First of all let me say that I am not the type of mommy martyr to systematically one-up everyone elses pain and or misfortune with the fact that I have a kid.
I am not the one who comments on a friends Facebook status that bemoans how tired they are, “Oh just WAIT. You don’t KNOW from tired until you have a BABY. It is my greatest WISH to get as much sleep as YOU, you well-rested childless FOOL.”
I mean, that sort of thing is some real bullshit and everyone with kids just needs to knock it off right now because everyone hates you.
Everything is relative. Tired is tired is TIRED, and yes you discover that exhaustion has new depths when you become a parent but I mean the tired scale goes from 1-10, and a 10 is a 10 is a 10- until you find out there’s an eleven, know what I mean?
Anyway. Now that I have ranted about how horrible mom one-upping is and how no one should ever do it, I am going to do it. Obviously. I can not BELIEVE how ridiculous my attitude towards flights was when I travelled without a baby. I was one of these people Louis CK rails about in the clip below.
I was all, “Oh no! I have five hours of uninterrupted time to myself to spend however I choose! How horrible! The injustice! I get to read trashy magazines and finish whole meals, or even write entire thoughts down without being interrupted. Or even just sit here. Quietly. With my hands folded serenely in my lap. And not be tasked with the unenviable mission of containing a tiny, blonde, over tired Tasmanian devil on my lap while preventing her from repeatedly snatching the glasses off the head of the nice lady in the row in front of us, which just so happens to be all she wants to do in the entire world ever.”
I was an idiot. I even immortalized my idiocy in a SkinnyScoop list. I am now repenting.
It’s not that Olive was bad on the flight, I mean by the time we boarded the plane at 3pm she had already been travelling for eight hours. Then we sat on the tarmac for twenty-five minutes (I KNOW. Sorry Louis. But SERIOUSLY). Someone checked in, checked their bags and then decided not to board the plane (whoever you are, I would like to inform you that I spent that twenty-five minutes calling down all sorts of curses upon your head. I hope you felt my wrath. Especially because your bags looked suspiciously like they contained SKIS. Go to hell you skiing, non-plane-boarding JERK!)
These sort of shenanigans make airlines (understandably) nervous, so we had to wait for the crew to unload each and every piece of luggage, painstakingly sort through them to find and remove the offending (probably ski-containing) bags, then re-load each and every piece of luggage. I was over it. The entire plane was over it. And Olive was definitely over it. I can’t blame her.
She did really well, given the situation. We had some moments, I had some moments, but by and large she had just a lovely time on her first flight.
An unexpected bonus of flying with small children was that the flight passed incredibly quickly. Instead of just sitting there fuming about all of my free time and staring at my watch, I spent the flight frantically trying to devise distractions for Livvie. It was like “Ok this plastic cup should buy me five or six minutes, and then she can unpack the magazines and puke bags from the seat back pouch again, then I can feed her some more peas. By that time the drink cart may have passed and we can crawl up and down the aisles yowling until that lady gives us the stink eye, then Adam can toss her around a bit and after that I’ll wrestle a diaper onto her in the worlds smallest bathroom while she tears kleenex out of the dispenser one by one and after that maybe she can convince a flight attendant to play a game of peekaboo with her-oh! We’re here!”
We landed in Ottawa and spent a few days with Adam’s twin sister and her boyfriend, Rachid. We went to parks and ate Ethiopian food and perused markets, and on our second night there Rachid prepared us a Moroccan feast of couscous.
Would you look at that thing? This took three hours to make, and featured approximately a million different vegetables, a secret meat cave in the middle, and the couscous was steamed and massaged with olive oil and steamed again and massaged again and the whole thing was so beautiful and indescribably delicious that I can state with 100% certainty that I will never in my life prepare something so labour intensive and tasty.
I was so excited to be back in a city, and so excited to do BIG CITY THINGS!, and we took Olive to a zoo but I have weird mixed feelings about the whole thing so I’m not posting pictures.
Although I am a city girl turned small town girl, I would by lying if I said I didn’t feel a deep nostalgia for a city full of people, more than you could ever meet in your lifetime. Whole stores that sell nothing but balsamic vinegar and olive oil, multiple farmer’s markets and transit than runs every five minutes. That vibrant bustling hum of a city that I don’t think I will ever stop missing.
(Not to mention the store called “The House of Cheese” that I go to every time I am in Ottawa, which sells the best French feta that I have ever tasted. I could (and, ahem, did) eat blocks of it at a time.)
That concludes part I!