Baby moons. These are a big thing now. Apparently they’re a chance to relax, reflect and wind down in preparation for the arrival of your new little bundle. You hop on a plane to some summery destination and embrace the opportunity to waddle your big little belly around an exotic resort with not a care in the world except what time the buffet opens, and whether or not there will be enough little drink umbrellas to go around.
Such a wonderful thing to do. That is, unless you choose to do it with another child in tow as I did. In which case, say goodbye to your mojitos and mangos and hello to parental anxiety like you’ve never experienced before, that will leave you wondering whether you actually had a holiday at all.
I like to think that I’m a fairly considerate parent. I try not to let my children affect the happiness and peace of anyone too much where I can help it. I don’t want my kid to be stuffing up someone else’s travel arrangements because let’s face it, when you’re all lining up way too early at the gate…actually wait…why do people do that by the way? Rush to get on the plane and be first in the queue. Surely it’s much less stressful to sit down and just wait until everyone else has boarded then saunter on and claim the SEAT THAT IS ALREADY ALLOCATED TO YOU!
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Telstra. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Anyway, as I was saying, as everyone is all lining up ready to board, eying off the toddler thinking “please god don’t let me sit next to them”. I’ll tell you now, air travel with children is the most stressful, anxiety ridden experience you can think of. While some people’s only concern prior to the flight has been which bikini to pack, those flying with kids have been busy stocking up on lollies, games, TV shows, movies, apps, books and medications if you’re so inclined to make the experience as tolerable as possible for the kid, themselves and the other passengers.
Having spent the last two years assessing his place in the world, my son was now a typical 2 year old. Demanding, noisy and at times, downright annoying. With the mood he was in that day, I too was wishing to be seated elsewhere. Although friends, having brought him into this world, my fate was sealed.
Gold Coast I thought. Perfect for kids, I thought. I planned that trip with the precision and execution of a military operation knowing full well that a deviation from his routine could signal some sort of mid-air meltdown that frankly I just was not prepared for. I’m no dummy though, that iPad was charged within an inch of its life before we left for the airport. I even charged it in the car on the way there just to be safe. Off we drove in the early morning light with way too much luggage and stupid naivety in our hearts. Parking the car at the airport and forking out the equivalent of a small house deposit for the privilege, the ‘bing’ of a phone message first alerted me to the fact that today, the travel gods would not be with us. It’s what everyone wants to hear! Your flight has been cancelled, and you’ve just arrived at the airport with all your junk, a kid under your arm and the question “why the hell would I do this to myself” resounding in your head.
Fabulous. The next flight isn’t for another 3 hours and is going to kick right into nap time. Baby cyclone was already beginning to gain momentum having been grumpy all morning due to the wind blowing the wrong way or god knows what, I could tell this wasn’t going to end well. Having stuffed my son constantly with whatever food I could find, playing endless games of Dora the Explorer on the iPad, and singing along with hi-5 much to the amusement of my fellow terminal dwellers, it was clear. The name of the game today was going to be keep the 2 year old busy and keep sane, the two dependent on each other.