Flying doesn’t give me quite the same buzz it did back when I took my first flight at 19 years old (from Adelaide to Timor via Darwin), but I do still get a kick out of it.
Of course it’s partly being on holidays, especially at the start of a trip like this – the flight is filled with so much to look forward to and is the culmination of months of anticipation, weeks of preparation, but is also the moment we can finally relax.
I wasn’t sure how it would go, this flying with (three) kids thing – and let’s be clear, this is only the second flight of four before we reach our first destination. But so far, so good.
Elli was a bit grumpy and hard to distract for a while there after the first little while in her seat. We boarded early to give us plenty of time to get the CARES and car seat installed, and deal with any more strife over using the CARES device (there wasn’t any), and there was a little delay on the runway, so by the time we made it into the air the kids had been strapped in for about an hour, and Elli was over it. (Lesson learned: don’t strap the baby into her seat until the plane is really ready to take off, and the fasten seat belts sign is on.)
But, I kept her more or less distracted until the dinner arrived, and then she was very happy for a while eating chicken and peas, chewing on some bread and butter, and eating not only her own tiramisu, but most of Liam’s and Mikaela’s! After which Chris took her to change her nappy and get her into her pajamas, so that in theory she could nurse to sleep. In the end it took probably another half hour or more of play time – mostly on my lap, some on Chris’s, before she was ready to go to sleep, but once she did she’s been great. She’s woken a few times to change positions or nurse some more, but mostly she’s been settled.
So here I am in the middle of the night stuck between another passenger and her car seat with her on my lap, one arm trapped under her. So why am I having such a good time?
I think it’s that not only are we off on a big adventure, but also that this is enforced down time. I’ve just watched two and a half episodes of junk – but fun – TV, something I virtually never have time to do, and now I’m writing a blog post. Something else I struggle to find time for.
Admittedly I’d probably be having a better time if I’d had more than 3 hours sleep last night, and if I didn’t gave the consequent headache. Actually I’d possibly be asleep now – or at least dozing, if we didn’t have to get off the plane in Singapore in a bit under two hours. It is, after all, after 11pm, Canberra time. On the other hand it must be about 3pm Barcelona time, so if I *can* sleep on the next flight (more likely to happen early if the kids weren’t asleep now I’d guess) that’s probably quite good from a jet lag perspective. And that’s a 13 hour flight or there abouts, so it won’t matter if it takes a while for the kids to resettle – except in the sense that I will be utterly, utterly exhausted!
Hmm, they’ve turned the lights back up. Must be time for another ‘refreshment’ 🙂 – I do like the food on these international flights – Qantas ones, anyway. (Edited later to add – and yeah, sorry to say none of the other airlines’ food really matched up.)
Edited to add:
Thirty hours later, we’re on our forth and final (for this week) flight.
Everyone is exhausted, though all three kids got substantially more sleep than me or Chris. Tempers were slightly frayed getting through Heathrow and onto this flight, but overall we’ve all done remarkably well.
I’m the only one who seems to gave any significant ear trouble with take off and landing, which is good. (Edited again later to add that Liam did have some ear trouble, but intermittently, like me, and only one flight where it really truly bothered him a lot.)
I’ve had about three or four broken hours of dozing over the entire time, and with only three hours of sleep the night before we left, that makes maybe six hours in the past 60, with another 10 or so hours before I can go to bed in Barcelona!