On Friday August 25, I flew with my five-month-old son Roy to Sydney on Qantas flight 404. By the time I got off the flight I was crying my eyes out. Here’s why.
I flew to Sydney with a girlfriend, who was travelling with a two year old. So in the sense that she also had her hands full and couldn’t help me with Roy, I was travelling solo.
I walked onto the flight and found my seat. Like a magician, a male flight attendant appeared in front of me with a flourish, grabbed my handbag from my arm and started putting it into the overhead locker, all while making googly eyes at Roy and cooing noises.
Now to wedge us into our seat and hope the person sitting next to us didn’t spend the entire flight tsking and sucking air through their teeth.
The gent sitting in the seat next to mine looked up, looked at Roy, looked at me, and immediately said, “Do you need help?” I said that we’d be OK and tucked us into our seat. He looked up from his Kindle again and said, “I have three kids. You just tell me if you need me to do anything, anything at all, OK?”. I thanked him profusely and focussed on getting Roy onto the boob.
The male flight attendant again materialised with pillows and bottles of water. He tucked Roy’s nappy-bag under the seat in front of us and squeezed the pillow under Roy, which wasn’t easy because of the lack of room between Roy and seat in front of us.
Almost immediately, the woman sitting in the seat in front of me leaned forward, arched around and offered to swap seats (she was in the front row and had a lot of leg room). Astonished, I looked at her and declined because it would mean Roy’s nappy bag would have to go above us instead of at arm’s reach, but again, I thanked her profusely.
Just before takeoff, two female flight attendants appeared and both asked whether Roy and I were OK and whether we needed anything. They also asked how old Roy was and whether we wanted another pillow.
ICYMI: People are more emotional on planes. Post continues below.
I breastfed Roy all the way into the air and then realised that he was a little damp in the unmentionables. I grabbed one nappy and headed to the change tables in the toilet. Rookie mistake.
The flight attendants ensured that I was given priority entrance to the toilet with a change-table and opened the door for me. But once I got in there it was apparent there was a much bigger disaster in Roy’s nappy. But all I had in my hand was one nappy (not even wipes) and the situation was dire — Roy required a full and complete costume change. I started to get a bit teary. I was getting really embarrassed that Roy and I were needing so much assistance and that I was making everyone’s job (and flight) just a little bit harder than it needed to be.
I stuck my head out of the toilet door and the male flight attendant immediately materialised again. “What do you need? What can I do?”. I whimpered “I need help, we’ve had an accident”. He grabbed my arm, “Just tell me what to do”. I told him I needed my bag from under my seat. He dashed off like gazelle down the aisles and appeared within seconds with the bag.