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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have Ham, Will Fly.

On your mark. Get set. Travel! Watch out airport, the Chenoweth family is traveling again.

We are going to see Scott's family in Ohio for the weekend. Robby is excited to go and can hardly wait to get on the plane. When we told him that we are going to Grandma's house he immediately retrieved his Go Diego Go backpack and started filling it with toys and binkies. Stuffed to its limits, he told me he was ready to "go go go."

I have written about this before, but it bears repeating. After my amputation I have learned to hate flying. I don't mind the plane ride itself. I resent the hoops I have to maneuver through airport security.

I dug through my dresser and found my "flying" undergarments. A sports bra without any metal clasps or underwires keeps the detector wand from being triggered thus eliminating the necessity for the "frontal" pat down. Anytime I can keep a stranger's hands off my breasts, I consider it to be a good thing.

I carefully choose my wardrobe when flying. I steer away from any garment that contains metal, including rivets and zippers. Keeping my prosthetic somewhat exposed helps me go through security with minimal hassle. The screeners often need to wand the prosthetic for explosives. and keeping it exposed helps them gain access. I have also discovered that weary travelers and frustrated employees tend to be a little more considerate and accommodating when they can see a physical disability. When traveling with a toddler we need every consideration possible!

I am immediately ushered into the Plexiglas "special screening area" by TSA. Scott and Robby are left to fend for themselves. Typically this involves Scott trying to restrain Robby to keep him from following me. Robby is often screaming and crying and very wiggly. Scott is forced to hold him as he walks through the metal detector.

I would like to say that I feel guilty leaving Scott in this situation, but to be honest, part of me enjoys watching the scene unfold. Maintaining control of Robby and keeping everything in order remains my responsibility for the majority of the time, so it is refreshing to see the tables turned. One inner voice is saying "oh no.. poor Scott." The other inner voice, slightly louder, is saying "Ha ha."

Within one of our carry-on bags this year will be a large frozen ham. We are making a holiday dinner for Scott's brother's family and for my mother in law. Since our Christmas budget was spent on plane tickets, we are trying to save money by bringing the meat from our well stocked freezer. I am a little concerned that the frozen pork will spark increased scrutiny of our luggage and my prosthetic.

I am not having visions of sugar plums dancing when I sleep. Lately I've been having nightmares of maneuvering airport security. In particular, my dreams focus on security dogs. I imagine the drug seeking canines violently ripping through our luggage, snarling and drooling as they seek out the coveted Honey Ham. But I digress.

Every year you see horror stories on television featuring passengers stranded on planes and within the terminal. This year we are prepared. In addition to the extra diapers and Desitin, we will be fully stocked with marshmallows, lollipops, cheese crackers and, of course, a spiral sliced ham! We are off and ready to Go, Go, Go!

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