Hey Realistic Mums, I have been itching to come back and share our holiday stories. There are some interesting one's coming up as it was an all time new experience for Cam and me. Before this trip we had only taken our kids back to Adelaide visiting the fam and camping in the great outdoors, so a flight longer than 2 hours to a different country was a whole new adventure for us!
So I have to kick off this series with flying with kids. If any of you Australians or if it reached news overseas, would have seen the Mount Raung Volcano in Indonesia decided to erupt and cause chaos for anyone trying to fly there. We were off to Bali so yep that was us on those cancelled flights. In fact we were the first cancelled flight leaving Sydney and for any of you wondering, yes we were at the airport and ready to board our 5:30pm flight. A flight I was overly prepared for because for us, and I'm sure most of you, would find this time was smack bang in the middle of feral hour.
When the words 'I'm sorry but your flight has been cancelled due to a volcanic eruption' came across the load speaker, I looked around watching the reactions of travellers. Some looked annoyed, some angry and others deflated. Me? Well I went into a completely inappropriate response of hysterical laughter. You know those moments where you have to be silent or something happens where most people would react in a socially and emotionally correct manner. For some reason by brain turns into kid mode and even though I am actually sympathetic or annoyed, I experience reactions like laughter. I also do it if I am accused of lying and I totally laugh and go red in the face looking completely guilty, when in fact I'm absolutely innocent. I am seriously deranged like that. So yeah I guess my response would have had many onlookers puzzled. As I laughed externally trying to get a grip of myself, I was suddenly dreading the inevitable. We have to go back through exactly the same way we came. No longer funny.
It's midday and the car is packed, the kids are fed and we are ready to head to the airport for our 5:30pm flight. I'm in the car thinking that the time it takes from now to get on the flight is not far off the actual flight time to Bali, Indonesia. What an effort! As we come as a family of five we couldn't ask anyone to drop us off. This is a massive hint for you Cam right here and it consists of two words .... Seven Seater! The car journey is smooth sailing with little traffic on the Sydney Highway, thank you Sydney commuters. We arrive at the park and ride to which I suddenly got the ride part of the park and ride. You park your car but then have to get in another one to take you to the airport 10 mins away. The bribes were out before the complaints started.
My routine planning to get to the airport and have loads of time for a coffee and a bite to eat was instantly shut down as we joined an hour long check in line. There was still just under three hours to the flight, did people get here in the morning? And I thought I was being overly prepared. I had a list of distraction tactics in my head for the kids and a bag of goodies for when I was getting desperate. Eva managed to turn each of the poles that we queued along into a microphone and although we were getting many looks and laughs, she was happy and not annoying her brothers or me. Franklin went between two minute intervals thanks to his short attention span of watching the Wiggles on my phone and spinning around the poles Eva was singing into. Jack has thankfully reached the age where I can tell him a few more minutes and he is happy to stand there completely trusting it is.... until he asks again in which I repeat a few more minutes. Check in was done.
The kids ran through the food court screaming 'no more lines' when they were ushered by a giant security guard to the customs line that was twice as long as the check in one. The distraction games came out in force as well as pointing to the cameras and saying that the guards were watching for the best behaved kids. Don't judge we have all done it or at least you will at some point in it's time of need. My kids went into complete competitive mode after spotting other groups of children and they were on their best behaviour. A win for me and customs was complete.
One more line to go but this one by kids found fun, which was a bonus because they were getting over it. This however is the one line I start to stress out in. Again it's the I look completely guilty but actually I am not hiding any drugs or bombs. With most of my nails that I spent weeks growing now all bitten off, I gave myself the once over making sure I wasn't wearing anything that would beep or had something in my bag that would set 50 guards on me shouting to get on the ground. Gosh what is with my brain? Did I think like this before kids or am I just that sleep deprived! I made it through and my heart rate began to settle as I caught sight of the Duty Free Sign.
Five hours later from leaving our house here we are, at the gate and ready to begin our holiday. I had researched and read up on things to take for the kids and how to be prepared on a long flight. I had Ipads, movies, DS controls, colouring books and snack packs, each nicely labelled for my kids and full of their favourite treats to eat. I had panadol for any sore ears or sudden illnesses and blankets for hopeful napping. I was pretty confident that I was going to have an easy flight and be that family that flew well. Of course, at 5:30pm when a lady spoke over the microphone to which everyone pricked their ears and squinted for lack of understanding the mumble, there came the one word that everyone understood perfectly.... CANCELLED.
You can see now where my insanely weird response of laughing along with dread had set in. I knew what it took to get us to that moment and not only did we have to do it all again that night to go home, but there would be another attempt five days later for when our fourth scheduled flight to Bali would finally make it and the holiday would begin. On Monday morning, days later, we once again set off for the park and ride and then airport to await the words from the airline, yes or no. Snuggled in a corner of the airport exhausted and nervous, the snack bags were getting emptied by the second, the activities sprawled all over the airport floor and the panadol sitting on the bench at home. I couldn't have cared less and thought anything the flight with the kids was going to bring me, I was ready with an enormous WHATEVER. Four hours later the plane took off and I glanced at my kids daring to make a single whingey noise. Franklin went to sleep, completely exhausted from watching Cam and me jump and scream and dance around him to keep him awake. during the endless line ups Jack and Eva were put in the window section by themselves surrounded by everything they brought for entertainment and I left them to it as I reclined my chair, put up my feet and relaxed. I was on my way to family wedding celebrations and sipping pina colada's by the pool and nothing could possibly tick me off now.
Join me next time for some more stories on holidaying with kids xx
© The Realistic Mum
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