Monday, 18 July 2011

Diary of A Delayed Flight - WITH CHILDREN!

Anyone who has ever flown anywhere with children will know that it can be a little challenging.

We recently flew away for a lovely week in the sun which got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Sticking with my diary theme, here’s what went down:

4.09 am – My alarm goes off – I hit the snooze button.

4.10 am – My other half’s alarm goes off – I jump out of the bed, stumble into the bathroom, forget what I’m doing in there and walk out.  After approximately 30 seconds, I remember we have to check in at 6 am for an 8 am flight and go into full get the kids up and in the car mode.  I should point out that on the day I am 18 weeks pregnant with our third child and have had little or no short term memory for weeks.

4.12 am – 6 year old is sitting on the landing, fully dressed, carrying a back pack that is at least two thirds her own size, wearing a big smile.  She still hasn’t opened her eyes yet.

4.25 am – The toddler is breaking me.  After 10 minutes of arguing and crying about why he has to get up and get dressed, the other half takes over. He succeeds is dressing the toddler.  Next is teeth brushing – shudder.

4.59 am – We depart house.

5.40 am - We arrive at one of our favourite places – The Long Term Car Park at the airport. 

5.45 am – A bus to take us to the airport from The Long Term Car Park arrives.  However, the driver, who obviously has a degree in humour decides to skip the bus stop itself at which we are standing with 2 suitcases, 4 pieces of hand luggage, a buggy and 2 kids and instead stop a further 50 metres up the road.

5.50 am – After much dragging, pushing, shuffling & complaining, all four of us and our luggage are on the bus.  The toddler smiles and says he likes the bus.

7.30 am – Having stood in the check in line for an hour and a half watching what can best be described as a spanner with arms and way too much make up check in a total of 2 families, we are told that there will be a delay of approximately 40 minutes, but we still need to get to our gate as quickly as possible.

7.55 am – Security check.  The toddler is fading and climbs into his buggy.  However, being the security threat he is; he and his buggy have to go through the x ray machine thingy separately.  He’s tired; it takes a number of attempts, one of which includes him walking into the actual machine.  We hold our breath, he doesn’t cry – phew!  Meanwhile, the 6 year old is positively lively and has decided to work at the airport shoving those little trays down to the people queuing behind us.  Such is her enthusiasm that a security person (obviously threatened by our child’s efficiency), tells her in a little too stern a voice to stop doing that.

8.25 am – Having walked approximately halfway home again in order to reach our gate, we are corralled into an area via another security gate with the words POINT OF NO RETURN emblazoned across it.  We are then and only then told our 40 minute delay has extended to 3 HOURS!!!!  We are in a circular area at the furthest reaches of the airport, it is approximately 60% glass and almost everyone has kids.  The few who don’t are already sensing something unfamiliar in the air and start queuing for the loos.

8.30 am – “Are we getting on the plane yet?”

8.31 am – “Are we getting on the plane yet?”

8.32 am – “Can we get on the plane now?”

8.33 am – “I’m bored, can we go home?”

8.34 am – Toddler has gone past the point where he could have fallen asleep and has started to whinge.  I would just like to point out that in a recent study; the sound of a toddler whinging was been listed as officially the most irritating sound in the world.  My other half and I concur with these findings.

8.40 am – Having paid over 17 euro for 2 croissants, a bottle of water and a packet of crisps from the cafĂ© that doesn’t have anything in yet because apparently it’s too fricking early for their breakfast delivery, we attempt a picnic.  It does not go well.

8.50 am – Other half is starting to crack, he goes to look for a vacant loo where he can wash half the picnic off himself.  During his absence I am asked where Daddy has gone 11 times.

9 am – Other half returns, there is officially no way out of where we are.  He looks frightened.

9.30 am – VICTORY! The toddler is asleep; we have at least an hour of peace ahead of us.  However, uncharacteristically, the 6 year old decides we will pay for the delay she is experiencing in getting to a pool.

9.31 am – ask 6 year old to stop messing with my phone.

9.32 am – tell 6 year old to stop messing with my phone.

9.33 am – grab phone from 6 year old and realise she has been exchanging photos with my sister.  Am impressed, so I begin to show her some other things on the phone.

9.45 am – Have completed teaching 6 year old all I know about Twitter, Facebook & Email.

10 am – Take 6 year old to the loo.  She is delighted to announce to everyone waiting behind us that she needs to poo.  We are then treated to a full account of her bowel movements with impressive sound effects.

10.10 am – It becomes apparent the 6 year old has locked herself into the cubicle and really wants to come out because the smell is so bad. 

10.17 am – Finally, another mother discovers how to unlock door from outside – I may not know her name, but I will forever remember and cherish her for this.

10.30 am – Last Call for our flight is announced.  The stampede of bodies and buggies is scary.

11.10 am – We are FINALLY in our seats.  Other half is heartbroken to be sitting apart from the children and I, but is happily reminded of our toddler by another toddler sitting beside him who repeatedly hits him through the entire flight.

On the Brightside, the holiday was lovely and the flight home was much easier.