Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I leave for New Zealand a week from today, with two children in tow, to visit my father. In preparation, I've sunk some fairly serious moola into buying fun and educational books and toys that I'm sure will divert the kids for seconds, possibly even MINUTES of the airline flight. What can I say, I dream big.

But I have also brought out the big guns for the flight: I'm bringing an iPad. My brother has generously offered to lend me his. The kids have never seen an iPad before -- heck, even I've never really seen one before -- and I know they will be not be able to take their eyes off it. Before you know it -- zzzzzzip! The entire 30 hour trip will be over, and the kids will have only blinked once or twice. 

Yes, the iPad will rot their brains, but I've decided in these circumstances I'm okay with that. Brain rot will not be optional on this trip. It will be mandatory.

From our 2009 trip to NZ
This might be a good time to mention that a few years ago when my brother traveled to New Zealand to visit our father, he (my brother) got strip-searched in the Auckland airport. Strip-searched! He never did figure out what the problem was, but I wonder if perhaps his name got included in some sort of no-fly list. Sure, his friends call him "Quinn," but as a family member I know that his real name is Abd Al Aziz Awda. But hey, he's lending me his iPad, so I'm not going to turn him in.

Mostly, I plan to have the kids watch old Tom and Jerry cartoons during the flight on the iPad. Have you ever seen classic Tom and Jerry cartoons from the 1940s? They're hilarious. And, I have to say, incredibly racist. I spend half the cartoon laughing, and the other half cringing and trying to figure out how to talk with Stella about how the black housekeeper is portrayed. I figure I'll just check out an I-Can-Read library book on the Freedom Riders or similar for Stella, and that will cancel out the racism in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. That's how the racism equation works, right? 

As for me, I won't need anything to keep me entertained, because I will be spending my time keeping the kids out of each others' hair. Did I mention that Baby W will be spending the entire trip sitting on my lap? And that he will spend the entire trip kicking his sister? And that she will beg me to keep him away from her even though there's nowhere else he could really go? And that if he prods her enough, she will eventually push back? Let me just say that I am planning to make full use of the Air New Zealand policy of serving passengers all the free wine they can drink. And I'm hoping the kids don't hog all the brain rot, because I'm going to need some as well.  

My dad

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