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July 23, 2002
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Getting Home

We made it home, and Jet slept for most of the plane ride. I was very glad of that.

Jet had an interesting morning. He showed everyone that he could use a glass with no problems, by half climbing onto the breakfast table, grabbing a juice glass with both hands and drinking right out of it. He's doing it, now, without any hesitation and without any fumbling. He did, however, start to spill, wholesale, when he decided he wanted to run with the glass. Oops. So no real cups for running. But I was pretty impressed at the progress he'd made at being able to drink from a normal cup. No more putting it under his chin or tipping it too far. He's just getting it.

The morning was very relaxed, as our flight wasn't until 2. Jet helped things along by napping a bit after 9! So John and I got some time to pack without any help from him. He loves 'helping', and it's actually a good time to teach him how to do things, but it certainly takes a lot more time. I also had a bag full of the little iZone Polaroids that I had to clip and slip into their picture case. It helped compact them considerably.

I helped John by getting everything I could remember into one place and then getting out of his way as he compacted everything into all our luggage. He's great at doing that as long as I don't 'help', either. *grin* Not that he objects to me helping, it's just that I don't do things nearly as compact as he can by himself. He just needs to have everything where he can get at it, which frees him up to jam anything and everything where he feels it'll best go.

Jet had just a short 40 minute nap, which was perfect, as it improved his personality immensely, and it meant that he wasn't asleep so long that his grandparents didn't get to say a very good good-bye to him. They got good time playing with him and then taking him for a walk around the neighborhood and introducing him to quite a few of their neighbors. Then we all got to eat lunch together. John and I had the last of last night's casserole, and Jet got to share another can of beans with his grandfather. Beans!!

Jet seemed to know that something was up. During the early part of the morning, he kept saying, "Buh Bai!" to Isabel. He also cried a lot, and struggled with some things.

Right at noon, we loaded up the car, had Jet say one last bye-bye to his grandparents and we were off. While traffic was heavy, it wasn't bad. With the carpool lane we moved quickly and easily down to the airport, and got there in plenty of time. One of the Avis guys was great and got two push carts for our luggage and for Jet. We didn't want Jet running around while we were trying to check in, so it was good to have him strapped into his car seat and have the car seat in a cart that I could make zoom around. It entertained him enough and we didn't have to go chase him while we were supposed to be presenting ID's and answering questions.

Once we got to security, we abandoned the carts to whoever wanted to use them, since we'd gotten them free, and we headed through security. No problem with our shoes off, and once we were through, Jet got put down and he started charging down the corridor at full speed. When he hit a ramp going up, he just put his head down and went faster. I think he likes hills.

Once we got to the gate area, Jet started running laps. I got the fruit snacks out and he'd come by every lap to get a fruit snack and once he got one he'd go tearing off again. John followed him every inch of the way.

It's funny, but even before Minority Report I have always had this irrational fear of letting Jet out of my sight for even a few minutes. It's a bad fear. I mostly try to ignore it and let Jet have some independence in places where he's obviously okay. Joan's house. His grandparents' houses. Places like that. Public places kind of take my breath away, but they're supposed to be even safer, but then there's that movie and there are the unsubstantiated stories. So I was glad that John was following him.

Eventually Jet was so tired that he would come to me, beg to get up into my lap and then yank at my shirt, demanding, "Up! Up!" I did not want to nurse him before the flight. So John took him off, whimpering, and they ran around some more down the corridors of the D wing. He also changed Jet, and only brought him back when they announced pre-boarding. Of course, as we were boarding, they took me aside for the 'security search'. It was... bemusing... I mean, all they did was wand me. The guy who was supposed to be searching the bags obviously did not wish to delve in the depths of a diaper bag. He just did a cursory check, not nearly the job that the guy at DIA had done on it, and didn't even look through my purse worth a darn. I was kind of saddened by that. Getting searched with no probable cause rankles me mildly (yes, I know, it rankles other individuals a great deal more) and when it's not even a search that would have found anything rankles even more.

