Saturday, September 7, 2013

Morocco ~ Getting here: IAD to CDG

The walk down the jet way was made easier with the help of a fellow passenger who offered to carry some of my bags. I had called the airlines in advance and reserved a bassinet for Yousef in the hope of getting some shut-eye and a little rest during the flight, and so our seats were moved from the front of the plane to the near end where bulkhead seats were available for our request. Once seated, our bags stowed, and JR settled we met our row-mate. All along I was hoping for a female traveler who would befriend JR and offer to help with Yousef. Instead a Congolese man made his way to his seat. I was not impressed. Later in the journey, though, I stood corrected by the kindness he showed towards JR during the drip and our family when we arrived at CDG.

As we sat waiting for the plane to take-off we spent the better half of an hour during exactly that; waiting. The flight was late and they were burning into the good mood JR was in and the nap time Yousef was enjoying. I was getting anxious. We finally commenced our journey as soon as Yousef woke up. Luckily, he was in a good mood and all I had to do was carry him on my lap to keep him pleased. That was the last time during the trip that Yousef was happy. An hour into the flight, and as soon as they began serving dinner, he decided to gag himself on a toy and throw up his entire dinner all over himself, the bassinet, and the blanket. And with that, every attempt to put him back in the bassinet proved a failure, and he remained in my arms, or on my belly, for the remainder of the six hour flight, and the rest of the trip towards Rabat.

At the same time that Yousef was getting himself sick, JR was spiking a fever. She lost her appetite and her energy sank. Back home in Arlington, I had the forethought to pack Advil in my carryon bag thinking I might need it to calm the kids down to sleep on the plane. It had not occurred to me that I would be using it to treat a sick child, but either way having it on me proved to be a smart decision. While it did not do much to relieve the fever, it did allow JR to sleep through much of the trajectory and get some needed rest.

As Yousef drifted in and out of naps and JR rolled around in her sleep, I tried to grab a snack here and a drink there to sustain me through the miles. The last I had eaten was at 3:15 in the afternoon at the airport and it was now close to midnight. I had packed sandwiches but they were stowed in the overhead compartment and with only one free hand at a time, getting to them was a challenge. My next "meal" had to wait till we hit the ground.

The "ground" came in due time, and with it the real test: how was I going to transport the kids and the bags first from the plane to the platform and then from the platform through the airport, past security, and onto the next plane. Was there really a stroller waiting for me or was I being misled?

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