Monday, March 17, 2008

Close Call

Let me tell you what almost happened.

Today marks the start of The Quartet's and Big Mama's spring break, which is why you saw me drive directly to work from home this morning without making all sorts of turns and stops to drop these kids off at their various destinations. I was talking to my Mom on the phone last night and she reminded me that Favorite Aunt Carol is flying down to the swamps of southern Florida today for a visit. When I told Kristy of this after I got off the phone she said, "You and GK should go down there." Yes! We should! It is spring break and GK does love her Jello shooters. Just for laughs I Googled up some airline flights and found that the flight to Ft. Lauderdale today or tomorrow is surprisingly affordable. But it's awfully soon. It all seemed too spontaneous, especially with work and various other responsibilities.

So we're still in Memphis, where it's not 85 degrees. Taking the trip was still on my mind this morning as I lay in bed thinking, and I started wondering if I could even do that. I've never been alone with GK for that length of time. Would I know how to take care of her? It would also be the longest she's gone without the possibility of nursing. Would South Florida be ready for Hurricane GK? What entertains a 21-month-old? I work six days a week and on the seventh I'm usually doing chores around the house or running errands (I know, I know, it's for the Parent of the Year panel to decide now ... or Harry Chapin to sing about ). Then I began thinking more specifically of the flight. She'd be on my lap for two hours, though she wouldn't want to stay there. She'd want to walk this way and that, possibly see what happens when you pull this latch. She's not at the age where I can read to her and she'll sit and listen, or sit quietly and color or play with a doll. She likes to go, go, go. When she's not nursing, that is, which is just out of the question. And what about the bathroom? What if I had to go? Those bathrooms are literal water closets and wouldn't fit both of us. Can I ask the stewardess to watch her? And, possibly, nurse her? And then I thought about sleeping. I get pretty tired after my second airplane bottle of scotch. Would that same stewardess be willing to watch GK during my nap? I'd slip her $10, of course, I don't expect her to take on that extra responsibility for free. I wonder just how friendly the skies would be after two hours of a cranky little, cooped-up girl?

I suppose it's good I didn't spontaneously book that flight because I really need to sit and stew on the idea for a while. By the time GK is eight or nine I should be ready to travel alone with her. By then she'll be able to sit quietly and read or color (I hope), and she'll be able to potty on her own (I hope), though it will be difficult to pass her off as under-two so I don't have to pay for an extra seat. But it will be nice to have someone so small to travel with whose tiny little hands can get the caps off those tiny little bottles for me.