Friday, February 28, 2014

Flying with a cage fighter

I emailed the following to friends after we landed in the UK at the end of January 2014.....quite honestly the whole episode nearly killed me.

Do not ever take a flight with a kid who has chipped a chunk off his tooth hours before take off. i.e. for anyone contemplating travelling in a confined space or with other members of the public place your child/ren in protective clothing (AKA body armour) a gum shield, obligatory kayaking helmet and safety goggles no later than 48 hours prior to departure.

On Monday evening Chris, Leo and I met up with some great friends for an early dinner in Kampala prior to driving through snarly evening traffic to Entebbe airport.  After the meal Leo and his friend Kya ran about in the gravelly car park.  Shortly afterwards Leo took a hit to the mouth as he face planted into the ground.  I have it mentally registered (forever) that this happened on Chris's watch, he was there watching them.

Leo had the obligatory boo hoo and 10 minutes later started complaining about having a 'stone in his mouth'.  We poked about a bit with the Nokia mobile phone torch with a tiny beam and noticed, to our horror, he was sporting some nasty splintered front tooth and a bloody lip.  At this point we hastily got the bill, dosed the kid up with Calpol, said our goodbyes and took to the city streets for Entebbe.
Upon arrival at Entebbe I was lulled into a false sense of security.  The tooth now wasn't an issue, in fact it had been forgotten about.  We had bags to check in, daddy to wave goodbye to (and curse at) and planes to ogle from a dusty cafeteria.  Boarding wasn't a problem, nor was the shifting of seats because I can't read boarding passes.  Taking off at midnight was exciting as Leo clutched the arm rests and roared, 'we're whizzing really fast' and twenty sweet minutes later he was asleep across my lap.  I carefully plugged myself in to watch Blue Jasmine on the stamp sized screen and grazed quietly on a bag of jelly tots.
An hour and a half later we hit the Apocalypse.  Leo woke up and THAT, as they say, was history.  His mouth was throbbing and his tooth was poking out of the red gum at such an angle it was poised at my neck.  Such was his rage he tried to strangle me with my headphones.  After much handbag wrestling on both our parts he refused to take the Calpol sachets I'd smuggled in my bag and screamed for everyone to 'GO AWAY'.  The air stewards all converged on the opposite aisle and ignored us while the rest of the passengers put the skinny plane blankets over their heads, praying for sleep or worse.
I don't remember much of the following 6 hours apart from when I dragged Leo into the grim airplane toilet cubicle - it was as though I'd unleashed the tiger from Life of Pi into a cardboard box.  He ranted, raged and tried to kick the door down as I balanced precariously on the toilet seat.  To add to his grief and utter displeasure when I flushed the toilet it felt as though we were both going to be sucked into oblivion.  We wailed like savages and from that moment on I didn't care what happened.  Fortunately between the toilet saga and flying over Europe I'd managed to chug 10ltrs of Calpol down his neck so he was tripping nicely by the time we bounced through the fog and landed at Heathrow.
I managed to get an appointment on the afternoon of our arrival at the dentists where I'm registered.  I didn't take him, my mum did.  As I've noted over the last couple of years there is a amazing amount of respect that small people have towards their elders so I wept with relief when mum trotted across the road with him.  Fifteen minutes later he reappeared with a sticker having had his mouth investigated and photographed.  A piece of the tooth had chipped off and the lower half was hanging on by a piece of gum.  For fear of exposed nerve and potential infection a specialist appointment had been arranged for us at Ipswich Hospital the next morning.  Oh FFS!?!
As things crashed from bad to worse later that afternoon Leo tucked into a triangle of soft sponge cake and chatted happily away.  Moments later mum sat up in surprise and mouthed, 'that hanging piece of tooth's gone' - he'd gone and swallowed the snaggy bit along with the cake to leave a stump, like a mini headstone.  So the next morning we travelled with my sister and her son to hospital (why make it simple, take the rest of the family too) and after much deliberation by the consultant he finally agreed at my request to take the stumpy tooth out.  *This was made easier for everyone after Leo finally stopped shouting 'GO AWAY' and snapped open his mouth once I had bribed him with a lollipop.  Always travel with lollipops*
The tooth extraction involves surgery and a general anaesthetic, but it outweighs the possibility of something nasty boiling away and causing an infection over the next few weeks.  So here we are, 24 hours in and Leo is on the emergency list and due surgery within the next 5 days.  He is being his usual stubborn self but embracing all the delights the northern hemisphere has to offer, plus his Jack Sparrow impression is doing wonders for his popularity with the ladies - of the short variety that is.

Exhausted and wishing to lie in a dark room for the remainder of my days


Amelia said...

And you can't even drink booze until you pass out. *shakes head with fearful wonder*

Aurelia said...

Pure torture for all involved! Glad he is OK and working his pirate impression.

Ggirl said...

True and true ladies.

Life feels like a rubbish box of chocolates - full of the coffee ones with not a warming liqueur one in sight.