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  • jdettmann

Degree Of Difficulty

Oh for the days when the in-seat phone was all the entertainment she needed.

In about four hours we are heading to the airport to fly for fourteen hours to LA. Then we will wait at LAX for another five hours, before flying for two more hours to Denver. I am more daunted by this trip than I have been by any other I’ve taken.

It’s not as if this is the first time we’ve flown with May Blossom. We’ve taken this trip twice before, and many other shorter domestic flights too. But this is the first time we’ve flown since she has been weaned, and talking a lot. Breastfeeding was so handy for travelling: it functioned as food, entertainment and a gag. I’m just not sure what to expect without it. I gather gags are frowned upon in some parenting circles, so that in-flight option is ruled out.

I think I’ve prepared as well as I can. To entertain her we have books, pencils, crayons, new colouring books, some overpriced kids’ magazine I let her get from the supermarket yesterday because it had Peppa Pig on the cover, stickers, snacks, the iPad loaded with five half-hour episodes of Play School and a season of Peppa Pig, and two all-singing, all-dancing, never tired parents. Well, one of those, really, and a mother with a bad head cold, a growing belly and a deep fear of my increased risk of DVT which means I will be getting up and walking around the plane every hour or so. That should tie in well with travelling with a toddler actually, shouldn’t it?

We’re flying with Virgin, in economy, but we’ll have my dad up in Premium economy so we can send May Blossom up to scam free drinks and better chocolate when required. Part of the flight is overnight, so with a lot of luck May Blossom will sleep.

OR… we will have endless flight delays, May Blossom will get my cold, the people in front will have their seats back the whole way, the airline won’t have a meal for May Blossom (even though I spent an hour on the phone talking them out of giving her jars of baby food – ‘But she’s under two’ they kept saying – and then out of a kids meal full of sugar – ‘But she’s under two they kept saying’), the staff and other passengers will be immune to the charm of our child singing ‘Ice Ice Baby’ at top volume for an unfeasibly long time and we will be those people with the badly behaved screaming toddler and to top it all off, I can’t even drink my face off to make it all go away.

It could really go either way.

What I have realised though, is that while this trip may be harder than those we took when May Blossom was pretty little, it is nothing – nothing – compared to what it will be like when we next fly, when we have TWO of these creatures to wrangle. We may need to look into polygamy. I don’t think two on two will be enough. More parents may be the answer.

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