Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

September 1, 2012

In the Tree House: Pat down from Hell

By Samantha Stroube Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Another adventure, another trip, another encounter with TSA under our belts…so it’s time once again to sit back and be oh-so-thankful you weren’t with us!

Our family decided to take a quick trip up to the Rocky Mountains recently, to try and beat some of this Texas heat. But by family trip I mean I got to travel with all three kids, all by myself for the very first time…so you see, this is going to be a good one…

 Our daddy/my husband was working, but he was flying into Denver later that evening to meet us there, but in the mean time “Good ol’ Mom” braved the adventure on her own.

So everything was going great. The packing went smoothly. I got myself and the two babies in one large duffle bag for five whole days; and our oldest in a smaller duffle bag. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Sidebar: I think if there were a degree from a university in packing, cramming, sitting, stretching, and all together maneuvering luggage so it will hold everything you need…I would have a gosh darn PhD in it.

And I did it all in a timely manner, I started about four days before our trip, so I wasn’t stressed or panicked, and I knew everything was washed and ready to go. And trip day finally arrived!! We had a fairly early flight; it was around 9:30 that morning. So for most normal people, that can just throw their clothes on, grab their bags and head out the door, that’s not too much of a challenge, but a mother of three boys, who all they want to do is sleep and eat…it’s a challenge. So I got everyone up and charged at around 6 a.m. for a 6:45 a.m. departure from our driveway. Leaving us plenty of time to park and check in at Love Field, which is just an hour from our house.

We were all so excited. One last fun family vacation before the end of summer, and we were getting to see our daddy that night. So everyone was in a great mood and super excited. Once clothes were on, breakfasts were eaten, we were on the road. We missed our departure time by about 10 minutes, so not too bad for a dumb ol’ girl and three monkeys.

All was well until we hit the outskirts of downtown Dallas. As my oldest used to call it when he was younger… “stinky town,” because of the sewage plant just as you enter the city. And that is my landmark reference, which is where the traffic was stopped. So needless to say, I had about another 30 to 45 minutes until I reached the airport. And the clock was ticking.

We finally arrived, and what seemed to take an hour, found a parking spot in the garage, with only 45 minutes to spare until our flight left. So I was frantic. I strapped everyone into their strollers, and car seat carriers. My middle son was in this really cool device that you could attach his car seat to, and it turned it into a stroller. Well is wasn’t so cool, when my oldest was running to keep up with me and the poor baby got tumped out onto his head on the concrete of Love Field’s parking garage. But he took it like a man and the motley crew kept running.

Now picture this: It’s not just me and three boys running, it’s me, three boys, one double stroller, another in a car seat stroller, a huge diaper bag, another huge carry-on bag for snacks, toys and games, the youngest baby’s car seat, and two pieces of luggage. (Seeing the picture yet? Still glad you aren’t with us, huh?)

We make it to check in. I am sweating like a pig (yes folks sweating, not glistening like some Hollywood starlet, SWEATING). I check us all in, and the guy doesn’t see the baby (who is a lap child) to check in, because he is blocked and hidden in the stroller by the two massive bags. So after TSA sends us all the way back to check-in, to retrieve our boarding pass for the baby, we now (literally) have 10 minutes to get through TSA and R-U-N to our gate (still with a stroller, two big bags, and a car seat in tow).

We send our bags through the X-ray machine and of course as usual they have to check my diaper bag like 100 times. But that is no surprise to me.

But there has been a turn of events, the TSA lady pulls me to the side, and literally starts patting me down in places, I didn’t know I had (because I look pretty dangerous with three kids, two diaper bags, and a stroller). At this point I was bawling crocodile tears down my face because we were going to miss our flight, and I kept telling her over and over, but she kept going slower and slower.

So she continued with my pat down, and by the time she finished, I felt like I needed to smoke a cigarette, she got that personal with me.

But while I was being rubbed down like Ana in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the sweetest lady asked me what gate we were leaving out of…and she said she would tell the flight attendant we were stuck at TSA, but we were coming.

Once I was released from the jaws of TSA hell, we were all four on the move again … running like I have never run before. And as we arrived at the gate, the sweet lady that told the stewardess we were coming, met me back halfway down the hallway to tell me the flight had been delayed an hour!

I had never been so happy of a late flight in my entire life. I started crying all over again, like a baby, and she and I embraced in the middle of the Love Field terminal (yep, never seen her before in my life, and we are hugging like sisters). So after we collected ourselves, changed into fresh diapers (the babies, not me), it was time to board.

And yes again folks, I had my typical 10 a.m. (airplane) cocktail to start my trip out right. Here’s to travelling with the Daviss circus.