24

3 06 2008

The following is an extremely biased account of the first 24 hours of Operation Re-Location, which took place on May 28th, 2008.

5:50 am – Eyes pop open. Mine and Mr. Blister’s. We proceed directly to the instant coffee and the cat tranquilizers. For the cat.

6:15 am – Sufficiently caffeinated, I cleverly hide the cat’s pill in a kitty treat. I call her, pat her head, and speak softly and gently as I offer it. Cat is very suspicious.

6:32 am – Attempt #1 at cat tranquilization is officially declared a failure. I think I came on too strong. Mr. Blister goes for a more subtle approach: Block off cat’s access to her hiding places, take away all of her food and leave only the pill-filled cat treat in her dish.

6:47 am – More eyes pop open. Neener, Roo, and Squiggles, followed by the special agents imported from the East Coast to help execute Operation Re-Location, my brother and his girlfriend. Code names Bro and Mrs. Bro.

6:51 am – Attempt #2 at cat tranquilization is officially declared a failure. I eat some toast that I do not remember toasting.

7:00 am – Mr. Blister and I formulate a plan to grab the cat and drop the pill down her throat.  Plan changes abruptly when we can not catch cat.

7:06 am – Mr. Blister pins cat on the floor while I shove pill down cat’s throat. Hopefully. Too early to officially declare the mission successful.

7:08 am – Mr. Blister calls Neener and Roo to come get their toast.

7:09 am – Mr. Blister is unable to find the toast he made for Neener and Roo. I pat his head, speak calmly and gently to him, and suggest he never made any toast. Mr. is suspicious.

7:28 am – Bro and Mrs. Bro, being young, attractive and childless, do what young attractive childless people do: Shower, brush their hair, and put on nice clothes.

7:40 am – Mr Blister and I, being exhausted, dishevelled parents, do what exhausted dishevelled parents do: Get the kids decently dressed and cleaned, then wash our own armpits with a damp facecloth, pretend our hair is invisible, and put on the least dirty clothes we can find.

7:46 am – Cat staggers into the living room with pupils the size of plates. Cat tranquilizing mission is declared a success as cat is poured into cat carrier.

8:00 am – 8 bags, 7 people, three car seats and one doped up cat in a cage get packed into the van and transported to the airport.

8:58 am – At the airport, Mr. Blister and Bro manage to bypass the long line up and get us checked in via the handicapped/special assistance line. Our check-in process takes nearly an hour, making it a damn good thing that we appeared sufficiently handicapped.

9:30 am – We learn that some genius in the airline reservations department has seated me, Mrs. Bro, Neener and Roo all completely and totally separately.

9:39 am – Advanced security screening makes us remove tripping-out cat from carrier so they can make sure we are not smuggling drugs. Clearly, we gave all the drugs we had to the cat.

9:55 am – We bid farewell to my Mr. and Bro as they return to finish packing and drive a huge truck o’ stuff half way across the country. Mrs. Bro, the kids and I go through security and on to the gate.

10:06 am – With baby Squiggles strapped to my chest, a monstrous backpack on my back, a diaper bag around my neck, boarding passes in one hand, and Roo’s hand in the other, I come heart-stoppingly close to falling down the escalator.

10:10 am – Having missed the advanced boarding call, we again have to jump ahead in line to try and get our seats changed so there is at least one adult sitting beside each child.

10:22 am – Mrs. Bro and Roo are seated at the front of the plane, Neener, Squiggles and I at the back. Squiggles promptly falls asleep and does not wake until 10 minutes before we land. I only hear Roo holler twice the entire flight. Neener makes fast friends with the Newf from Alberta sitting next to her. I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking we’ve made the right move. That everything is going to be all right.

1:00 pm – We land in the new city on the infamously friendly East Coast.

1:13 pm – With a wide awake and very hungry Squiggles strapped to my chest, the monster backpack on my back, and diaper bag around my neck, I manage to get our luggage off the conveyor belt and on to a cart while Mrs. Bro tries to keep very tired and extremely hungry  Neener and Roo from having meltdowns in the airport.

1:15 pm – I manage to get me and Squiggles pinned between the luggage and the cart. Another Newf from Alberta guy helps us get unpinned. It occurs to me that I should go find the cat.

