The Mum Network

2 x 15.5 hour flights with a toddler. Yes, it was hell.


The Big Guy called me a few weeks ago with a surprise “I’m buying you a ticket to America”.

Huh? “WHAT?” It meant I would be back 5 minutes from the snow and had to re-pack for 35 degree heat and 98% humidity.

The Big Guy knew my cousin who is more like a sista from another mista, was buying tickets to my favourite performer in the world, the very fab Lionel Ritchie and would I like to go? Hell Yeah! Naturally I jumped at the chance and offered to take Mr 1 with me so that he didn’t have to put up with all 5 kids alone. Four kids was enough for any sane person to cope with. I also didn’t pay much attention to the fact that I was going via Dallas Fort Worth this time rather than Los Angeles. The difference? Oh, it’s only a 15.5 hour flight followed by a 4 hour flight…………with a toddler, whom I subsequently found out, hates planes ,hates people and hates confined spaces oh and he hates flight attendants.

When ‘they’ say it’s not about what you know but ‘who’ you know, ‘they’ are bang on. I managed to hitch a couple of hours in the Qantas First Class lounge at the airport with my very important Platinum Frequent Flyer mate, Stephen (THANK YOU AGAIN MR L) . If you haven’t been to the Qantas First Class lounge (and let’s face it, unless you know someone important, most of us mere mortals will never step foot in such a prestigious place). But needless to say, you walk in and WHATEVER YOU LIKE is on offer. I started with a glass of Verve at 8am, finished with a specially ordered BLT toasted sandwich whilst Mr 1 sucked down more potato chips than he’s ever been allowed to eat. We were both in heaven. Which lead to 15 hours of hell.

Qantas First Class Lounge

 

Mr 1 Stuffing his face on chips

God Bless the Qantas staff. Mr 1 (who is 1 and a half) wasn’t allocated a seat as he’s under 2 however because he is the 4th son of The Big Guy, he’s a monster and far too big to sit on my lap for 15.5 hours. Qantas clearly recognise that monster children don’t do well on parents laps and so they sprang into action. I’ve recently had my hair cut into a VERY short do which has clearly made me look like a lesbian because the very camp steward mistook the nice but very frightened lady next to me as my partner. When I corrected him he then asked if she would agree to move seats (she literally threw herself out of her seat faster than he could say “would you like to mo…..”).

I thought I was well prepared. Phenerghan had been administered to the toddler and I was ready to sleep my way to Dallas. How wrong was I. Phenerghan can make a child sleepy or psychotic. It made Mr 1 the latter. I spent the first 8 hours of the flight trying to get him to sleep, the next 4 hours trying to stay awake to ensure he didn’t bring the plane down and then when he finally fell asleep, the lights came on, the turbulence hit, I was forced to wake him from the ill fitting position he had squished himself into in the bassinet and the final 2 hours and now all a blur.  The next flight was fortunately easy as Mr 1 was so tired he passed out as did I and it’s just as well because when I asked the American Airlines staff for a infant seatbelt for Mr 1, I was told he didn’t need one. Um…….I did feel a uneasy knowing that we had to take our shoes off to be security checked to get on a plane (Mr 1 included) but there was no need for a seatbelt. Americans have health warnings and safety warnings on everything but happily sell guns and ammunition in department stores so it’s a country full of contradictions and I was too buggered to give a shit by that point.

I shall write more about the trip in my next post as I have much to share about American House Porn but a few days into the trip I did call The Big Guy and let him know that he had two ways of seeing his 4th son again.

1. Come to the USA and pick him up because I was not getting on another plane with the arsehole traveller toddler or

2. Agree that I use our hard earned points for an upgrade to Premium Economy on the way home.

Let’s just say we departed the US of A with 50,000 less Frequent Flyer points in the account.

The difference between Economy and Premium Economy is phenomenal AND WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT OR FREQUENT FLYER POINT. Seriously. I cannot believe the difference. We were quickly offered a Champagne, Water or Juice before we set off and then Christoher, the flight attendant realised he had a toddler on board. I’m not sure he’d ever seen a 1 year old before because the sight of Mr 1 sent him into a complete hissy fit.

Insert overly camp voice here

“Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh, there’s a BABY on BOARD. I haven’t had a baby on board since I moved from the back of the plane AGES ago. Ooohooooohooooh I don’t know what to give him, I’ll have to go down the back of the plane and get some of those toy, pack thingys for him. What does he eat? Did you order a special meal?”

Poor Christopher then attempted to tell Mr 1 how to behave on the flight.

“Now Harry, you be GOOD on this flight please, no crying at ALL” I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not but clearly Christopher took great pride in serving Premium Economy passengers (he seriously went all out for everyone, couldn’t fault his attention to detail or sucking up ability, even to Mr 1)

BUT…..Erk Shit, expectations were high. It was going to be a very long flight indeed. I made a mental note to double the dosage on Mr 1’s sleepy medicine.

When the meal came out poor Christopher presented Mr 1 with a table cloth for his dinner tray and flicked his bum whilst laying it down with complete precision and told the one year old to just “hang on whilst I get your meal.” Naturally Mr 1 couldn’t NOT touch the tablecloth and I was just proud it stayed on the tray table but when Christopher returned with the Neil Perry Rockpool inspired crockery and pasta a la something or other, he noticed  the tablecloth had moved from landscape to portrait. He nearly shat himself. Cue tizz number 2 from Christopher. Mr 1 then threw some food around whilst I desperately tried to pick up pasta and other food stuffs from floor before the lights came on.

A quiet, peaceful sleeping toddler

When Mr 1 finally awoke from a glorious 10 hour sleep, Christopher had completely warmed to him and decided to give him a tour of the galley to show him where the cookies and drinks were and become his new BFF – BIG MISTAKE. Never show a one year old where the food is. Mr 1 spent the final hours of the flight as the First Officer in charge of wrecking shit in the galley.

 

God Bless Christopher, God Bless you Qantas. Even my one year old didn’t put you off your game.

More on the big trip tomorrow.

Cheers Mum!

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