Saturday, January 13, 2007

fight or flight

I am finally getting excited. Really excited. Finally my shoulders are no longer touching my ears and my gut has stopped twisting with stress and anxiety. Now my stomach is a gymnast, every once in a while doing some kind of flopping acrobatics or tumbling passes in excitement. I'm even excited about the plane ride, 'cause once we're on it we just have to go with the flow. Eventually, if we survive, we will arrive at the stunning, beautiful, wondrous Cape Town.*

Sugar Daddy was shocked when I said that thing about going with the flow. You?!? Go with the flow?!? Hey, I did it in labour. I planned and prepared and thought and imagined and made my decisions, and ultimately, I wanted to trust my caregivers' decisions, and go with the flow. I did it then. I can do it now.

So, because I have my priorities straight, I've updated my blogroll, mostly, so I don't have to depend on the bookmarks on my desktop, which will stay home. I don't expect to get a lot of time to keep up with everyone's blogs (plus Sugar Daddy says it would be rude), so I tried to keep it to the real essentials.

Hey, to people who have travelled with little people in diapers... what do you do with poopy diapers on plane? We have already decided not to feed the boy kiwis before we take off, but still. It's a 24-hour trip, not including the time we have to be at the airport before the plane leaves. Also, Swee'pea has started grinding his teeth. The sound is driving me nuts. I don't know how I'm gonna stand 24 hours in close proximity to THAT sound! Will he stop once the novelty wears off? Or is this gonna keep going until he grinds his new teeth to nothing?

Feeling excited about the flight is a major breakthrough for me. I am terrified of flying. Have been for years. But I have learned some great ways to manage anxiety. Hopefully I won't break down in a puddle of gibbering anxiety upon stepping into the plane. That happened once when I was 15 or so and we were flying to Scotland. As I walked up the tunnel thing to the plane, I thought for sure I was walking into my tomb, and that I was having a premonition. I started to spin into a panic, and I told my mom I was just going to stay home. She tried to threaten me with staying with one of her friends who I didn't like, but even that wasn't enough to prevent me from hightailing it off that plane. Somehow I calmed down and decided to stay on the plane, but ever since flying is extremely difficult for me, and there have been times when my fear has kept my feet on the ground, away from walking new faraway streets and beaches.

I haven't always been afraid of flying. I flew to Australia when I was 11, and I don't remember any fear. For as long as I can remember, and to this day, on the even of any journey, either figurative or literal, my dad can be relied upon to announce heartily, "This is the beginning of a Gurrrannnnd adventure." He said it two years ago before he drove us to the airport, and I expect him to say it again on Monday.

Anyways, I guess his endorsement was enough when I was a kid. So what happened between 11 and 15? Well, I think it has something to do with my mom's old friend who came to visit once with her fiance for some skiing. He was a pilot, and I guess I asked him how he wasn't scared. He said, you just have to remember that the pilot wants to get home just as badly as all the passengers.

Shortly after that conversation, he was killed in a plane crash. Not only that, but the crash was determined to be pilot error. Maybe you remember the Air Ontario crash near Dryden, Ontario in 1989? Yeah, that was the pilot I made friends with.

Since then, I have learned to deal with panic attacks; in fact it's been years since I last had one. And the flight last time was gruelling and long but not overly scary. I had brought Lorazepam, and various homeopathic remedies just in case (the Lorazepam as a last resort), but I didn't need to take any of them. I really hope this flight is the same, especially since I'm going without any of those remedies.

We still have tons to do packing-wise, but I'm feeling ok about it. We'll either be packed or we won't, but we'll getting on that plane. Fingers crossed, the weather lets us.

*I can never remember if it's one word or two... wow, Sugar Daddy isn't even sure).

PS -- Mad, saw your comment over at Ewe are Here and it's really easy to add and remove links using the add elements thing. Really easy!


NotSoSage said...

Poopy diapers: are you using cloth or disposable?

Grinding teeth: oh, goodness, we dealt with that, too. It certainly was a phase, but a horrible, spine-tingling phase for me...we tried to give her other things to chew on. Is Swee'pea likely to stop if you tell him to? Ours was doing that around 5 months (she was an early teether) and there was almost nothing we could do. But it passed, with minimal damage.

Speaking of spine-tingling, that story about the pilot. Holy moley.

I'm so excited for all of you...I can't wait to go back to SA some time. Good luck!

cinnamon gurl said...


he laughs when we say no... pulls out anything we give him to chew so he can grind his teeth... how long did it last?

NotSoSage said...

If you're using disposables, there is a garbage in the bathroom (but I must say, it's ridiculous how unaccomodating those bathrooms are as far as *changing* a diaper...unless the transcontinental planes are different; I was too naive and childless the last time I took one of those to notice). Your fellow passengers will just have to deal with the smell; think of it as just another factor in the cabin fever you'll all be feeling around hour 14. :)

I think she was grinding her teeth for about a month but, to be honest, those months are such a blur now...

Is Swee'pea spending his first birthday in SA?

cinnamon gurl said...


jen said...

i am SO excited for you. i've found that (well, as long as the baby isn't screaming) folks are very accomodating on the plane...they'll help you find a place to change him and allow him to roam a bit of needed.

Mimi said...

The nice people at WestJet hand out poopy-bags: your own little plastic poopy container that you then put in the garbage in the galley. So don't worry about that!

I hate hate hate flying too. Not so anxious as you, but definitely hate the turbulence. I found I used Miss Baby as a shield: I have to keep my s*it together when I'm in charge, so as long as she's on my lap, I don't worry about me at all.

Good luck!!!!

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I hate flying too, although I love travelling. I havent done a long flight with kids (just 3 hours to Atlanta, and 1.5 hours to New York) so I don't have much advice. We'll be flying to Florida in February with 2 kids, so good luck with that!!

I've been to Cape Town. The scenery is veyr lovely.

I suggest cozying up to a flight attendant...let the baby be all cute, and find one that melts at the sight of him. Helps a lot!!

ewe are here said...

There's a rumor that you should tell a flight attendant you have a poopy diaper to dispose of and they have some place for it to go. You shouldn't leave them in the plane bathrooms; they'll stink up the place...

You are going to have!