1:17 pm – I don’t have to go far. Cat’s drugs are wearing off fast, and her yeowling can be heard all over the arrivals lounge.

1:18 pm – Our friend K arrives in her Mini to transport cat to swanky cat hotel.

1:21 pm – We go outside to catch the shuttle to our hotel

1:35 pm – We discover that we’ve been waiting in the wrong place for the shuttle.

1:36 pm – We discover that the shuttle could take a half hour or so to arrive.

1:37 pm – Neener, Roo and Squiggles begin simultaneous meltdown.

1:38 pm – I approach notoriously friendly East Coast cab driver in a van to take us to our nearby hotel. He refuses to take us because we have too much stuff and are not going far enough.

1:39 pm – With notoriously un-friendly East Coast language, I give the cab driver a piece of my mind. The piece that likes to curse a lot. I am thankful that Squiggles is the only child in ear shot.

1:40 pm – Standing in front of the airport, I join the meltdown and start crying. I sob, thinking we’ve made a terrible terrible mistake moving here, and wonder how hard it would be to travel back in time to when we made this decision, and smack myself in the head. Hard.

1:50 pm – I regain my composure and my sense of spite. K and Mrs. Bro stuff the Mini full of carseats and luggage. I stuff the taxi of an elderly gentleman full of kids, and we head to the hotel. I tip him a silly amount just to spite the arsehole taxi van driver who didn’t take us.

2:00 pm – In our hotel room, we discover that the restaurant is closed from 2-5. K and Mrs. Bro have the brilliant idea to go to the nearest Tim Horton’s to get us some food before anyone starts crying again. And by anyone, I mean me.

2:23 pm – K and Mrs. Bro head back to the city while the kids and I settle in to eat our sandwiches and watch a $10 pay-per-view movie. We discover that being an animated bee doesn’t make Jerry Seinfeld any funnier.

5:30 pm – We order and inhale room service dinner. We discover that the main ingredient of both the fish and chips and the chicken bow tie pasta is…salt. I conclude that this province’s slogan should be changed from ‘ Canada’s Ocean Playground’ to ‘Canada’s Hypertension Inducing Playground.’

6:27 pm – Give Neener and Roo an extended version of a bath.

7:40 pm – Remove very wrinkled kids from extended version of bath.

7:45 pm – Attempt to bathe Baby Squiggles in hotel bathroom sink.

7:48 pm – Abandon attempt at bathing giant baby Squiggles in tiny hotel bathroom sink.

8:00 pm – Kids beg for a snack. I find a mango and some candied ginger in my bag that I do not remember packing.

8:06 pm – Pick gooey hunks of spit-out candied ginger from carpet. All three children begin to get whiny.

8:30 pm – Saved by In the Night Garden on tv.

9:00 pm – In the Night Garden ends. Kids begin to get whiny.

9:10 pm – Saved by the arrival of Nanny and Papa, who spend the next 30 minutes laughing, playing with, and firing up all three kids.

9:40 pm – Nanny and Papa leave to get some supper and retire to their room for the night.

9:41 pm – All three kids start crying. Hysterically.

10:25 pm – I start crying. Slightly less than hysterically.

10:40 pm – Everyone suddenly falls asleep. Everyone except me. I’m still too busy crying.

12:00 am – I fall asleep.

1:00 am – Squiggles wakes me up.

2:00 am – Squiggles wakes me up.

4:00 am – I wake Squiggles up. To make sure she is still breathing. And out of spite.

5:48 am – Eyes pop open. Mine, Neener’s Roo’s and Squiggles’. We all get up and stretch ourselves into a good mood, and prepare for a new day, and the next leg of our journey: The trip to Nanny and Papa’s little house in the big woods.

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2 responses

3 06 2008
Miranda

I can’t stop laughing, but I’m on the verge of sobbing, all at the same time. Imagining the chaos makes me tired just reading this!
I hope everything is going better now. Change is HARD, but VERY good 🙂 You did the right thing. It wasn’t a mistake.
You’re right where you need to be. Doing what needs to be done.
Miranda

4 06 2008
Nana

cannot wait to see you all- 100.000 in gas and my car full of home cooking and 4 days off and I am there.

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