Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gregor Mendel and Growing Twins

Darren’s hands are miniatures of his father’s; but his easily stimulated giggle reflex is all mine. Sarah’s deadpan demeanor is her Daddy’s; but her baby fine hair and finicky palate are straight from my childhood playbook. Queries from interested strangers [e.g. “Where did your son get those lovely lashes?” “From whom does your daughter get her long legs?” etc.] provide impetus for physical scrutiny and thoughtful reflection -- answers aren’t always empirically evident. Not so with the genetically transmitted behavior recently discovered…

Our twins have flown no less than eight times, the first occasion at the tender age of three months. In trips past, Sarah’s hair’s breadth ear canals have consistently been a source of altitude-induced discomfort. In toddler days, the pain was eased by a voraciously sucked pacifier. Once binkies were a bygone, the treat of a lollipop worked aural wonders. But this year, this year, despite chewing gum, the encouragement to yawn and to jiggle her lower jaw, the ears were virtually impossible to soothe. Enormous tears rolled from take-off in Richmond to landing in Atlanta. Guilt overwhelmed me. I’d offered up so many now-proven-false hopes pre-trip – she’d grown so much, recurrence of ear pain was so unlikely for such a big girl. She and I (the liar) were both heartbroken.

But no, that’s not all. Things went from bad to worse. Shortly after reaching cruising altitude en route to San Diego, it began: Motion sickness in its most intense manifestation. Never have I been so grateful for the mandatory quart-sized Ziploc for carry-on liquids. A quick purse-ward dump of all 3 oz. and under liquids provided a rapid receptacle for the first wave. Flight attendants quickly brought a supply of the traditional (but absent) pocket-stowed bags intended for that very purpose. So profound was her malaise, we were brought a duty-free shopping bag after mini-sack #3 was put to use. Memories of holding a readied Cool Whip container for my carsick little brother flashed before my mind’s eye…as did the mental snapshots of my mother on a plane from DC to Oklahoma, head buried in a pillow, attempting to deep breathe her way through minimally effective doses of an over-the-counter remedy.

The soldier in seat number three of our row (lucky him, eh?) was on his way to see his six-year-old daughter for his Christmas leave. Before Sarah’s quite literal upheaval began, this serviceman’s affection for girls reminiscent of his own was 100% transparent. During and after each barfy bout, this man’s words of kindness and encouragement demonstrated the depth of America’s heroes. As our plane was at long-last descending, he asked, “Do you like shiny things?” The bag positioned over Sarah’s face moved up and down in affirmation. With that, he pressed this into her hand:She may have inherited her motion sickness from her Grandma: but I’m convinced Sarah's newfound appreciation for the generosity of thoughtful strangers is an attribute she will be passing along to future generations.

For those concerned: Needless to say, we called our pediatrician (another hero) with a request for a sickness squelching remedy for the long trip home. The plan of attack? A tri-partite tag team of Ab-Otic for the ears, Zofran for the nausea and Grandma’s former drug store acquired medicine for good measure. (Clear now why the preface of that med’s name is “Drama”…) Sarah made it back to Virginia with no need for a bag. Amen.
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PS - Tomorrow is the first Way Back When-esday of 2009! Dive into those digital files and find a fun image to share!

13 comments:

monica said...

Oh poor thing! I am so sorry that she had a awful plane ride to San Diego. And I am glad that the trip home was better. That soldier was a hero in making her feel better.

Rachael said...

oh my gosh, poor girl! i am glad you found a combo that worked for her discomfort on the way home though! and the kindness of that soldier is just overwhelming!

Goddess in Progress said...

Ooh, poor kiddo. That sounds so miserable, I'm so glad the trip home was better.

And that soldier daddy's gift brought a tear to my eye!

CC said...

This sounds so awful!! My kids have been on about 30-40 flights (!!) and luckily only have occasional ear pain and that is all. Your poor girl!!!

But the soldier's generosity is so wonderful and memorable.

Nancy said...

Oh, poor Sarah! But wow - I love stories about heroes out of their 'normal' hero-like settings. :) Glad the trip back was a good one.

Barbara Manatee said...

oh, poor Sarah (and the rest of you around her...whew - hope the flight wasn't too long - coast to coast tho? that's tough!)

How wonderfully sweet for the serviceman to be so supportive and then so generous. I'm sure she'll remember that for a long time to come.

MereCat said...

Harrowing tale. GIves me shivers. I'm glad Sarah was ok, and also glad for the kindness of that fine gentleman. She learned a lot in those moments. Could've done without the puke, though, I'm sure. And last but not least, I must commend the hero that is YOU for thinking on your feet. Or at least with your seat back in the upright and locked position.

Maternal Mirth said...

Oh, I see that not only our names are similar but so is our childhood motion sickness .. poor Sarah!

You will be glad to know I grew out of my motion sickness shortly after the start of my teen years :)

Donna said...

Oh wow!! What a trip - poor Sarah! Poor you, poor everybody! Glad you got her all fixed up for the ride home and I'm all in love with the solider daddy!
And I may be borrowing some of you flying, er "supplies" as we leave next month for our first visit to Maine to visit the in-laws...hmm...

Traveling Mom said...

Poor Sarah! I have motion sickness, and I am just glad my daughter is not showing any symptoms so far. When we travel, it seems that she's okay and I get really sick. I hate it but I have learned to cope by preparing ahead for the stuff needed. Wish you all the best!

Tracey said...

Oh dear...what an awful start to your long awaited get-away...sounds like it improved greatly tho..thank goodness!
Glad you are all back and ready for future travel. Can't wait to catch up on Friday...how's your read coming along?

Sharlene said...

As someone who pukes if I get looked at the wrong way I can send my deepest sympathies to poor Sarah. I hope she outgrows it or at least finds something that makes life more tolerable. And bless that soldier!

Jen B. said...

So glad she was better coming home! Hopefully you'll never have such a horrible flight again!