I am not part of the flying sisterhood. As the exhausted, grim-faced mother unbuckled herself and struggled to her feet yet again, I just felt sooooo pleased I wasn’t flying with a baby.
From back here, between my two TV-sedated kids, I saw her reach in to the bassinet. It looked like she was trying to stuff a boiling, seething mass of tiny arms and legs and teddies and dummies and blankets in to a shoe box. A small part of me felt sorry for her. A larger, more smug, part of me was just glad it wasn’t me…
Top tips for enjoyable flying with babies and kids:
– Leave kids behind at airport staring dumbstruck at 1 kg blocks of duty free chocolate.
– Ensure husband’s inflight TV doesn’t work so he has to hold the baby.
– Find all the sick sacks or vomit bags you can as soon as you sit down. Sometimes one is not enough.
– For several years before you fly, strictly control the amount of TV your kids are allowed to watch. Then let them loose on the plane. Yes, you can watch that film 3 times in a row!
– Replace your real baby with a life-like educational doll. Much, much more placid.
– Remember to charge the iPad fully. And stop lecturing your toddler on why they should be gentle with it. If you hand it over, it is possible that they want to bash Dora the Explorer’s head with a fork.
– For girls, try to guess which ridiculous diamond-encrusted watch mummy likes in the airline magazine.
– For boys, try to assess the relative probability of different flying-related risks on each route eg ash clouds, engine failure, computer malfunctions, pilot narcolepsy.
– Have lots of “skin to skin” time with your baby. People won’t make eye contact with you if you’re naked.
– Drop a bag of small sweets on the floor and let the kids eat as many as they can find. Sweets that roll well are more fun.