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Sunday, January 27, 2008

her beloved Subjects on the Plane

In honor of the 2008 Miss America Pageant tonight because my feminist self totally and secretly watches it, y'all, I wanted to share a Tongginator story that really highlights one significant part of that long-standing institution.

Our story happened almost one year ago, during a flight out west to see the Husband's family. Our first flight experienced a few technical difficulties, which caused a slight delay, but the airline sadistically kindly held our connecting flight for a few minutes. We ran through the Denver airport, ladened with preschooler paraphernalia, looking like contestants from The Amazing Race, only not as well dressed, with actual luggage and a three-year-old in tow.

Of course our family stepped onto the second plane dead last, with our daughter the Tongginator leading the way. All of the other passengers sat - some patiently, some not so much - while we gently hurried along our then just-turned-three-year-old.

In this type of situation, with dozens if not close to a hundred adult eyes turned toward them, many young children might freeze up, searching for mom's reassuring shoulder. Not our Tongginator! She took one look and thought: "Aha! Captive Audience!"

The Tongginator began waving to each individual she passed, not with the exuberant wave of a preschooler, but with The Pageant Wave. You know the one I'm talking about: the wave Queen Elizabeth perfected in the 1950's. As our Tongginator passed each row, looking both left and right, she graced individuals with polite greetings such as: "well, hello" and "how are you?" and "isn't this a beautiful day?" all the while kindly waving to her beloved Subjects on the Plane.

I could feel the heat rushing to my face. I felt so embarrassed. I couldn't wait for the moment to end. And then...

When the Tongginator reached the last row of business class, she suddenly came to a dead stop. Turning to a businessman reading The Wall Street Journal, she quickly asked him, "Excuse me. I have a wedgie. Can you fix my wedgie for me?"

Oh. The. Horror.

The embarrassment.

The moment you never wish to relive.

At least five rows of passengers broke out in laughter. Tears streamed down one woman's face. I heard passengers in the far back asking, "What did she say?" and "Did you hear?"

I quickly knelt down, solved the problem and hurried our little Tongginator along, passing over 30 people, who all glanced from my red face to our Piglet's tiny hiney and back again.

Once we were seated and settled, I knew I couldn't waste this highly teachable moment. And so began our painfully embarrassing conversation, with at least two rows of ears straining to hear.

"Tongginator, there are people who are allowed to fix your wedgies. And there are people who are NOT allowed to fix your wedgies. Who do you think is allowed to fix your wedgies?" The Tongginator thought about that question for a minute and then replied, "You and Daddy. And Grammy and Grandfather. And Aunt KK." I nodded my head and added, "Yes, and Uncle BLC, too. He's allowed to help you, too." The Tongginator looked at me gravely for a minute, then shook her head and announced, "Uncle BLC told me he doesn't DO wedgies."

As the plane erupted in laughter yet again, I quietly tried to sink through the floor.


Anonymous said...

From one Tonggu Momma to another, I can relate! Thanks for visiting my little tongginator's blog. We came home in 2005 and life hasn't been the same since! I'll enjoy reading your blog. Us Tongginnator momma's need to stick together!!!


Special K said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I'll add you to my bloglines so I can keep up with you. Since we're only a day apart in LID's...who knows...we might travel together. I have an e-mail link in my sidebar if you ever want to chat.

Oh and I love this story. Made me laugh out loud sitting here all by myself. My dog looked at me like I was a little nutty though. But that was funny stuff.