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The Flight to H_LL and Back
Saturday morning I am up -really- early, anticipating the flight home. All our things are packed, except Kyle's clothes for the trip. About 6am I get Kyle up and dressed and we go out to breakfast. Kyle eats a huge bowl of kasha (sort of like cream of wheat) and is looking for more. Our hostess fixes him another large bowl and Kyle proceeds to finish this one off too. Just as I think he is going to make it, he stops eating... only two spoonfuls left. He has eaten at least a pound of kasha, and finally is simply unable to swallow any more! So starts our trip home to the USA, me without enough sleep and Kyle "processing" enough kasha to last most kids his size a week.
I spent the nearly hour long drive to the airport waiting for Kyle to give back some of that kasha, but no way. He had been hungry so long he was not about to give back anything that might be edible. We got to the airport and were standing in line at the passport control and I had a horrible thought that Kyle would "share" some of his breakfast with the passport officer. Well, to my amazement he still was keeping it all to himself.... err, uh oh. It seems that he has finished "processing" some of it, and I have to change his diaper. It seemed to be forever waiting to board the plane. I was ready to be home -now- and every minute was beginning to go by slower and slower. Finally it was time to get on the plane. I had heard several people's stories about their trip to h_ll and I was very happy that Kyle seemed to be calm and fairly happy as we got seated on the plane.
Once on the plane for a few minutes, Kyle began to get restless. He was becoming overloaded by all the people, smells, noise, etc. By the time we were in the air, Kyle was becoming an emotional mess. It wasn't long before he had finished "processing" another batch of kasha. I picked him up and went back to the lavatory to change his diaper. When I went to lay Kyle down to change his diaper all h_ll broke loose. He was having none of this laying down stuff! He began to scream and shake so violently he looked as if he was having a seizure. He screamed till there was no air left to make any sound, and still tried to scream, turning purple as his body waited for him to take a breath. I picked him up and held him and he began to calm down a little, but started all over again when I laid him down a second time. This time his diaper wasn't just full, it was overfull. He had "processed" kasha just about anywhere you can imagine. I had a couple of baggies with diaper wipes in them and used every last one I had in the baggie I had with me. It took a few minutes of battling to get him changed, but we were finally done and headed back to our seat.
I had decided that Kyle was probably getting hungry so I fixed him a bottle. Ahhh! That was what he wanted. An hour later he wanted more to eat, and we had another diaper "experience". There was an empty seat next to us and I tried to sit him down in it. Again he was having nothing of the sort... he wanted up to see the world or he would scream and kick and do whatever else he could to wear me down. As the flight went on for the next few hours, Kyle finished off all the food I had brought for him well before the halfway point and we had several more visits by Mr Diaper, each progressing to a higher level of "processing" and accompanying mess. I spent hour after hour standing in the back of the plane, holding and rocking Kyle as other passengers slept. In an effort to tire him out enough to fall asleep, I held his hands and let him walk up and down the isles of the plane. The only thing I got from this was a horrible back ache from being bent half over for nearly an hour.
After 10 hours of this I am near total exhaustion, both emotionally and physically drained. Along comes a saint in the guise of a little old babushka. She takes Kyle and holds him and rocks him and sings songs to him for nearly an hour. This gives me a short break and time to eat, but every time she stops Kyle starts screaming again. We are now headed south to LAX down the west coast which is a good thing. I am nearly out of wipes and diapers (we've used at least 8 or 9 on the flight) and Kyle needs to be changed again. By now he has gotten his "processed" kasha (and formula, juice, bread and everything else I could find to feed him) on his clothes and smells bad on top of everything else. As I am using the last diaper I have with me (there are a few more in my checked bag), and nearly the last wipes, we begin our decent into LAX.
I was expecting to meet our friends Brian and Ciaran and their little (figuratively) Russian daughter at the airport between my flights. Upon arrival, we find out the jet-way at the gate we are at is broken. We are now on a plane, in the sun, at LAX, on a hot September afternoon, with a few hundred other people, and have no air-conditioning on the plane. And I thought I was already miserable... 45 minutes later they finally get the jet-way fixed and let us off the plane. In the meantime, two or three international flights arrive from Asia and we are now behind several hundred other people heading to Passport control and Immigration. At Immigration, there is only one officer working, a stack of at least two dozen visas to process next to him, and we are still about 25-30 people back in the line. It doesn't take long for Kyle to start fussing, and this time I let him scream... the louder and longer the better. If someone doesn't get Kyle's papers done soon we will miss our flight to Portland and home. After a few minutes, an officer comes out of the offices and walks over. He walks down the line asking people questions. When he gets to me he asks if I am a US citizen and if Kyle is adopted. I answer yes to both questions, and after a quick look up and down the line he says to follow him and walks us over to the counter. In less than 10 minutes, he processed us through and even stamped my customs declaration so we wouldn't have to wait in line there either.
Here we are at LAX, walking out of the terminal nearly two hours late with no friends in sight. I was really needing them to be there so I could have a break, no matter how short, from watching Kyle. I didn't have much time left to look around and I figured that they might be waiting by the gate for my next flight. Too tired to care much anymore, I picked up my bags and sort of dragged them on to the next terminal. It wasn't that far to go, but it did take a few minutes to walk. Only a couple of minutes wait and we were checked in for our flight. Before checking my bag, I got out the last 2 or 3 diapers I had, but I had only a few wipes left. I was hoping Kyle was about finished "processing" everything he had eaten and I wouldn't need the wipes. With only a few minutes before our flight, we trudged off to the gate....
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