, I LOVE receiving them! I think if you read between the lines of that life lesson, it is more about you not wanting the other person to know EXACTLY how much you spent on their gift. What if it wasn’t enough,  and you look too cheap? Or, if it was TOO much,  and now you’ve raised the bar. You can’t win. 

I think gift cards ARE thoughtful. I like to pair it with a small chosen gift to combat the life lessons of my formative years. Everybody wins! I say, bring it on!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more toys to bring down to the basement. 

 

 



{January 21, 2013}   My anorexic 4 year old daughter

At what age can a child be diagnosed with anorexia?  My daughter just does not like to eat! Yes, she has energy and is growing.  But she is SO stubborn when it comes to food. It’s impossible to get her to eat when she decides that she does not want to.  Maybe it’s because she is my third child and I have no fight left in me, which explains  why she ALWAYS gets away with eating so very little.

My first born son has always been such a good eater from the day he was born. In the past, when my friends had had trouble getting their child to eat their dinner,  I used to smugly think that I was SUCH a good  parent. I mean, look at my kid eat! And, even today, at almost 10 years old, he out eats my husband and I, and you can still see his ribs sticking out of him! (For those who know us, my husband and I LOVE eating!) Nothing like one of your children humbling you. Maybe I am NOT such a great parent after all!

But, the truth is, you cannot and should not judge a parent’s abilities (or lack thereof) based on one or two parenting episodes. Unless of course they involve  letting the kid play in the middle of a busy road or sharing their bong with their toddler,  but I digress…

 

 



et cetera