Yes, it is!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Wow, what a day this has been. It all started at 4:00 this morning. Actually, it started earlier than that with my insomnia. I had difficulty sleeping and it was made more difficult by Tim's snoring. I finally gave up trying to sleep in my bed again and went to the couch where I tossed and turned. Then we had a severe thunderstorm in the middle of the night.
Last night, Tim was all ready to leave very early this morning for his business trip. His plan was to drive his truck to the long-term parking area on the base and then walk the few blocks to the Metrolink station that would take him to St. Louis where he would board the Amtrak train. Well, the thunderstorm derailed that plan. At 4:00 AM, Tim loaded the luggage in my car then proceeded to load the kids into their seats. I had a feeling that I was in for a rough day with Ben. Once he is awake, he will not go back to sleep. It took less than 45 minutes from the moment we got the kids into the car, dropped Tim off, and then arrived back home. Ben was very talkative the entire time. Jackie was also awake but fairly quiet until we left Daddy at the Metrolink station after which she whimpered a bit and said that she misses Daddy.
After arriving back home, I put Ben back in his bed and then put Jackie in bed with me. It was barely 5:00 AM. Less than 5 minutes passed when I realized Ben was climbing into my bed. He laid next to me and caressed me and then the sibling rivalry began. I told Ben to go back to bed and when he left the room, I was quite impressed that he was obedient. At least, that is until I heard some commotion coming from the kitchen. I got up and found Ben sitting at the kitchen table with the box of ice-cream cones. Silly boy. I knew that he wasn't going to stay in bed so I gave him a banana, a sippy cup of Ovaltine milk, and I turned the TV on to the Sprout channel. I put a pillow on the couch and invited Ben to bring his sippy cup and watch TV. I then went and laid down on Jackie's bed since her room is closer to the living room than my room is. That way, I can lay down but still stay somewhat aware of Ben. Next thing I know, Jackie is joining me in her bed. She did eventually fall asleep sometime before 7:00 and I dozed on and off. When Jackie woke back up, I gave her her usual bowl of cereal and yogurt cup. I laid back down with the TV on my room and just laid there until around 10:00. Yeah, I know that's kind of late to be getting up but I was exhausted.
I had hoped that by having Ben lay on the couch with the TV on, he would go to sleep but fat chance. He was still going strong at noon when I fed the kids lunch.
I had a hair appointment and the neighbor was going to come over and watch the kids. Ben had a complete melt-down right before I was to leave. So much so, that I put him in his room and locked the door. Ben started kicking and banging on the door with such force that he knocked his shoe holder right off. He also pulled a framed print onto the floor. Boy, was he mad. I finally let him out and he was still a mess by the time the neighbor came over. I was gone less than 45 minutes and when I came back, Ben was completely out on the recliner. He was so out of it that he wasn't even stirred when Jackie placed a toy truck on his shoulder and a toy starfish on his head. I wish I got a picture of it. I put him in his bed where he slept until I woke him up around 5:15. That was 3 1/2 hours and he would have slept longer if I had left him alone.
About a half hour before I woke Ben up, Tim called me from the train. I could tell right away that something was wrong by the tone of his voice and when he asked me to look up something on the internet. I asked what was up and he said he wanted me to look up a flight from Kansas City, MO to San Diego. I asked Tim what was going on and he told me that when he switched trains in Chicago, he proceeded to his assigned seat. Well, some rude man complained and whined that he needed a window seat because he gets motion sickness. Tim happened to have the window seat that this man wanted. So, Tim was asked to give it up to this man and then was reassigned to another seat. Now he was seated next to another even more rude man who had a horrible odor emanating from him. Then this man proceeded to try to take over Tim's seat. Finally, Tim had enough and went to sit in the observation car. I told Tim to find an attendant and explain what was going on. In the meantime, I called Amtrak to find out if there were any available sleeper rooms that Tim could reserve now. Unfortunately, all the rooms are sold out. I then explained to the customer service representative what was going on with my husband and she gave me some suggestions and then suggested that we call the customer care line on Monday to give feedback. I did look up some flights for Tim since he sounded so desperate but the cost was prohibitive since it would be less than 24 hour notice. By the time I called Tim back, he had talked to an attendant who told him that there was not anything they could do. I don't know about you, but I find it reprehensible when a rude (and extremely smelly) passenger takes over another person's reserved seat. I WILL be calling Amtrak on Monday to file a complaint. A ticket was purchased for a reserved seat that Tim was not able to utilize due to rude people. That just does not fly with me. I hope that I do not have to experience such rudeness when I travel with the kids next week on Amtrak to meet Tim in San Diego. Thankfully, I reserved a sleeper room for us.

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