Last week we went to Spain to stay with my parents-in-law. With Theo.
To say I was apprehensive about flying with a very active toddler was an understatement. I am not the best ‘Flyer’ as they go, let alone with the potential of mass chaos from my son.
So. I had researched different ideas to keep toddlers entertained on flights.
Seeing as Theo seems to have absolutely no interest/ attention span for anything digital (To Husband Daves disappointment) …My main go to items were
- Snacks. Lots of them. Naughty ones too for drastic measures.
- Etch a sketch ( no droppable pens)
The flight out couldn’t have gone better. The moment we took off Theo fell asleep for an hour (as did Husband Dave), so I had some rare sleepy cuddles and quietness to read my book (although I didn’t have my book as I had not predicted this) so I sat not moving for
an hour, pretty uncomfortably. When Theo woke up he was awestruck by the view out of the window, and etch a sketch also had an excited look in. …We didn’t even touch the playdoh! I was pretty pleased it was fair to say; I may even have been a little smug. What was all the fuss about? Flying with a toddler. Easy. I would do it every week. Of course I was expecting this same level of enjoyment on the way home.
But…The flight back was horrendous. Couldn’t have gone worse…
- We were an hour and a half delayed for take-off after we had got on the plane… YES. This meant Theo was strapped to me for an hour an a half before we had even taken off… He hardly sits on me for two minutes without fidgeting his way off. Let alone an hour and a half.
- This resulted in MASS melt down from Theo like I have never seen before. Arms flailing, uncontrollable crying, kicking his legs, arching his back. All the signs of a very unhappy boy. For an hour and a half.
- We attempted stuffing cake into his mouth mid screaming. Surprisingly. This DIDN’T help. I just had lots of looks from other passengers..
- WE tried walking up and down the aisle; Just carrying the screaming around for everyone to see/ hear. Im sure a few people got the brunt of a foot or elbow blow…
- Husband Dave and I took it in turns to go to the loo whilst the other one stood
outside with a screaming Theo. We got into an argument about who was going first (after an hour and a half not being able to go). I thought I should go first, (‘I have a weakened bladder from giving birth to said tantrumming toddler’). HD said he should as he (‘had drunk too much water’). Somehow HD got to go first. I felt sorry the old man who was also waiting after this result. The stress levels were high.
- I debated pulling the emergency handle to take a jump out.
- Getting stuck behind the tea trolley. Asking ‘Chantelle’ if we could just squeeze by to get to our seats- as I motioned behind to a flailing Theo in HDs arms- desperate to go to sleep. She turned away and turned back and said ‘well if he is like that you will only be stood up again anyway’. I was incredulous. WOW flybe the service.
- We also had a crying 5 month old behind us. The mum and me kept looking at each other in solidarity. We are in this together. I don’t think we showed a good picture of ‘It gets better’….! to her -It doesn’t.
- Husband Dave and I ended up singing ‘Frere Jacque’… One of us directly into each ear. In harmony. until finally he went to sleep. (‘There was NO WAY I was standing up again anytime on that flight with Chantelle watching. humphhh.)
- Obviously, as soon as he fell asleep I couldn’t help think ‘WOW’ you are amazing. I made you.’ ‘I love you’ etc etc…and promptly shook myself back to reality…
- He woke up screaming.
- I definitely regretted not bringing more hardcore treats. sweets, chocolate buttons. The organic, sugar free bars were not hitting the spot!
When I have told people this story who know Theo they say they can’t imagine him like this… well its TRUE. We have decided that we are not taking any baby/ toddler/ teenager on any aeroplane again. Sorry Theo / any future kids. That is it. Theo has only gone and done it. Big style. (Even if we did have a lovely actual holiday).