I’m going back to Cali. The Final Chapter.
This is a part of an ongoing blog. To read it from the beginning, please read I’m going back to Cali Parts 1-5.
As I awoke in my last day in California I could hear Mini Me playing with her father and her Grandparents in the other room. I lay there for a while in bed and just enjoyed the peacefulness of being alone, knowing we were going to have to get back on a flight for our travel home. Even though I was bummed about leaving I was anxious about getting back. Being in my own home, with my own things. It had been a good run though.
We were lucky and didn’t have our flight until mid afternoon so we didn’t have to rush to get to the airport and were able to squeeze in a nice breakfast before our drive out to LAX. The traffic was good so even the drive was nice and easy. I looked out the window and watched pieces of California pass by and my heart swelled a bit. I even loved the bums and strip joints near the airport. It may be ugly and seedy but it was all mine.
My dad dropped us off at the Continental curb and we hugged and kissed goodbye. I knew he felt the same way about leaving his Granddaughter as I did about leaving Cali. As though a small piece of him was missing. We checked our bags at curbside and Poptart double-checked that this time we would all be seated together. Oh Expedia, you may have fooled us once but you won’t fool us twice. We are way smarter than that! You’re going to have to get up pretty early in the morning (probably at least by 6:00 am) to pull one over on the ol’ Poptart family.
As we made our way through security we approached a security officer who needed to inspect our papers before we were allowed to disrobe and go through the x-ray machine. He stopped us and inspected both my husband and my driver’s license. I all of a sudden got that queasy feeling in my stomach like I had done something wrong as he flashed his little blue light over my California State Drivers license. I think it may be my inherent problem with authority or it may be the fact that I have now lived in Texas for almost three years but am still driving with my California driver’s license. This is a crime in the great state of Texas. You see, it’s a Texas law that you have exactly 30 days after moving to Texas to acquire a Texas driver’s license or you are in violation of law 7721 of the penal code. I’m just kidding. I have no idea what violation it is, but I do know that I am driving illegally and with my luck will mostly likely get caught and soon. The thing is, it’s all I have left. I’m told once you walk into a Texas DMV they not only give you a Texas driver’s license but they take your old one away. “I’m sorry ma’am but you see you’re in Texas now. And here in Texas we not only own your ass but we steal your soul as well.” That driver’s license is mine, and I plan to hold onto the last shred of evidence that I belong to California for as long as I possibly can.
Mr. “I am bucking for Employee Of The Month” gave us back our id’s and then looked at Mini Me and said, “What’s your name?” Well, considering he was intimidating to a grown woman I’m sure you can imagine what he looked like to a small three-year-old girl. “Little girl, what’s your name?” he repeated himself.
“Tell him your name,” Poptart said, trying to coax Mini Me, but she had her face buried so far up my butt that I was choking on her hair.
“Come on sweetie, just tell the nice man your name,” I said. *Silence* Mini Me wasn’t talking.
“I have to do this. You would be surprised at what some people are capable of,” The Employee Of The Month explained to us.
“I can only imagine. I’ve heard stories about what people will do to kidnap kids,” Poptart replied. Oh Mini Me please just tell the man your name.
“What’s your name sweetie?” The man asked again.
‘Mini Me,” she mumbled. You could hardly make it out because her face was shoved so far into my rear end.
“What?” he asked her.
“Mini Me,” she said again just a touch louder but still not distinguishable. Oh come on dude. Do you think if we had just kidnapped this kid she would not only look exactly like me but she would be practicing for her proctology exam on me? Cut us some slack! The Employee Of The Month let us through with a nod like he had just done us the biggest favor ever. And we made our way to the x-ray machines.
Mini Me of course set off the x-ray machine. Twice. It must have been that metal plate in her head she got from serving in Vietnam. What the hell? So now she was so scared of the x-ray machine she wouldn’t go back through it. So I ran through it hoping she would follow me. The third time was the charm and she didn’t beep. So security let us go on to our gate.
Mini me and I grabbed a snack, water and I grabbed a magazine at the kiosk across from our gate and went back to meet up with Poptart. “Okay your turn,” I told him. Poptart took off to find himself a tasty treat and Mini Me and I sat down at the gate. She pulled all of her cars out of her backpack and started playing on the ground when the plane that was arriving at our gate started unloading. Normally this wouldn’t be any big deal but low and behold there was yet another little person. It was like I had hit the little person jackpot! FUCK! I went to grab for my phone but he was moving so fast. I’m going to have to run him down. He’s perfect. He looks just like a miniature 50 Cent. For those of you who don’t know who 50 Cent (aka Fitty) is, he’s a rapper/actor and this is what he looks like: http://theurbandaily.com/files/2010/02/50cent.jpg. I looked all around for Poptart because I was going to need him to take care of Mini Me while I stalked Mini Fitty through the airport so I could get a picture for Ron. I looked across the gate at the kiosk Mini Me and I had gone to for Poptart, and he was nowhere to be found. Oh no! I’m going to miss this one. Where the hell is he? At this point Mini 50 cent was so far down the terminal and Poptart was still nowhere in sight.