But we got on the plane okay. I set up the seat, and when we were settled, I let Jet nurse and he fell asleep before we even pushed back from the gate. I settled him in his seat, tucked a blanket around him, and then I went right to sleep, before we ever took off. Sometimes I think parenthood is all about efficient sleeping methods.

So Jet slept for two hours. I woke up for the lunch and drinks. They amazed me again, with a turkey and cheese sandwich with fresh, crisp lettuce and juicy tomato and a nutty, tasty whole grain bread. There was a bag of wild rice chips, and another one of those lovely, luxurious chocolate covered graham crackers. Yum. I have to fly Alaska again.

Jet woke up just before we started our descent. He guzzled a cranberry juice, ate nearly all of a chocolate covered graham, and nibbled a few wild rice chips. He happily drank juice the whole way down, so his ears were just fine. We got out pretty quickly, got through the bathroom, and to the luggage claim just in time to get three of our four bags. The fourth was the backpack, stuffed in a black bag. It finally showed up in the ski bag area, along with a bunch of other odd-shaped bags, boxes, and weird luggage. Then John and I were barely able to drag and carry everything while coaxing Jet to stay with us as we headed for one of the passenger waiting areas on that floor.

It turned out to be a mistake. The floor we were on was only for rental car busses. John couldn't get there.

When he got the car, he had to park it on the floor below and run up to find us. He got lucky. The policeman threatened to write him a ticket, and he told the policeman that he had to help a wife with a screaming baby. When he showed up with a mountain of luggage and then me with both hands full and a screaming, crying Jet trailing unhappily behind, the policeman tore up the ticket.

Whew.

Poor Jet. When we got into the passenger area the previous times, he'd had to share them with someone else, so he had someone to interact with. This time we were there alone, so he kept trying to get back into the terminal. I couldn't go after him because I could not leave the luggage alone. So I had to bring him back. Repeatedly. Until it was just a matter of putting him down in the enclosure and running back to the way back to the terminal. He'd get to me, fall down backwards to keep me from grabbing him, and we'd go through it all again. And again, and again. And through it all he was crying like mad.

When John ran in, grabbed some stuff and ran out again, I picked up everything else, but there were no arms or hands for Jet. So I had to coax him after me, instead of having him run out into the terminal and never look back. There were enough people out there to scare Jet enough that he did follow me. But it took an incredible amount of time to wait for him to follow closely enough for things like the elevator. I was very lucky that John hadn't managed to catch an elevator back up to where he thought our stuff was. We got out just as he was about to get into the car we were coming down in, so we were able to show the policemen our little tableau.

That was stressful.

Getting home wasn't. No traffic, no problem, and we stopped by a Good Times for burgers on the way home. John got a large fry and Jet ate them the whole way home. At the beginning the fries were so hot that I had to cool them off for a while and Jet cried the whole time he could see one but not have one. Then, when I handed it to him, he cried some more going, "Owie! Owie!" They were still hot, but not hot enough to burn. He nibbled it and cried, "Owie!" but then he ate some more. By the time he was on his third fry, he was laughing when he said, "Owie!" And he made something of a meal of fries.

Ah well. He deserved it, after surviving everything else.

We got home at 8. Ate. Unpacked. Jet took all the toys out that he could find and played with some of them before pumpkinging around 8:45, but then he stayed up until 9:45, playing. The second time he nursed, he went right to sleep. So I think he's still a little phase shifted. Hopefully his normal routine, tomorrow, will shift him back again.

It's so hot here. It's nice to be home, but I'm more convinced than ever that our real home is back in the NorthWet. I love my bed and my kitchen and my house, but everything outside it is still alien. I still feel a bit like I'm going into exile whenever I leave the Seattle area, and it has never been so strong as this time. I like my job. I love the people here. But I want to go home...

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