Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Don't Know How Ya Do It Story

The following story I'm about to relay is to illustrate how parents must juggle routine situations. The following Don't Know How Ya Do It tale is for all parents out there doing the best they can and I hope allows others to better appreciate the job of parenting.
Any time kids are part of the scenario, things are more complicated. For instance, arriving at the airport and retrieving luggage from baggage claim.
I go into the situation knowing it's going to be more difficult, but I accept it and make the best of it.

My kids and I flew back to LA last week. Upon arrival, we departed the plane and waited for our stroller. A baggage handler set our stroller on the jetway.
I'm wearing my son in a snuggly, I'm holding a diaper bag and my daughter wants me to hold her too-all while I'm trying to set up the stroller. No one offers any assistance. After several tries, I still can't get the stroller set up. An airline worker waiting for someone to depart that needs a wheelchair, finally lets go of the empty wheelchair to help me. In a matter of seconds, the stroller is open. I thank the man and in my head I curse the other people standing around. I place my children in the stroller and head for baggage claim.
I've done this on my own before, I tell myself, it'll be okay. Once we arrive at baggage claim, I pay the three dollars for a smart cart
and head to the luggage carousel. Soon our bags slide down the shoot and I grab them up off the carousel. As I begin placing the suitcases on the smart cart, I wonder why it's called "smart." The damn thing has no brakes and just rolls away at the weight of
each bag. I try and wedge the "dumb" cart between the stroller and the carousel as I load the bags. The cart won't stay still much like a 3-year-old on an airplane. Everyone around me is waiting for their own luggage to care about little 'ol me and all I needed was a foot-a foot to steady the cart while I loaded the bags. Out from the crowd came a knight and he steadied my cart with his gallant foot. What relief (and about freakin' time)!

Now the tricky part, pushing the double stroller and the luggage cart out to the shuttle area. I pushed the stroller in front of me with my left hand and pulled the luggage cart behind me with my right hand. It was well-balanced and seemed to be working... for a while anyway. The dumb cart hit some crack in the side walk and completely tipped over. Here we go again! Instead of getting mad though, I laughed. Okay, maybe it was a defeated laugh. The bags literally fell in front of guy waiting for his ride. He looked at me like I disturbed him and his sidewalk area. He didn't lift a finger much less a bag. I wanted to lift a finger. I just glared at him as if he couldn't be real? More than a dozen people walked by me as I picked up my bags and reloaded them on the cart. The words Don't Know How Ya Do It rang in my ears as did the phrase It takes a village.
The kids and I made it to the shuttle area and waited for the Super Shuttle van. Waited. And waited. I finally called Super Shuttle to find out about the delay. The dispatcher told me to see the guy in the blue Super Shuttle jacket. I could see no one in a blue Super Shuttle jacket. The dispatcher asked if I was in the right area under the orange ride share sign. I looked up at the orange ride share sign above my head-yes, I told the guy, I'm in the right area. The dispatcher said he'd call his guy there. As I continued to wait, I looked around and saw another orange ride share sign and a guy in a blue Super Shuttle jacket talking on the phone. I yelled to get his attention. "Super Shuttle, hey Super Shuttle, hey, super shuttle guy." People heard me and stared at me like I was insane. Other people walking by blue jacket guy, looked at him and then looked at me, but didn't get his attention for me. All someone had to do was tap him on the shoulder or point in my direction. I realized this wasn't working and thought the blue jacket guy was probably talking to the dispatcher I just spoke to on the phone. So I called Super Shuttle back. I told the dispatcher to please ask his guy to turn the OTHER way and he'd see me waving desperately for him. The dispatcher asked me to move down to his guy. I informed the dispatcher that I had a stroller of two kids and a cart full of luggage and that I wasn't moving-kindly ask your man to turn his head!

The guy in the blue jacket finally looked our way and flagged down a shuttle van for the kids and me. And we were on our way home!

(I'm not alone in these types of stories. Let's all be kind out there and lend a helping hand...)


The Kept Woman said...


What an ordeal.

I ummm, don't think I'm going to travel with my kids until they're married with kids of their own.

kingussie said...

I gave up public transport years ago, and now travel exclusively on my Citation V jet...regardless, I FEEL your pain...it is amazing how incompentant most of the (so-called) people are, who share this planet with us.

Of course, I would offer this bit of advice to you. When travelling in future, you may wish to consider stowing your children inside your luggage...when my children were growing up, I found that this made it entirely more convenient...not to mention the fact that for some reason, when inside the bags, they never seemed to act up...people would have commented upon how well behaved my children were, but alas...no one saw them, nor likley heard their muffled screams.

You simply can't rely on other people my dear, there is no use in complaining about it...just follow Kilwhillie's advice and I promise that next time, your travel experience will be that bit better.

Kelley said...

Well, maybe for my next trip with the kids, I'll have to contact you about getting on ride on that jet of yours!

willam said...

whenever i need something more than the universe is giving me in public and no one seems to notice, I yell out loud "oh no. i'm doing great. don't need any help. just ignore me" really feciously. it seems to guilt them into helping. Yesterday I held the door in the rain for a woman and a man behind her told me "dude you just held the door for that porn star (she very well could have been a porn star)" and i just shrugged. It's just the difference between us and other people. Even if you are an asshole, everyone likes that feeling of i just helped someone without any reward. Or I do anyway (and i am usually classified an asshole at least once a day)