Flight Risk

Remember the riddle about the farmer who has to boat a chicken, a fox, and a bag of grain across the river? That’s sort of what it’s like travelling with my daughter. Now, I usually generalize because both kids make me nuts, however she deserves special attention after today. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This story begins at the end. After a long weekend in Montréal, we were heading home, but without daddy, he had to work.


Our day began normally enough, jumping on our bed by two small monsters and breakfast in the hotel dining room, but then I was treated “alone time.” Of course, I spent that time packing and cleaning up our hotel room, leaving no time for that bath I put off from Thursday (the day we arrived!).

The rain held off until we had to walk to the train station, of course, but daddy kindly escorted us all the way onto the train, so boarding was a snap.

I couldn’t have been more proud of the way my kids behaved on our train ride home. They left our seats only to use the toilet.

I couldn’t have been more proud of my kids for leaving our seats to use the toilet!

Four women across the aisle whispered many flattering comments that I shall file away to recall during less Norman Rockwell-like moments (which I shall get to shortly).


At this point, I was doing awesome! I’m not just talking about coping or holding it together, I’m talking fun, organized, patient, independent, the best f***in’ mom on the planet! All was well, despite missing our GO train to Aldershot, and despite the ache in my shoulder from carrying our 50L backpack on my back, our school-sized backpack on my front and holding the hands of two children, while simultaneously rolling the stroller packaged up with the scooter with a lunchbag hanging off of them. We grabbed a bite to eat in Union, and waited 45 minutes for the next GO train.

You may be bracing yourselves for the storm after all this calm, but relax. On our way to the train, someone actually offered to help with the stroller (albeit halfway up the stairs to track 3A in a crowd of about 300 people), and the kids did EXACTLY as they were told. I am Superwoman! We played games on the GO, and as usual, my daughter had strangers laughing at the things she said, plus getting her head stuck between the seats, that was a particular crowd pleaser (she wasn’t so pleased though).


I was anticipating and plotting my trek down the GO train stairs (how could I not let them sit up top after how well they had behaved?) at the stop before ours, as well as my trek down the platform stairs to the tunnel under the Aldershot station tracks. At this point, I am that farmer, puzzled by the order of things. Any of you mothers out there pick up that our descent would happen the station previous to ours?

“Okay guys, when we go down the stairs DO NOT get off the train. This is NOT our stop.”

My 3-year-old’s right foot was hovering over the door step when I grabbed the back of her shirt, which actually ripped, while she argued she wanted to get off!

Yet another scolding about listening to Mommy.

Aldershot. We had arrived, finally.

Here is my dilemma: Detrain first with all the stuff, which means they are somewhat contained in the train. Or, detrain with the kids first, then go back for the stuff, which means my daughter is loose on the platform. Tough one. I dropped the extra things on the platform and turned around to find her jumping off the upper of two steps. Of course, why would she start listening now, it’s only been 3 years.

“Hold your brother’s hand.”

Within 10 steps her brother yelled after her as she ran down the platform. I dropped my things and bolted to grab her.

Baggage heaped in a pile, one crying 3-year-old, one exasperated mother, enter daddy’s colleague. Yup, I am finally gifted a good Samaritan, and it’s Dr. Jack Rosenfeld, Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.

Jack and his wife kindly helped me and my burdens to our car, making small talk to help me forget what horrible things I may or may not have been screaming at my daughter, the flight risk. I’ve blocked it out and at this point can only hope Jack hasn’t made a call to CAS.

For a 7-hour trip though, 15 minutes of meltdown is worth the fun we had on the rest of the travel.

They are asleep now. I have 4 loads of laundry to do and the garbage to put out. I’m glad to be home… I think.


Confession: This is an old story, but it needed to be told! The photos come from a variety of places at a variety of times, but remain uniquely representative of… my flight risk.

Live within limits without limiting life

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About ahemmayispeak

Environmentalist Egalitarian Engineer Writer There, I finally said it. View all posts by ahemmayispeak

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