OR NOT. AFTER ALL, WHO WANTS TO SIT NEXT TO A CRYING BABY? – By Jayne McIntyre
I became THAT person recently. Yes, the person with a screaming child on the plane.
Having not been back to Queensland since Christmas, I decided to take AJ on his first flight to see the family last week.
Luckily the journey lasted little over an hour, so the other passengers didn’t have to suffer for too long.
Surprisingly enough, my fellow travellers were most obliging and offered to help with my bags on multiple occasions.
Although that was probably more to do with my uncanny ability to make things look more awkward and cumbersome than they actually are, rather than having my little one in tow.
Flying solo (without hubby), I welcomed the assistance as I fought my way through the narrow aisle to my designated seat.
Most of us, parents or not, are aware that variations in air pressure can cause ears to ‘pop’ during plane travel, something which can easily be fixed by chewing gum or downing soft drink.
Unfortunately, this is not something babies and small children can understand or remedy themselves.
So when milk and pacifiers are unable to soothe mile-high wails, carers can be left feeling helpless and somewhat stranded.
I too braced myself for the evil eye or unnecessary sighs when AJ’s fail-safes, well, failed me.
To my surprise, the lady next to me started an impromptu rendition of the ‘Peppa Pig’ theme song while tapping her manicured nails on an empty water bottle to help distract AJ.
Introducing herself as a mother of youngens, she continued to entertain my now not-so-cranky bub with the in-flight magazine and games on her phone.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Sure, my son had saved his worst behaviour for when we were strapped together (literally) in a confined space, but the attitudes of those around me really saved my sanity.
I almost felt guilty for being presumptuous about the others on board, who were in fact very accommodating rather than accusatory.
I’m sure some of them were making mental notes to re-fill their contraceptive prescription upon landing, but they were courteous enough to not let their own parenting choices show.
So after spending a joyous week with family in Queensland we faced the return trip home.
Round two was pretty much the same as the flight north, with an ill-timed spew thrown in for good measure.
After landing on terra firma once more and crossing the tarmac to retrieve our belongings, I thought the last of our travel teething-problems were over. Yet another classic ‘rookie mum’ moment.
Forget the turbulence experienced on board, try re-settling your baby into routine upon arrival.
I could really do with the help of that Peppa Pig lady now!
* For all the anxious travellers out there, I must add that our flight experience wasn’t ALL that bad. It sure beats a 12 hour car ride and AJ certainly enjoyed all the hustle and bustle of the airport. A few days on and his sleeping habits have gone back to normal too.