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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.