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Archive for October, 2006

daddy for a day

I was at a site this week in Joliet, IL.  I brought a new Vision trainer out with me so she could see an onsite training with our application.  Turns out she is moving to Atlanta on Friday so she was anxious to get home.  I told her I would try to wrap things up early on Thursday so we can try and get her home early to get started.

Turns out the flights to Providence were at 2:15, 4:20, and 7:15.  I was booked on the 7:15.  I was able to finish training early on Thursday, and hauled ass to the airport so the trainer could get home on time and possibly catch an early flight out to Hartford.  So we got to O’Hare at around 1:45.  I checked in and asked if there was anything I could go standby on.  Obviously 2:15 was out of the question (O’Hare, wicked long lines to check in) so I went standby on the 4:20.  When the sign posted the flight to Providence, I walked up to the gate, and asked what my chances were.  ‘Slim to None’ the guy replied.

Anywho, 4:20 came and went.  I decided to walk around a bit.  Went from the B Concourse over to the C concourse, up and down.  My bag was really heavy and my shoulders ached but I wanted to walk around instead of standing still.  I came back to the B Concourse, got a bite to eat, and sat near a mom and her 2 children, a boy and a girl.  They had 2 car seats, 2 blankets, and 3 pieces of luggage.  The boy looked like he probably had ADD as he was very hyper and kept taking his baseball hat off his head and whacking himself with it, but I was amused by it.  The girl sat quietly in her baby seat.

6:45 came.  We were supposed to board at that time, but the sign changed from Providence to Dallas/Ft. Worth.  All of a sudden an announcement is made “The flight to Providence has changed to gate C32.”  Mind you, we were at B10.  Everyone started to move their way over to the C concourse and I noticed the mom was having a bit of trouble.  “Would you like some help carrying something ma’am?”  I asked her.  ‘Sure’ she replied, ‘But please don’t call me ma’am.  It makes me feel so old’.  I help carry the bigger car seat and she took the smaller one and the 3 bags.  We start to direct the kids over to the escalator down to the B concourse.  The little boy, probably 4 or 5 years old follows the mom.  The little girl probably 2.5 years old, falling behind, followed me.  All of a sudden, she puts her hand up in the air, so I reach down to grab it, and she clung to my pinky.  I thought it was the cutest thing in the world.

So here we are walking down to the C concourse and we approach an escalator.  We slowly walk up to it, I hold her little hand tight, and we get on the escalator.  We’re now down between the B and C Concourse, where all the pretty lights are.  There are 2 moving walkways before we get to the escalator to go up.  All the pretty lights keep changing, and the little girl stares in awe.  ‘Wooooowww….look at the lights….’ she says, still clinging to my pinky.  Finally we approach the end of the first one and I go ‘ready, one, two, three…’ and her feet run to the end of the walkway and she shuffles right along.

We do the same thing on the second walkway, and then up the escalator.  By now my right shoulder is killing me, because it has the big car seat slung around it.  We then notice that C32 is the very last gate in the C Concourse.  So we walk, and walk and walk.  Finally make it to C32.  The pilot comes on ‘Hey guys, I’ll tell ya why we hadda switch planes when we get up in the air.  For now, let’s get ready to board.’   Turns out someone wrote something not so nice on one of the pamphlets inside the seat pocket.  They had to get a bomb sniffing dog and stuff to make sure everything was okay.

So we begin to board the plane and I ask the mom, ‘What row are you in?’ She says, 22 and 21.  My ticket was in 22 so I offered to give her my seat in exchange for hers so she could be with her two kids.  Little did I know that hers was a middle seat.  Oh well, it was a quick flight anyway.

The plane lands and everyone starts to get off.  Being the gentleman that I am, I offer to help her carry her stuff off the plane.  We walk all the way down to baggage claim, again the little one has a hold of my pinky.  While we wait for the baggage we put the car seat down on the ground and she sits in it very patiently.  We grab our luggage and its time for them to walk over to the rental car spot so the mom could get her keys for her rental.  The little girl doesn’t want to get out of the car seat, but she finally does and starts crying.  She runs over to me and wraps her arms around my legs.  So I pick her up, and we walked over to the rental car spot together.

As we’re walking she notices Providence airport is decorated festively for the season.  All of a sudden I hear, “Ohh, punkin”.  She saw some paper pumpkins stapled on the wall.  I thought this girl was pretty smart.  So the mom is in line with the boy waiting to get a pair of keys, and here I am holding this little girl as she falls in and out of sleep in my arms.  All these women walk by smiling at me like I’m some loyal father putting his daugther to sleep.

Finally, the mom gets her keys, and we start to walk over to the rental car lot.  The little girl drops her blanket and I bend down to pick it up for her with my free hand.  ‘You got your binky?’ I asked her.  After I asked it I figured, ‘Geez she probably has no clue what I just said, chances are she doesn’t call her blanket a binky.’  “I got my binky” she replies.  I chuckled.  So here I am carrying her, and the big car seat, and my heavy back pack to the rental car lot.  My forearms are killing me, but we’re almost there.  The mom takes the car seat, puts it in the car.  I place the child in the car seat.  She starts taking her luggage and putting it in the car. “You all set then?” I ask.  “Yes, thank you very much”.  she replies.  “Have fun in Worcester!” I say, and walk away.

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