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Stupidly optimistic

Fat Mum Slim /


I want to tell you that my kids get better at flying with experience, but they just don’t. Actually one does, Lacey is pretty much a dream on the plane. She people watches, makes friends with anyone sitting near her {does not care about their age, anyone will do} and watches movies until she falls asleep. She also makes friends with the hosties so she can get her fair share of chocolates and ice creams as she pleases.

Lulu, well… I think with each flight she just thinks, “OH NOT THIS AGAIN. DON’T BE MAKING ME DO THIS AGAIN.”

Hubby and I are always stupidly optimistic. I mean, for the most part we’re realistic, “WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? Are we really doing this? OH WE’RE DOING THIS!

But there are moments when we give each other high-fives {yeah, we’re those people} because we think we might be winning at parenting. One of those moments was when we sweet-talked the check-in lady and secured the seats at the bulk-head on the plane. For those that don’t know, those are the ones that have a wall right in front of the seats, and the bassinets secured to the wall}. We were all, “Oh my goodness, she’s going to sleep in that bassinet and we’re going to be winning at life and yay!”

Upon getting our seats one of the hostesses came to give the kids a colouring-in pack and joked, “There’s a little boy called Raffael in the back, and I’ve got to tell you he didn’t make a sound on the way over. Luella, you’ve got a lot to live up to.”

I had to tell her straight, “Yeah, I’d love to tell you Luella is the same, but she’s just not that kid.” We laughed, one of those light-hearted laughs with an edge that said, “No really, you wait and see… she’s not that kid”.

In the back of my mind I was still hopeful that the bassinet was going to change everything, but I knew she was most definitely no Raffael. To be completely honest, for the first half of the flight she was the exact opposite of Raffael. There was nothing I could do to settle her. She was unhappy, unsettled and noisy. I was so excited when I finally got her to sleep, and less excited when she woke as soon as I placed her into the bassinet and started crying again. I knew it was bad when one of the hosties came to serve a snack and said, “Sometimes I think it’s just not worth it, you know. Maybe they don’t need to travel until they’re teenagers.” I know he was joking {and I appreciated the humour, because I needed to lighten up}, but in that moment I had vowed not to travel until she was 21.

Not long after I went to the toilet and I spotted Raffael. His mum looked as frazzled as me, and I wanted to ask, “Having fun yet?”

In good news, the second part of the flight wasn’t bad. It really needed to be good, because Hubby decided that we were actually moving to America and never coming home. He was planning on getting a job as a cop, and told me I could do whatever I needed to to do to because there was no way he was hopping on a plane with that baby {Lulu} again.

We refreshed, shook the first half of our trip off and instead of trying to place her into the bassinet by surprise we told her what was happening {why didn’t we think of that earlier?}. “Lulu, I’m going to put you in here and you’re going to sleep. I am sitting right next to you. I’ll pat you to sleep, but we need to sleep too.”

And she did. She popped her head up every 30 minutes or so to make sure we hadn’t left her, but SHE SLEPT. I think everyone on the plane wanted to give me a standing ovation. Hubby and I settled for a parental high-five. I turned to Lacey and said, “You need to go to sleep now or you don’t get any toys.” I am totally winning at parenting. TOTALLY. I should write a book.

They both slept. I slept, as best one can while perched upright.

There’s a lesson in this for all of us: Sweet talk the check-in lady. Bassinets are go. Be nice to your hosties, they hold the key to the supply of ice creams and Lindt balls. And it’s always worth it. It is.

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  • Sarah Campbell

    I really don’t envy parents travelling with small children at all! I always feel so sorry for them when they’re little ones kick off and no matter what they do they just can’t settle them down! I hate how other passengers can be so nasty and rude to them, especially ones with older kids – c’mon has their kid never had a melt down before?

    Bravo to you and the hubby, I’m sure she’ll start to settle as she get’s a little older and learn to love flying!

    Sarah 🙂

    Saloca in Wonderland

  • Yay you did it! Surviving a long haul flight with kids is always a parenting win and Disneyland is always worth it. Now you can kick back, relax and enjoy the rides!

  • You got there in one piece and that is totally winning!!! I dread doing a long haul flight one day. E struggles with 5 hours back from Fiji. I’m hoping this year will be easier (dreaming!!!) At least she can sit longer in front of the iPad now. That should help right? Have a ball in the happiest place on earth. Jx

  • This is great – and definitely interesting from my perspective to read it from the side of people *with* kids. As a childfree lady, I always assumed (incorrectly) that most of the parents on planes who bring screaming kids on long haul flights just gave no f***s about common courtesy (which I’m sure is still true for some people), but it’s always reassuring to know that people are really trying and worrying!

    And as for being kind to the hosties – YES. I see so much bad behaviour towards hosties; so, so much. Some people are just straight up rude, and I think that this is a beautiful reminder that we all have worries and fears, and that a little compassion and kindness (and humour!) can go such a long way. Love it 🙂

    xx Anastasia Amour //

    • Oh we care, we do. I am going overboard with caring about all the people, so much that I want to make an announcement before take-off, “I care. I’ll try. I might fail. And I’m SO SORRY!”

      • Haha, love it! Although you shouldn’t have to make that disclaimer 🙂

  • I feel your pain. We had many of the exact same journey’s when my Em was young. I even did the phenergen trick, cause ‘everyone’ said it would put her to sleep. Ah NO! Opposite effect, and she was hyper until 1 hour out of London. We were all completely shatter for a week! Glad you arrived safely! Enjoy your stay, and the trip back 🙂

  • My guy HATED the bassinet when we flew to the States when he was a baby. As soon as I put him in there he would wake up and start screaming. I spent so much of that flight locked in the bathroom with a screaming baby, trying to settle him without bothering anyone.
    Thankfully the next time we flew to the States he was old enough to be entertained by the TV and watched Peppa Pig for literally 24 hours. Thank god for that pig.

  • I am so happy that the second half of the trip was easier for you. I remember the first time when Miss R was a baby and we flew to Melbourne and the hostesses actually took her up to the cockpit and walked around a little. That was only a domestic flight. Go you for tackling it all the best oyu can. Enjoy. V x

    • I love that. The hostesses we had on the flight over were really nice. They kept checking in on the girls, knowing them by name. And they nabbed me a Kate Spade beauty kit from First Class.

      Those things matter!

      • Yes they sure do Chantelle. V x

  • Simplify.Create

    The bassinets are the best. Means more leg room for the rest of the travellers too which was a blessing for my tall hubby on our last overseas flight with a 14 month old. She wasn’t too bad but kids hate being stuck in one place. We only went to Vietnam but here we are contemplating Europe next year with what will be a 14 month old again plus a 3.5 year old. Eeeeek! Oh & I just read your status about James Van Der Beek & had to laugh. My hubby was a fan too. We have the boxed set. So cheesy!

    • A box set? That’s commitment.

      I am so in love with those seats that I will be deeply disappointed with anything else from here on in.

      • Simplify.Create

        I guess commitment is one word for it lol and I hear ya… Those seats are the best!

  • MrsB

    I’m pretty sure the flight attendant was actually trying to tell you (and not very subtly IMO) that you shouldn’t fly again until she’s a teenager!

    • MrsB

      Which, of course, is not up to him!