Seriously, I couldn’t believe that I was already en route on a huge journey for me and realized I didn’t have my daughter’s residence card.
It’s the equivalent of forgetting your passport.
I could make the excuse that I prepared in 2 days what I normally spend several weeks planning for. Or that I made assumptions that cards were where they were supposed to be.
But at that moment, none of those things mattered. I had to get home and FAST.
I sprinted to get the bike and flew the street like a madwoman. I was huffing and puffing and ran into the house to tear through our documents.
I almost passed over it while scanning different medical cards. I found it in another daughter’s booklet of documents. As I rushed to put it all away, I ran and pedaled back with haste to not miss our train.
My husband was waiting and we just made the latest train we needed to catch. At this point, we realized Vicente would not be able to make it back in time to meet our daughters from school and had to make arrangements with the schools and my neighbor. So as we rushed through busy train stations, I typed away messages on my phone while he made calls on his.
As we parted for the final train I would take alone, I was once again teary. I knew it would be ok, but it was a big journey for me to take, and an emotional one at the other end.
Well, we made it to the airport, got checked in and after making loops and loops around the walking escalators, I made a final call to my kiddos before boarding.
On the flight, I commiserated with other families with squalling kids.
My kid was doing fine– I was inwardly very pleased and relieved as well.
Ten hours into the flight, my sweet, always smiling 18 month old, having only taken a 30 minute nap in the whole day (It was now somewhere around 4am), lost all her patience with the world.
Thus ensued a tantrum I have never seen before. I’ve worked in day cares, nannied, etc., and this was a tantrum to end all tantrums. And it never seemed to end.
At one point, she chocked her sippy cup across rows of the plane.
I don’t even know who it hit, but someone brought it back to me.
Two hours later with everyone awake on the flight and flight attendants stopping by to nudge me to take care of things (though they wouldn’t let me get up to walk her around), she finally passed into a deep sleep as we were about to land.
I loaded her up in the baby carrier, exited the plane last to the relieved looks of the attendants, and made my way through immigration and customs, which she thankfully slept through.
After through-checking my luggage, I turned to search the screens for my next gate.
I stared at the screen in incomprehension.