Ever been on a plane where a child cried the whole way? Well that child was probably mine. Oh you cursed us I know, don’t worry. I cursed us too.
Whilst pregnant with Bubby, my best friend announced he was getting married. In London. And then doing it all over again in Melbourne. And I would be his bridesmaid. In London. And again in Melbourne. It was exciting and I was ecstatic for them. We’d be travelling with a nine month old baby and everyone knows they just sleep on planes. Don’t they?
And so after being blessed with the honour of being his bridesmaid, I was then blessed with a baby that hated to travel. She hated the pram, she hated the car and unsurprisingly as we found out on our long, long journey to London, she hated planes. Well, she hated trying to sleep on them and on such a long trip that amounted to a lot of hate.
The short trip from home to Melbourne went smoothly and we confidently convinced ourselves that the rest of the trip would go swimmingly.
I’d come prepared. I had boobs, a dummy, food, books and toys, but we soon realised it wasn’t going to be enough.
On the first long leg out of the country we did ok. I managed to feed her to sleep and then back to sleep again when she woke every 45 minutes. Horrendous as that was, I told myself she would eventually get tired enough to sleep the rest of the way. On the second leg it was ‘daytime’ so we wearily managed with a combination of feeding her to sleep and standing up with her in our baby carrier. It’s ok we told ourselves, we would be in London soon and she could sleep.
And finally we did arrive. In the wee hours of the morning, we stood in the long, long queue waiting to pass through Customs. The airport was eerily quiet when suddenly she woke and let out the long, ear piercingly loud wail that our fellow passengers had become accustomed to hearing during the journey. I could see them all flinching and instantly a customs officer came hunting for us as I tiredly tried to jingle around to quieten her, fearful we were about to be told off for breaking the peaceful silence. But to our surprise, the officer cleared a path through the long, long queue of passengers and waved us over to the next available desk. I have never been so happy to hear my baby cry. Whilst still cursing us, I think the other passengers were probably glad to see the back of us…
Needless to say we were not looking forward to the trip back where the boobs no longer sufficed to get her to sleep and Dave and I took turns in wearing her in the baby carrier having to stand when she woke every 45 minutes. That’s right, for both legs of the flights back to Melbourne.
Before this journey, it was I, who cringed as children screamed and kicked the back of my seat. I probably always will. Only now, I do it with a sympathetic smile for those stressed out parents and mentally apologise again, and again to all those passengers who travelled with us.
For the last and final leg back home we gave ourselves a pep talk. It was only a short trip and after everything else we could manage it easily. Of course it was this leg, the shortest and easiest to endure that our little angel slept the whole way and we were congratulated by our fellow passengers on what a good baby she was.
We could only smile wearily and accept their praise.