Strutting her high heels, she sashayed her way up in the aircraft holding Kafka on the Shore and a Starbuck coffee. On her head not a single hair was out of place. I saw her enter because I was given a special privilege— family with kids first. I dream of travelling like that someday—kids-free and holding a tiny LV bag. But for now reality bites.
Recently, I took my first flight alone with the kids (10 months and 4 year) and I am happy that we made it in one piece. Most parents stress over travelling with kids and I’ve had my share of nervous moments. Primarily, I had three concerns: how will I use the washroom, handling unfriendly passengers, and a possibility of a tantrum (this was freaking me out) at 30’000 feet.
The bad news is all the three happened, and I survived to tell-the-tale. So here’s my two cents worth of advice for surviving an airplane with two-kid:
1. Of Pockets, spare tee, and easy-to pull down pants
Stop enviously looking at that woman reading Kafka on the Shore and sipping on a coffee, looking all relaxed. You too, will travel in style someday. But for now, you need an easy-to pull down pants because baby wearing in tight-fitting jeans is too-hard to shimmy down. Plus, you need pockets to carry your mobile (can’t miss Instagram now, can we), a bottle, boarding pass or whatever. Also, don’t forget to carry a spare tee for you and kids, coz you don’t want be smelling the puke in your entire journey.
2. Of using a little imagination
Kids don’t need toy when they are trying to make your life miserable at 30’000 feet. Also, babies usually don’t want the toys you are carrying. Instead of fretting over what they may or may not love, give them anything that’s handy—security leaflet, plastic cups, tissues, air-sickness bag whatever. When nothing seems to be working, I gave the baby an empty juice can and its jingling sound worked like magic, much to the distress of my neighbor. For the boy I carried a thin Pixar Cars (he is obsessed with Lightening McQueen) sticking book.
3. Of crabby uncles and nosy aunties
I totally get it why people don’t want kids around on an airplane. But I am mommy now, and I strongly believe in karma. So you may not understand why I am not able to discipline my 10-months old. I say—do-what-you-gotta-do—nurse, walk, distract, whatever! If nothing works, remember this too shall pass. That crabby business men giving you stinky eye is probably tired of travelling with hysterical kids, and that nosy aunty has already been in your shoe but has short memory. So do your mama-things, and then put on an umbrella to let the snide “tuts and sign” fall in the ground. BTW, do you have any other choice? No. So go find your Zen!
4. Of keeping your hands free
If you are planning a trip with younger kids— go buy a backpack as hand luggage so that you have both hands free. I have a sturdy small backpack that I am using since the boy was a baby. It makes it easier to carry your child or hold their hand or show your passports or help a potty-trained kindergartner in the loo— or whatever else you need to do at the airport.
5. Of sweating over small stuffs
Now the pressure of the airplane taking off drives most kids crazy and they don’t understand why their ears are suddenly hurting. So carry some chewy finger food—small box of fruits, lollypop, nuggets, chocolate cookies. For small babies nursing helps, but only if they are game for it.
Now that you have successfully gotten the children settled in-flight and they look somewhat quiet, happy or even asleep. Look over to that woman reading Kafka on Shore with perfect manicured nails, and call in a drink (I mean coffee) for a treat.
Tags: #travellingwithkids #travelogue #travelstory #parenting #mommytraveller #mommyblogger