Well, I was supposed to move to Japan in July but found out in late May that because one of my dogs is a Pug, we had to fly before June 1st. So, within two weeks, I had my ticket and was ready to fly to Japan. It killed me to pull my crying son from my crying parents' arms. I had to go through security at the airport sobbing and barely able to speak. Then I get on a plane and some jerk decides to inform me that there is nothing special about my husband being on the GW or the fact that I am moving to a foreign country with a toddler and two dogs. Needless to say, the idiot didn't know who he was picking a fight with and before we took off, I had told him to go to Hades and even drew him a map! Everyone else on the plane gave me the sympathy that I needed, but not this schmuck!!! After I pulled my size 9 out of his butt, we took off and managed to arrive in DC with no problems.
Well, at least the plane had no problems. I was trying to be the overly efficient mother flying alone and decided that we didn't need a stroller. Fortunately, I found these straps that convert the airplane seat into a 5-point harness. So, I just had a carry-on with wheels and a sleeping child along with my backpack and his diaper bag. Would you believe not one person offered to help me once I was off the plane??? I guess that is the mentality of our wonderful capital city. Once we were ready to board the plane for Tokyo, I was worn out. Michael settled right in with his baby movie (portable DVD player) and soon fell asleep. Well, I thought I would be able to fall asleep but every time I would nod off, I had images of that movie with Jodie Foster where her child disappeared. (I never saw the movie so little did I know the truth.) My child is very vocal and would cry out if someone tried to grab him, but that didn't help my situation. Nor did having to pee in a small restroom with a sleeping child. Sometimes he would wake up and I would maneuver him so he could stand between my legs. This was especially fun because he was able to give a play by play of everything I did for those standing outside.
Once we landed in Tokyo, we easily made it down to the line for customs. Because we were military and moving to the country, we got in a much shorter line. I must say this was my first positive experience with an airport worker. They really do take customer service seriously. Then, we went downstairs to get our luggage and would you believe that there are porters at each carousel? They had the dogs on a luggage cart and my other four suitcases and car seat on another and were waiting for me. They helped me push the carts to the Pet Customs area and then my escort took me to his friends line and we just blew through and out into the lobby. I must say that I was feeling like a Queen at this moment. My sponsor was there and grabbed the cart from the man and we headed to the big van he rented for us. It began to rain, which is typical for Japan in the summer, and we quickly loaded up and began our journey to our new home. I arrived at the Navy Lodge and was greeted by two friends. They, along with my sponsor, helped me get everything up to the room. While I took a moment to use the restroom, the rest of the welcoming committee showed up. Apparently, word got around that the President of the FRG had arrived and everyone wanted a piece of me. (I guess I forgot to tell y'all that I was elected as the President of our FRG shortly before coming to Japan.) The next day, several of the other wives that were already here had a luncheon for me. There was a new Chili's restaurant next to the Lodge and that is where we met. It was thrilled with my reception. Everyone got together just to meet me! Michael quickly became aware that he was receiving a lot of attention from the staff, as they were all Japanese. After we had eaten our lunch, Michael decides to play with the wait staff. They took him around the restaurant and just entertained him. Well, one of the girls had to ring up her table's ticket and couldn't give Michael the attention he wanted. So, he smacked her in the butt! This made everyone laugh and so the other girls began letting him do the same to them. After my heart started working again, I jumped up from the table and swooped him up and ran to the restroom. Several of the waitresses ran after me and were apologizing for Michael's behavior. Being the smart child that he is, he began telling me "It's Ok Mommy, they let me do it." In that split second, I learned that my son now had the upper hand and just learned how to place the blame elsewhere. My son quickly became a hero with the men at our table and took a victory lap receiving high-fives from them. He was two days short of becoming three and just learned how to become a chauvinist pig! I have the waitress a $20 tip and quickly retreated back to the Lodge. Once back in our room, I called my parents to relay the story and though sobs, I could hear them laughing, especially my father. It was then that I learned that no matter what I do, my son is part of the male species.