Travel in stress

3 Apr

Last weekend Tom, Toby and I took ourselves off to Norway to visit family and play in the last of the season’s snow. We flew back on Sunday and on Monday morning I headed back to the airport to catch my flight to Copenhagen for the Passenger Terminal Expo, without Tom and Toby. The contrast between the two flights was incredible.

Toby got his passport only a few week’s after his birth and we’ve been travelling regularly with him ever since. Our first flight with him had me in sweats of terror, but it was so easy; he just slept the whole way.

Before Toby rocked into my World, I had always been the most impatient person and lacked the ability to sympathise with babies on flights. I would scan my fellow passengers for any hint of child – sniffing them out like Blunderbore from Jack and the Beanstalk and made every effort to sit as far away as possible. I shamelessly confess that when travelling with my sister and my nephew, Gregory, when he was a little six month bundle, I sat away from them and completely disowned them when Gregory started piercing everyone’s eardrums with his screaming. I can safely say karma is now catching up.

Toby’s activity levels have been rapidly increasing and forcing him to sit still for even two minutes is hell. So, this last flight was the total opposite of a treat. I turned into one of those mums walking their child up and down the aisle, annoying anyone trying to get to the loo and having to stop the hyper toddler launching himself at those innocently reading books, listening to music or sleeping. Freud was on the money when he said we are all born with a degree of narcissism – if someone isn’t paying attention to Toby he gets very confused and jumps them.

The whole thing gave me an enormous headache and even pushed me into thinking that holidaying with a family should be a no-go zone.  I can’t imagine having two to deal with more than one child in a confined space… Food flew everywhere, water was spilt – which embarrassingly soaked someone’s shoes and bag (they were very nice about it, I would not have been so forgiving) – and screams penetrated the cabin. Not a great deal of fun.

Conversely, my flight to Copenhagen was a dream. Being completely out of contact with the World and childless created a little piece of heaven in my day. I kicked back, listened to music and read a book. These are things I used to take for granted. The only downside is that I didn’t have Toby at the other end.

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