- We eventually got on our flight home.
You know those reports of people dying in disasters because they freeze and don't make decisions? Turns out, by not deciding, we made the best choice. Our plane was nearly empty, too, because all of those people who did make decisions, ended up on later flights or in hotel rooms not knowing the plane had left (because Virgin didn't answer the phones).
- I didn't see any wreckage when we landed.
Although I did look, I couldn't see anything in the dark.
- We got back at 2am.
Both kids fell asleep in the car.
- They gave us free movies.
"Jack Reacher" was pretty good, but preachy at the end. "Movie 43" was terrible; who thinks watching innocent women get murdered is funny?
It's all true. We're not good at the whole "hearth, home, and weal" thing. We are, however, great at the whole "heroic action" thing. Child with a skinned knee or (as happened to us a couple days ago) a bee sting? We'll carry that kid up a hill in a full run to the nurse's office. Scary dog barking at you? We'll jump in the way and get rabies for you. Seriously, I think all fathers secretly hope to get killed saving their families just to say "Does this make up for never doing the dishes?" with his dying breath.
We were stuck in O'Hare for hours. Luckily, we had cell phones and laptops with entertainment on them. I don't remember what we did for kids before the advent of small video devices, but I believe it involved long periods of forced boredom.
My job was to get the food. Getting food hits a primal male urge: the hunter/gatherer part. If you ever see a man in a food court texting his wife over his cell phone, know he's seeing himself as a Cro-Magnon standing before a dead mammoth, texting his wife with a rock about what parts to take home.
|BRNG TRNK EXTRA KETCHP|
- When we passed a newspaper dispenser with a picture of a water park on it, he had wanted to get one. I made him skip it, and only realized they were free later.
- He wanted a green, raspberry-lime slushie from Dunkin' Donuts, but he wanted it right before dinner, so I said I'd get him one later. We didn't see another DD store that trip.
I ran back to the food court and got dinner. By then, the guys at the gate had announced SFO was opened again. We would board in a little over an hour. I left and ran back through the tunnels under O'Hare to the little store, bought Sheepy, and ran back. We kept it a secret (for emergency temper-tantrum relief, which we didn't need) until the plane was landing.
Just before we boarded, I noticed a newspaper dispenser with the free paper he had wanted.
Fathers can kick ass when we need to. Final notes:
- Nothing gives you a brain freeze faster than a raspberry-lime Coolatta from Dunkin' Donuts.
- The newspaper was discarded within five minutes.
- Sheepy turned out to still have batteries. When the protective tab was removed, we found its eyes lit up in the most terrifying way:
It also made a series of noises which, after years of waiting in a store under O'Hare, had been corrupted. Sheepy makes the following sounds:
- A screech like a demon crawling forth from the pits of hell followed by a clunk.
- A terrifying cackle.
- The first few notes of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as if howled by someone having her fingernails removed.
- The first few notes of "Jingle Bells" as if sung by a child who just lost his parents in a car accident.
My son's reaction? "I don't want Sheepy in my room."