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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pre-flight negotiations

Wheels-up is imminent.

The arguing and the hyped state has descended upon #1Hubby and I.

The kids, they’re just excited for the 2 weeks of French fries and smoothies that a trip to Bali usually means for them.

Little do they know, half a suitcase has been dedicated to sachets of fruit and veg.  Every possible vegetable combination has been accounted for, and no child will leave the hotel room in the morning or at night without having consumed a pack.

And when that doesn’t cover it, there’s all the kiddy vitamins I’ve packed.

And when that doesn’t cover it, there’s the cocktails to drown out my parental guilt about the state of my kids’ diets when I’m not in control of preparing what they eat. 

So we are all packed up and ready to leave for the airport.

#1Hubby and I are twitchy and tense, always a good sign when you haven’t even left the house.

The kids are whiney because we haven’t fed them anything but vegetables all day, just to make sure that when we hit the airport they are as hype-free and sugar-free as possible.

We’re down to the negotiations, the final stage:

Who has to wrangle the wriggly, whiney twins on the plane, and who gets to sit with Miss6 who is dazzled by an in-flight entertainment system, which means it's a lot like sitting next to a zombie.
If only it was acceptable to use tape to keep them silent and keep them seated.  I could really go to town with this stuff.

The negotiations

What #1Hubby has offered up, should I agree to sit with the Twin Tornado:

  • be the sole drinks runner to the back of the plane where the cabin crew sit.  They never bring the drinks trolley around frequently enough for parents white-knuckling their seats and preying for peace, stillness and harmony.
  • do all toilet runs. As long as they are for #1 and not #2.  #2 is to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
  • carry out the frantic toddler-proofing of their hotel room on arrival, while simultaneously force-feeding them vegetables for dinner. Without whining or complaint (his, not theirs).
  • solo manage bed time thereafter, allowing me to hit the bar immediately.

What I’m offering, if he agrees to sit with the Twin Tornado:

  • supply covert booze at the airport for consumption prior to boarding the plane, so that if we go down (via whiney kids, not a literal going down of the plane in an Air Crash Investigation nature), at least we go down with a mild buzz.
  • hand over control of the Duty Free booze shopping, as opposed to diplomatically splitting the allowance like we normally would (and by diplomatically splitting, I mean me passively coercing him towards the flavoured Vodka of my choice).
  • give him the one remaining beef/chicken meal on the flight, and take the fish/vegetarian dish that nobody ever wants, and one of us always ends up with because there's only ever one "normal" meal left by the time they serve our row (regardless of where we're seated).
  • relinquish first toilet usage rights for the entire trip. A valuable bargaining chip when travelling in Asia and semi-adventurous / blase about our eating venues (as evidenced in this post).

The outcome

His offer to afford me immediate booze consumption on arrival by managing the child-proofing, showering, vege-filled dinner and bed time - it was indeed tempting.

But I won him over with the toilet offer.

The reality

Of course none of this negotiating will matter when we board the plane, as The Feral Threesome are all Team Mummy, and will fight and tantrum over who sits next to me.  While Miss6 will be easily placated into any seat by the in-flight entertainment system, the Twin Tornado will whine it up until I have to accept one of them on either side of me, regardless of my skilled negotiating with #1Hubby.

He will shrug and be all oh well, I tried! even though he didn't really, and he will have much trouble hiding the sheer relief, delight, and spring in his step as he hot foots it over to sit next to the already zombie-like Miss6.

Clearly I am far too nice to them.  Obviously I dish out way too much by way of motherly affection and maternal stuffs.

I need to spend the next 2 weeks gently coaxing them over to Team Daddy, so that he can have them when we fly home.

Failing that, I shall go into the airline’s office while #1Hubby is otherwise occupied at the pool bar, and have them seat Miss6 and I in a completely different section of the plane on the way home.  Far enough away that #1Hubby and the Twin Tornado can’t locate me.

Actually, would it be totally out of line to change our flights so Miss6 and I fly home a day later?
I would absolutely pay extra to secure this kind of kiddy storage seating



  1. having had 'tummy issues' in Bali I reckon the priority toilet offer would have been too good to refuse  :)

  2. Dude, I think I would have taken tons on a plane if I didn't have to do bedtime duty for two weeks! Besides, I old havethe same drama as you in that they all love me the most anyway *sigh*

  3. I'm in the middle of a seven-week European holiday with hubby and Miss not-quite-2, and she is firmly on Team Daddy. It is such a relief! I have to admit, I'm never going to whine about his long working hours again if it means that on the very rare ocassion that we have to do two 10 hours flights in two days, all she wants to do is sit with Daddy. lol

  4. Oh wow - all the best for the trip....hey how about hiring a nanny next time??? Would love a trip to Bali and yep Im good with kids - well that is kids that are not my own!!


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