Memories of a plane ride to the U.K
With travel being limited to only within New Zealand at the moment, I was sitting and thinking of the trip I took some 13 years ago now, with my eldest boy Fraser who was 13 months at the time and I was pregnant with my daughter.
The anticipation of seeing my family in the U.K was so exciting, but there I was with a 13-month-old in the airport at 11 pm at night waiting to board the plane. I had my stroller in hand, so thankfully I was doing circuits of the international waiting area, like a pinball machine we went around and around. Some onlookers smiling with admiration others staring, looking with that exhausted gaze, probably hoping, perhaps longing we weren’t going to sit next to them for the next 24 hours. I smiled back or simply acknowledge them with an agreeable grin.
We got the call to board the plane and as cows to the milking shed, lined up and got onto the plane. I had a bag, somewhat like Mary Poppins, filled with snacks, toys, books and stickers. I got Fraser sorted with cuddly and bunny, I then cocooned myself with him on our chairs ready for the long flight home. I was rather nervous truth be told, thinking I do hope he sleeps and doesn’t become overtired, looking for the cues, before they eventuate into cries of exhaustion, frustration and boredom.
Luckily being the middle of the night he slept well for the first 5 hours then the lights come on and they are serving us breakfast, felt like moments later, but Fraser was intrigued with the food tray and enjoyed the pottles of yogurt they presented him with.
Stories and movies followed, but after a few hours, he was beginning to become restless.
I went to the bathroom, water play in a plane 12000 feet up aren’t like the bubble baths of home. That lasted well momentarily, so we once again cocoon ourselves into our seats trying to think of the next thing to keep him entertained.
I thought of this memory the other day, as my family and I fly to Christchurch to see my mother in law.
Fraser then leans forward to the pocket in front of him on the chair and pulls out the sick bags. I began then to question if the previous occupant of our seat had some stomach or health issue, as there were about 6 bags he pulled out. Then I had one of those moments at the time some onlookers give you the eye contact without contact, others just look at you as they are so tired themselves and the tv is now etched into their vision.
I grabbed the stickers and began to put them on the vomit bags. Does sound rather odd but anything goes, with little sleep, and a toddler flying across the world.
For the next hour, luckily it filled an hour, we turned the vomit bags into puppets, yes, they were rather curious-looking animals or perhaps creatures but imagination is always what we are trying to instill in our children? (Would you not agree)?
So, with 2 hours of the first leg of our journey left we had made 6 puppets. Thankfully I didn’t feel pitted, the delightful lady next to me, thankfully a grandmother and a lady who enjoyed small children decided to make a puppet show with me. Then to my delight, the aisle next to her also decided to enjoy this task of entertaining Fraser for the next couple of hours. So, there we are, nearly halfway homecoming towards Los Angeles and we had recreated a puppet show out of vomit bags and stickers.
It’s funny what you do at that given moment to entertain babies or small children, but my advice is whatever works for you at that given time. If your children are happy so are you!
We had a puppet show that kept him happy, no tears for a couple of hours and also the inner child in the fellow travellers in the other aisle enjoyed the challenge and the distraction.....for a short while anyway!
What funny stories do you have a from plane travel with young kids?