Most readers already know that I frequently travel with the families I work for.
So yesterday morning we met up at the airport as we were about to head off to Italy. I’ve attached some photos from the trip (which I took myself) – and let me tell you, lake Como is beautiful! But that aside, let me first talk about the flight itself because that’s what we’re all here for.
After dropping off our suitcases, we headed over to the business lounge. I already know that the bigger child (almost three) needs breakfast before a flight – otherwise things can get quite messy and loud. So an orange juice and a couple raisin swirls later, it was time to proceed to the gate.
It was all smooth sailing to our flight seats and I was then handed the little girl (eight months), who’d been overtaken by tiredness. As our seats were in the business class, we had more than enough space. The seat next to us was empty but towards the aisle sat a middle-aged man who spared us a number of grumpy glances when the baby cried. But funnily enough, just when the little one was about to fall asleep, the man started snapping his fingers which had the baby staring at him with wide eyes. But finally the girl fell asleep and I handed her to her mother.
The seat behind the mother was empty and so we went there with the older girl. I’ve never had any problems finding activities for children. A big colouring book is always a great thing – something you can do together. Again the seat next to us was empty, only an older woman occupied the window seat beside us. We started our colouring session in hushed voices (she knows that you have to respect other’s peace). As there was a table between the two seats connecting us to the woman, we made sure not to take any more table space than half of it. I didn’t see any problems with that, but I think the woman did, as at some point she slammed her newspaper all over the table and over our colouring book!
I gently lifted her newspaper off to the available table space to which the lady asked me about our official seats. I replied back, that the little one’s is next to her mother who currently has a baby with her. She did not seem pleased at all and asked about my own seat, to which the mother turned around and replied instead. The lady jumped up, grabbed all her things and went over to my seat with lots of grimaces and threw her things on the seat.
The little girl asked me what happened and why the lady didn’t wish to sit next to us. Well, I explained that sometimes when your’e tired and angry, you may feel that others are the cause of your unhappiness, but that hopefully she will get some rest.
When it was time for breakfast, I for some reason had an ominous feeling in my stomach when I handed the littlest one over to her mother. When the stewardess reached us, she leaned over and asked in the loudest voice possible about our breakfast choice. And guess what, next moment the baby was crying!
I’ll be honest and say that really irked me, to the point where I wanted to ask if this is some kind of a joke? You see a baby sleeping and you still proceed with a voice that echoes all over the plane… I don’t think we’re the first or last ones travelling with children, and it would be nice if the flight crew had some emphatic skills.
So now I had 2 children, both awake. I helped the older one with her breakfast and still managed to finish my coffee with the other hand.
When I stood up with the little one in my arms, I felt how she held herself in a weird way (by then I knew very well what that meant). Hurriedly I asked the mother for a muslin cloth. Sadly her reaction wasn’t that quick, but still we managed to get some of the milk that came up into the cloth. The aisle floor did get some gentle spots here and there but everyone and everything else was untouched.
Stewardesses couldn’t hide their disdain much but that was the least of my problems. I cleaned up the little one and put her into her sleeping clothes. Then it was another set of smooth sailing all the way to the hotel, and the children held up well for the rest of the trip.
How was the first night away from home?
The older girl slept well but the baby woke up every hour or so. I also took care of another puddle of milk that didn’t sit well with her, and in the early morning she decided to be a chatter-box instead. It took about an hour or so to get her to fall asleep. By 7am both were awake and a new day could start.
Why am I sharing this? Lots of people think that it’s easy travelling with children, but I’d say it all depends on how mentally prepared you are. What happened during this flight is definitely not the last one where we fight against puke, poopy diapers or even angry stares from people around.
And travelling in business class does not guarantee a child-free zone. But if flight companies would make a child-free zone on their planes, then these would definitely sell out first!
Wishing you stress-free travels,