The Scottish police officer stood with his arms crossed while staring down at Bubba. He asked Lennox, “Am I going to have to take you to the jail?” The screaming and crying came to a sudden stop. Bubba looked at me with genuine concern before glancing back at the officer sheepishly and shaking his head no. I felt a little bad but also, not really.
The day had started at 5:45 am. We left our farmstay to get to the Dublin airport around 6:30 am. After slogging through check-in and customs, we made it to our gate to find that our flight was delayed. We waited an hour past our original flight time and then learned that to get to our prop plane we had to cram on to a crowded bus. Everyone shuffled onto the bus, and we stood like sardines for another 20 minutes. We boarded the plane and then got stuck on the tarmac for another 30 minutes before finally taking off. The kids did an exemplary job handling the initial slowdowns.
After and almost 2-hour flight we landed in Scotland to yet another treat as we learned the earlier delays meant our original gate was occupied. As we waited, the flight attendant, “Kitty” told Lennox he had done an amazing job on the journey. He loves to imitate animals- everyday we hear barks, moos, meows, neighs, baas, crows, and numerous other calls. For whatever reason this was the moment he started to “Meow” and very loudly. Kitty was beside herself. “Oh my gosh you are so cute and smart! You read my name tag!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her assumptions about the Ploops reading were inaccurate.
Once we got through customs in Edinburgh, we found out the baggage handlers were on strike. We were nervous and rightfully so…our bags took nearly 1.5 hours to be delivered. The kids had dealt with enough and their behavior devolved into crankiness and a total disregard of listening. Bubba was in the middle of an epic meltdown with tears, screams and on the ground kicking and flailing. I removed him from the gawkers and relocated him to timeout in a quiet corner to try to calm down while I watched from a distance.
Lennox continued to scream and a police officer who was doing his rounds asked, “Is that one yours?” I gave an affirmative and then in a moment of desperation asked the officer if he would talk to Bubba and tell him that drastic measures would be taken if he didn’t calm down. Enthusiastically the officer smiled, “Ahh mate, I’ve got wee kids of me own, I got this!”
As the officer walked up to Lennox, his cries turned to a whimper and the conversation about Lennox being sent to the pen ensued. After Lennox shook his head about not needing to go to jail, I winked at the officer and then told him, “I think Lennox is going to be a big boy and good listener from here on out!” The officer said, “Well, I’m glad to hear it and I guess I can let you off this time!” Lennox scooted over to me quickly, and quietly and gave me a hug. We went back and told the girls about our close call. Luckily within a few minutes, the luggage conveyor belt cranked up and we saw our bags. Shortly after, we were on our way to begin the next part of our Scotland adventure.