The photo above looks unstressful, sunny and calm… But do not be fooled! Ever been on a plane with screaming children and said to yourself “that will never be me”? Oh yes, I have, many a time and guess what? Today was that day!
I think it stemmed from a late night for Noah and a 6:30am wake up call… Lots of travelling in the heat and being, well a toddler!
Firstly we arrived at the airport promptly and mega early, so 90mins after waking up with no breaky, in a check in queue – Noah got bored. Crying and squirming to get out, which continued until we stopped at burger king and had a sort of brunch stop. He calmed a bit then. Phew.
Getting on the plane, Thomson decided we couldn’t sit together… Yes even after paying extra for the luxury and so it was settle in and strap up separately, mummy with Isla and daddy with Noah. Then the couple sitting in one of our rows said they would kindly swap seats so me and Dean could sit together with the kiddies. Thank you so so much whoever you are. Only to be told by Thomson staff we couldn’t as there isn’t enough oxygen masks for 5 people in a row of 3 chairs. So we had to move, but then a nice Thomson man said that the couple who swapped could move to a spare row at the back and we could split between the 3 chairs and spread out a bit. So it was all move again and buckle up. My thoughts to Thomson would be… We checked in pretty much first and had 2 infants checking in, and we paid for the extra seat to be together so why on earth did you separate us and not do this in the first place?! Yes, I was mad but happy it got sorted in the end.
After all of that Noah had had enough, bored and being pulled around and not being able to do what he wanted- toddler things, like kick chair in front play with his buckles… We then get given the toddler belt, you have to hook it into your own belt and then wrap it around the child whilst they sit on your lap. Noah, sit on my lap, sit still and understand his restrictions? No chance!! To top it off he’s so tired too. We had a fight to keep him on my lap and to stop him from crying, wailing the plane down. It was such a whimpering “I’m so tired and I’m not getting my own way and I’m still so tired, why can’t I just do what I want?” kind of cry too. I felt sorry for him. But thankfully daddy managed to get him to sleep for half the flight.
Back on dry land in the UK, and we now have baggage reclaim and passport control… Oh, with an exception… No buggy! Argggggh. Carrying a baby, toddler and 2 heavy bags of hand luggage to passport control is not an easy task, especially at Gatwick! You can’t pick your buggy up until you get to baggage reclaim. Why, I have no idea… How hard can it be to open the hold and grab a buggy that was put in the hold last when we got on the plane? Airport parent failure!! The most Stressful half an hour of walking quickly with a squirming toddler, heavy bags and a sleepy baby (thankfully) we finally make it to baggage reclaim and all our luggage including car seat and buggy is safe. Yippee.
Oh but then there’s the coach to the car park with no suitcase trolley… Hmmm, a double buggy, car seat, 3 suitcases and 2 hand luggage bags to carry. Not much then, to top it off 2 children, 1 of which was completely bored and knackered, hot and bothered and just generally wanting to do toddler things!
I was so relieved to get in the car, Isla had some milk and fell asleep and so did Noah… And then so did mummy! Thank you daddy for getting us back.
I think next time we need to limit our hand luggage, bring the sling for Isla and reins for Noah… Have only 2 suitcases and make sure we have enough hands between us to manage at the airport. Yeah right!!!!
I had a horrid thought, how do people cope with more than 2 children? It must be absolutely manic.
LizJuly 23, 2012
For the future, ALWAYS book valet parling – if booked in advance it costs nearly the same, is MUCH faster, as you hand over your car outside, and they are waiting for you on your return – no struggling with luggage