I flew back to Dubai with the boys on Thursday, on what we call ‘Daddy’s airplane’. Except DH wasn’t flying it, and nor was he on it.
BB and LB are good at air travel really, and I guess for a 3 and 6 year old, they could be classed as frequent travellers, but there are certain inevitabilities about flying with small children.
They needed the toilet just as the food arrived, and also the moment the seatbelt sign came on; they couldn’t get comfortable despite being pint-sized; they weren’t hungry when given their meals then clamoured for food later on when there was none. They wriggled, fidgeted, got bored and LB kept bumping the seat in front.
As we boarded the full A380 at Heathrow, LB asked a flight attendant if we were going to space. “Too many people today,” he told her, as though he commuted the route daily. But not funnily for me, he didn’t sleep a wink, preferring to give me the Spanish Inquisition over whether there were owls chasing us (it was mostly dark) and would they get chopped up in the engine?
For my part, I ruefully turned down an upgrade (it was only for me, not the kids!), I entertained two energetic boys for seven long hours, rummaged around for missing items, let the 3yo sit on my lap for as long as was tolerable and made multiple trips to the loo.
But, you know what, it is getting easier. Each year is a little better than the last, and when I think back to last year’s long flight with a tantruming two-year-old, playing tray up/tray down, light on/light off and ding the flight attendant, I realise we’ve come a long way, even if it’s still really tiring.
Thanks to an iPad loaded with games, there were even some moments of quiet reflection, when I looked out the window at the ink black sky and the airplane’s shadowy wing. I found myself thinking about the gleaming metallic finish, the gentle, sloping contours, the speed it was capable of, and its ability to transport me from the sights and sounds of Seoul to the sunsets of Long Island.
So, was I appreciating DH’s airplane in all its gigantic glory?
Well, if I’m honest, I was thinking about my new beautiful, super-speedy MacBook Pro laptop, which I bought in England to bring back to Dubai. Love it!