Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wedding (and adventures in the friendly skies)

We went to my cousin Maya's wedding the weekend of September 6th. It was a fabulous event, with a wonderful ceremony, touching speeches, excellent food. Maya and Neal were all smiles the entire weekend -- certainly a foreshadowing of the many joyous days ahead of them. It was a great opportunity to catch up with relatives and friends (some seen as recently as the previous month, others whom I had not seen in several years and Denise had not yet met).

Dylan and Grace did fairly well on the trip, although Grace temporarily had some trouble keeping her food down. There was a reception on Friday night, with the typical high density of my loquacious Indian relatives. The noise got Grace a bit out of her element, but we were able to move out onto the patio area where it was less populated and noisy. Our hotel room had a living room area which provided them plenty of space to play and tinker around. We're glad they are able to entertain themselves just by having some space to roam. Having learned our lesson to get them to bed on time when we travel, they slept soundly.

Now for the fun part. On the return flight from Columbia to Houston (2 1/2 hours), I had the privelege of trying to contain the prodigy kung fu master. I'm seated next to a gentleman built like a linebacker quietly trying to read his book, and I surmise it's not in my best interest to have Dylan kick him or throw any toys in his general direction. Being unable to contain the whirling dervish sitting on my lap, I turn him around so he can look up at me, his feet situated squarely above my rib cage, and his head centimeters from the tray table in front of me.

Kick giggle thrash flop toss twist laugh thunk wiggle scratch. Looking across the aisle, the contrast between Dylan and Grace is night and day. Grace is comfortably nestled in her baby bjorn smiling at the passengers behind us. So I'm finally getting accustomed to being jostled around when the all too familiar smell that I did NOT want wafting toward me (at least until we were wheels down in Houston) arrives. Nice -- well, this part wasn't explained in any of the parenting books.

I attempt to share the interesting news with Denise across the aisle as discreetly as possible, but Denise starts cracking up. And despite the awkwardness of the task before me, I can't stop laughing either. So armed with a changing pad, a diaper, and a box of wipes under one arm, and Bruce Lee under the other, I make the journey down the aisle to the bathroom. Surveying the crowd amongst the rows, most people are asleep, while others glance sympathetically.

It should come as no suprise that never in the english language has the phrase "Look how spacious that airplane bathroom is!" been uttered. Airplane bathrooms are small. And if you're 6 foot 4 like me, you can't even stand up. So I'm already envisioning the task before me -- in this gently bouncing box at 34000 feet -- will be a stunt of Houdini-esque proportions.

Fortunately, Dylan is rather still through the diaper changing exercise, in which I've got him sprawled on top of the changing pad that I've placed over the (closed!) toilet lid. I'm hunched like Quasimoto and holding my breath in this petite, self-contained box with minimal ventilation and a poopy diaper. Ok, mission accomplished with the diaper change, but I still have to escape the confines. Because the bathroom door only opens inward, and my back is to the door, the most effective way I can get both of us out without risking Dylan dropping on the floor (and also have one hand available to pick up the changing pad and wipes) is to sit on the toilet with Dylan in my lap and open the door toward both of us. So I open the door toward us, with Dylan (who is just giddy about his recent adventure) and I fully clothed sitting on the toilet. I look straight ahead and there are two passengers seated directly ahead of us in the last row, not more than 4 feet away. Awkward. If you've seen "A Fish Called Wanda", it was vaguely reminiscent of the fake flush scene when Otto breaks into Ken's place.

Relieved that the episode is over, I triumphantly tell Denise the battle has been won. And for the next 30 minutes, Dylan plays with his toys and continues to place me in mortal danger by nearly kicking my neighbor the linebacker. And then, I observe this strained look on his face, followed by an open-eyed look of relief that can only mean one thing. I tell Denise what I think has just transpired. This time, she blurts "Again?!" in absolute hysterics.

So I pack up the equipment for another journey to the nanobathroom. The looks of sympathy are more sincere now as I trudge past the aisles. Now I know the drill -- enter, change, sit, pull door, look awkwardly at the two passengers right in front of us. I return to my seat hopeful that Dylan won't pull off the triple crown, and fortunately he doesn't. 10 minutes before landing, he falls asleep.

Quite an adventurous return journey, and not the events I was hoping for at the time. But it does make for a fascinating anecdote. And I will never forget those moments I spent with my son on September 7, 2008 -- the day of 2 diaper changes at 34000 feet.

1 comment:

maya said...

Everytime I need a good laugh, I read this story. It freaking cracks me up. Good job, Dylan. Well played. I can't believe the kids are almost one! Where does the time go?!?