A couple of minutes later Poptart walked back up to us all calm and relaxed with a bag of trail mix which he could have very easily bought at the kiosk directly across from where we were sitting.
“Where did you go?” I asked.
“I went down to the book store,” he informed me.
“What did you buy?”
“Some trail mix.”
“No, I mean what book did you buy?”
“Oh, I didn’t buy any books.”
We boarded the plane and all sat together. I pulled out my magazine of puzzles I had just bought, Poptart ate his Little Person photo op missing trail mix and Mini Me had some Cheez It’s. When over the intercom the stewardess told us the in-flight movie was going to be How to Train Your Dragon. Mini Me LOVES this movie. This was going to be a good flight. We got her some headphones and took off headed for Houston. But Mini Me wasn’t her usual self. She was unusually subdued for her. She is usually full of piss and vinegar so for her to lay her head down in my lap and not watch the movie was a little out of sorts for her. I chalked it up to Disneyland and vacation overload.
The meal that Continental served came and Mini Me slept through it. It was a chicken wrap and after I ate some of it, I wished I had slept through it. It was N-A-S-T-Y! But she woke up a little later and saw the M&M’s that came with the meal and went right for those. Okay. Mini Me’s back.
My bladder was full and she was awake so I thought this would be the best time to overflow the airplane bathrooms while I still had the chance. So I crawled out of the window seat and waited in line patiently for the bathroom.
When I came back to Poptart and Mini Me some things had happened during my absence. Poor Mini Me had thrown up her M&M’s. There was a chocolate mess all over her seat, her shirt and her shorts and Poptart was trying his best to clean everything up with towelettes the flight attendants had given him. “Do you have a change of clothes for her?” the flight attendant asked me. Do I have a change of clothes for her? Do I have a change of clothes for her? I can’t believe she’s even asking me such an insulting question. Of course I don’t have a change of clothes for her. Shit! I don’t have a change of clothes for her! Think Stacy. Think. Poptart’s carry on. There’s got to be some of her clothes in there.
I had packed the suitcases the night before and the large one was above 50 lbs so Poptart did a little rearranging to get it down to 49 lbs and I distinctly remember putting some of her clothes in his carry on. Yea! I’m not the worst mother ever! Okay, so maybe I am but at least none of these people will know it. I reached above the flight attendants head and grabbed the carryon. Considering there was no way I was going to be able to get back to my seat I had no choice but to carry it to the closest open area on the plane which was where the flight attendants hang out. I could tell I was annoying one of them but what the hell did she want me to do? I dug through the carry on and found a clean shirt and a clean pair of shorts. SCORE ONE FOR MOMMY!!!
During all of this Poptart was winning father of the year and taking great care of Mini Me. The flight attendant had given us a new cushion to replace the one covered with the chocolate vomit, and once I got back in my seat I was able to change her clothes. Now this is where things got a little weird. The flight attendant came back with a large red HAZMAT bag and told us to put the seat cushion and all the wipes we had used to clean up Mini Me in the bag. And then she had given me a separate plastic bag for her clothes. She then told us we were going to have to ride with our large HAZMAT covered seat cushion all the way back to Houston and that they had already notified Houston that we are coming and warned them to expect us. Oh shit! They know about the driver’s license!
After we landed we just waited and let everyone else off the plane because we were sure that there was going to be a big hoopla over the HAZMAT bag and the cushion of puke. When we deplaned we expected a man with a full on HAZMAT suit standing there to greet us. Instead there was a kid in one of the glow in the dark caution vests.
“Is that the puke?” he asked us.
“Yea,” Poptart told him.
“I’ll take that.” And that was it. He just took our puke and walked away. We felt robbed some how.
I would like to say it was motion sickness and Mini Me was fine after that but she wasn’t. After we got off the shuttle for the Park and Ride she puked again in the parking lot. At least this time we were able to bend her over and hold her hair back. Then we got home and she puked again in the kitchen. We were able to get some Mac and Cheese down her and I slept with her that night in case she got sick again.
She’s okay now though and she still talks about it. “I got sick and threw up. Blaaaaaaaaa” I guess California has a different affect on all of us. For me it just makes me homesick. As for Mini Me though, well, it just makes her sick. Blaaaaaaaaaa.
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