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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clear for take off...

Today I did a stupid, stupid thing.  Which is not a unique statement for me to make on any given day.  Except that this time, I walked straight into it, planned it in advance, knew exactly what I was getting myself into.  And still did it.

I write to you from balmy, tropical, cocktail-infused...and most importantly...NANNY-occupied...Bali.  My family have landed for a Christmas with a difference - at least for my Mum and I - one where we get to step back, have a break, relax, let someone else do all the work.  For my Hubby, Dad and Brother, it's actually no different to any other Christmas, except for the location.

Today I flew - without Hubby - with all 3 kids.  The twins are almost 2, in fact they will turn 2 while we're here.  Since they are under 2 today, they flew without their own designated seats.  Which is ok and totally do-able for a mere 3 1/2 hour flight.  Not so much when they both fight over the one parent in attendance, and play musical laps, bouncing from grandmother to mother to sister, all in the hope of staying on Mum's lap for more than 5 seconds before their sibling shoves them off.  I think my stomach and thighs (both of generous proprtions) have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Miss5 is - love her intensely for this - an avid traveller.  As mentioned in my previosu post, she gets almost as much joy out of pulling out her Dinosaur cabin trolley case to fill up, at least a month before our trip, as I do.  So she is now, finally, old enough to sit still and enjoy the ride.  Thankfully.  We also went to Bali earlier this year, and she was NOT old enough at that point.  She bounced from our seats to my brother's (her much loved Uncle who keeps the Freddo Frog supply going) like a ricocheting ping pong ball.  My brother had thought himself ultra lucky to have the only row on the plane without anyone sitting next to him.  Until Miss5 noted the same and started bouncing back and forth.

But this time she was great, and that's the main thing.  What a difference 9 months can make.  That and learning the hard lessons about not plying your child with sugary snacks and drinks when they're supposed to be strapped in to a small seat for an extended period of time.  A1 parenting on my part learning that the hard way...

I also learnt the hard way with Miss5 that medication, at altitude, can have a reverse effect on small children.  Miss5 was a Miss2 and high as a kite on a 5 1/2 hour flight in the dead of night, when everyone around her was attempting to sleep.  You'd have thought the Flight Attendant had served her one too many Vodka Tonic's (they were actually mine).  I'm not one to advocate medicating small children at any time, largely as I'm not a medical professional.  So before you shoot back outraged comments and emails about my irresponsible medication recommendations - DON'T DO WHAT I DID.

With the twins, they were Miss0.8 and Mstr0.8, and slightly ratty with the whole pesky teething thing, this time during a rather early morning flight of only 4hrs duration.  No problem, I couldn't possibly be so unlucky with all my kids - so Panadol was administered before boarding - yep...same again.  I had stupidly thought that, by dosing them up prior to actually getting up in the air, that would cut out any altitude-type issues and side effects.  Stupid, stupid me.

So to my flight today - sans medication - even for me and my own nerves.

Miss5, as I've already established, was a gem.

Mstr2 screached and hollered, but in all fairness, that's a regular day for him.  Even the Flight Attendant's were losing their professional caring smiles towards the end.  We may have been blacklisted by the Airline, lucky we're flying home with a different carrier.

Miss2 sang the whole time.  And I mean the ENTIRE flight.  At the top of her lungs.  In her intimidating and aggressive yelping manner.  So what was probably intended to be an ongoing harmless nursery rhyme rendition, ended up more like endless and threatening - yet melodic - screaming.  At least she was happy though (probably the only person within a 5 row radius who was).

While I was travelling with my parents and brother, they all quickly looked the other way and pretended not to know me when the twins started up.  Which is difficult since my mother was sitting with me, and was the designated adult required to hold one of the twins for the duration of the flight.  We were seated in the front row, so as people passed us to go to and from the bathroom, and waited around our seats for the bathroom to vacate...they all shot me filthy and incredulous looks that - not only was I ruining the ambience of the beginning of their festive holidays - but I was also subjecting some poor, kindly old lady to one of my kids climbing all over her.

This post was dedicated solely to the flight itself.  I'm saving the next post for my actual airport experiences in getting here, as they deserve their own post entirely.  And my Mojito has run dry, which is a dire situation as I only have half an hour to squeeze in as many as possible before the kids wake up from their nap.

Oh and I suppose I should mention here - before Hubby blows a gasket and nearly wets himself to comment and advise the world of the fact - he is flying home alone with the twins a week before I come home with Miss5.  So yes, he's a saint, blah blah blah - but at least they'll have their own seats on that flight (having turned 2 a week earlier), and I've purchased Cares child restraint harnesses to keep them locked into their seats on that flight (because the standard flimsy lap belt just doesn't cut it with a hyped toddler).

Will also let you know how they go - if they work well enough I may start using them on the pram, in the car, at the dinner table, in the bath, in bed....

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