Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's O.K. to smile.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

It's a big deal, and I know I should probably write something about the loss of innocent lives that day, the sacrifices made by people trying to save others...

Those are important, and we should always, always remember those things. Not just on the anniversary.

But I don't feel like revisiting the horror and sorrow of that day. I'm reminded of it every day that my husband is in Afghanistan fighting the war that was precipitated by this day ten years ago.

So today I'm going to share a story that always makes me laugh, and is as big a part of my September 11th memories as watching the horror unfold on TV.

(Originally posted September 12th, 2008)

Ben, Booze and Benadryl

Ben, 4 months before the booze incident

I've had several e-mails since yesterday asking if it's true that I got Ben drunk.

Yes, it's true--but I had a really good reason!!

In September 2001 we were living in Germany. I decided to take Ben, who was 2, and fly to New Hampshire to visit my family. Our flight was 2 legs: Paris to London and then London to Boston.

Ben slept for the one hour Paris to London flight, but then started acting up while we waited for our flight in Heathrow airport. So...I slipped him a Benadryl. It normally knocks kids out. I even had a doctor recommend it.

An hour into our 4 hour trans-atlantic flight, Ben starts going crazy. Squirming, kicking, screaming, crying...Nothing I did calmed him down. I walked with him, held him, you name it. He just became more and more agitated. A kind family in front of us, who were getting the brunt of his fit, offered him things to play with and eat. He was not having it. People around us were offering to pay money to be moved up to first class to escape him. They were yelling at me to calm him down and make him be quiet--you know, because I was enjoying having him like that.

By the second hour I was crying as much as Ben.

The flight attendant came over at one point and said--to a two year old, mind you--"You need to sit and mind your manners now. It's time for high tea and we're tired of this nonsense." (The effect is better if you read that in a snooty British accent).

About thirty minutes before we landed, one of the pilots came back. He informed me that my return ticket would be honored, but that in the future I would be banned from British Airways. Banned!!!

We finally landed in Boston, getting dirty looks and fingers pointed at us as we waited for our luggage.

I told my mother, a nurse, about what happened and she told me that sometimes Benadryl makes kids feel like their skin is crawling rather than making them sleepy.

Now she tells me.

While we were visiting, September 11th happened. I couldn't bear the thought of a repeat performance on the way home, especially with everyone nervous and edgy after the attacks. I was pretty certain his behavior was a result of the Benadryl, but I couldn't be positive.

So, my mother suggested we get him good and liquored up.

We bought a fruit flavored wine cooler (which has a pretty low alcohol content) and mixed half of it with Hawaiian Punch in his sippy cup. I had him drink it at the airport.

That kid slept not only from Boston to London, but all the way to Paris and during the 2 hour car ride from Paris to our house in Germany.

Sometimes a mother's got to do what a mother's got to do.

*If you try this yourself and something goes wrong, I am not liable and you're an idiot for getting harebrained ideas about drugging your kids from a blog.

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