As I have family in my motherland Croatia, I wanted to use the fact that I will get free baby-sitting and possibly get some sun and beach time with my two boys. The only problem was, I needed to fly there; by myself with Luca a 3 year old, and Sebastian my spirited 20 months old child.
So, armed with good will and optimism I embarked on an impossible mission to travel the longest 2 hour flight to Croatia, all by myself.
mum travelling with toddlers
So geared with combat trousers, one rucksack with entertainment and snacks,one pram to fasten the spirited leader of the gang and a walking kid willing to please, ( mostly as he noticed the determination in my eyes, and a few war stripes on my face. )I WAS READY.
First step; security check.
I asked the nice Stansted attendant if a mother and two toddlers in allowed to use the quick, fast track queue, she swiftly moved me to the ‘normal’ long one, without explanation.
Ok, we can do that boys.
After I managed to divide the liquids, computers and snacks in few trays, we had to go through the metal detector, all 3, separately. Oh dear. After emptying the pram from crumbs and hidden snacks from probably a year ago, Sebastian was due to cross the metal detector, alone. Two inpatient, busy airport attendants were hurrying him with fake irritated smiles, trying to get him thorough the detector, he stood there teasing and waiting for more smiles, they were sweating and calling him, he walked, he touched the sides of the detector, ”don’t touch anything, we’ll have to search you! just walk straight” I said: “he is a baby”, they say “we take our jobs seriously” he walked another step, touching the sides, they screamed a little more, irritated smiles, I whisper flatly; “he is a baby”
He passed the test. no bombs there.
travelling with toddlers
My turn, it beeped. They put me in a metal detector ‘cage’ boys alone outside with the crowds, still beeping, ok they have to search me. Boys holding my legs. ‘Don’t touch her, she says, otherwise well have to start again’ however they both attached at my legs.
I pass the test somehow.
Bag searched, milk poured and tested, we leave this hell, walking into the shopping area, eyes open, sweating, searching for kid friendly places, there is none.
Even though the Stansted website, which I researched thoroughly suggest few baby friendly rooms, there are none. We go to Giraffe, where a lovely waiter entertains them with pancakes, and suggest he will be mad at them if they try to run around. (he winks at me) they obey, for 2 minutes. I manage to have half coffee before they start their sugar rush mayhem of touching everything with blubbery sticky hands.
We go to baby changing facilities. I breathe and rest for 1 minute. They cannot run anywhere, I rest even though it smells of sweet baby poo. oh dear.
toddlers on a plane
Battle No2. airplane
We reach the terminal on the other side of the world, we walked, but they are not even remotely tired.
Before boarding they run around and create mayhem, I am out of energy already and don’t care what anyone thinks. Get it out of the system, they might sleep. But,little did I know they never will.
We fly, Easyjet, they promise a family friendly attitude so I hope they will help me, somehow, maybe adopt the children for few hours.
We are the last ones to board the flight, no one suggested us boarding the priority queue…ah well.
After boarding the packed Easyjet flight, we’ve got sited in two miniature seats, the three of us. My neighbor looked annoyed, I understand, they were both jumping on me, and opening the closing trays for the next hour. I ask the flight attendant to get a better seat,
‘sorry there are no empty seats’ . Ok, kindle is on, crayons are out, snacks and treats are out, we can survive this, its only a 2 hour flight.
Its ok, for 19 minutes, until Sebastian has a explosive poop that dirties his trousers and needs a complete change of clothes. OK three of us, walk to the miniature toilets and with open doors, I manage to change my humongous toddler into clean clothes.
We walk back, and i notice 3 empty seats, with suitcases stack underneath them. Clearly the suitcases had a priority to a mother with two angelic toddlers. Ah well. We’ll survive this. Another 1 hour and 12 minutes and the ordeal is over.
We land, and I start breathing again, they are exhausted but not sleepy.
Passport control. Luca and I pass the door, and the glass door closes behind us. where is Sebastian? Turn out he was chatting to the policeman, in his baby language amused, pointing and saying ‘aeroplane’.
After picking up the pram, car seats and two suitcases I walk out into the fresh air, pushing it all alone, and say; we survived. granpa’ is here. he can take over now….