I now realise that I, in fact, know all of my readers personally. Father-in-law’s brother (the Princess’s great uncle, try to keep up) appeared with his wife and grandson on new year’s day and quoted me at me. There is a further amusing incident but I have been sworn to secrecy and despite what you might think, I am capable of keeping secrets from the internet.
I began to realise that I have already told all my best stories on the internet. I would start into something and be told oh I read that on your blog and, most annoyingly, when producing fresh, unblogged material, oh I can just see that on your blog. Despite this I have to tell you a bit about flying with three children under three and two adults. Pictured below is the luggage which we hauled from Brussels to Dublin to Cork and back to Dublin again. To that please add five people.
When we approached the check-in desk, people backed away except for the odd person who would try to help. And, without wishing to sound unduly churlish, its often a lot easier to manage yourself. You know what needs to be checked in or not and your two year old is not so scared of you that she bursts into tears when you approach. Once checked in, all hands still full, we would make for the gate. All airlines seem to have a policy of boarding people with reduced mobility and small children first. You would
think, therefore, that people might know that, but no, we had to blast our way to the front of the queue using our three month old babies as weapons and letting the two year old off at really determined queuers. Yeah, I know, I sound like the kind of person I used to hate before having children of my own. These things are never so bad when you’re doing them yourself.
To get to the plane we had to walk down steps carrying two babies in car seats, one folded buggy, one nappy bag and one ratty toddler. As we lumbered across to the plane we would inevitably be overtaken by keen travellers walking briskly and snorting. Since we were holding a twin each, the Princess had to ascend to planes on her own and those steps are steep. When we arrived on the plane, we and our numerous progeny would have to wait while the keen travellers stored their luggage. On finally reaching our seats we were (once) displaced by Ryanair telling us we had to sit behind row 6. Once ensconced in our seats on either side of the aisle (there are only 4 oxygen masks on each row of three seats, so we have to split up), there is inevitably a baby poo and a Princess saying I want to do a wee. This was particularly awkward on the Dublin to Cork flight where time in the air is negligible and during the 10 minutes the toilets could be used, they were filled with lads who had spent the morning refreshing themselves at the bar and were faster off the mark than we were. Though I doubt whether they were more
On arrival at our destination airport, we would take over the handicapped toilet/changing station for about half an hour and see to all the children’s toilet needs. I hope that that wasn’t a desperate wheelchair
user banging on the door. I know that there was a wheelchair user on the flight from Brussels to Dublin, because the Aer Lingus hostess announced reproachfully that we were taking off late because a wheel chair user had not checked his wheelchair and taken an airport chair to the gate. What was wrong with the usual excuse due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft etc.?
I digress. By the time we got to the luggage hall, after our lengthy toilet stop, there would no longer be any indication of which belt our luggage would be arriving on and we would wander the luggage hall hopefully looking for our 8 items of checked baggage. On reclaiming our luggage, we would fall into
a people carrier taxi and weep from exhaustion all the way to our destination.
And finally, on the blog Christmas theme, I got a lovely Christmas card from Bobble. How thrilling. Her card is a beautiful photograph that she took of a tree covered with snow in golden light. I’m sure she really appreciated my La Poste offering with penguins and intends to keep it and frame it also.
on 09 January 2006 at 16:32
i laugh at your paltry mountain of luggage. when i was in college, my family moved from Boston to Stockholm, and we spent a fair amount of time taking in the sights of greater europe. Imagine: three teenage girls. Two week trip. 15 pieces of luggage.
Tho we, of course, moved under our own steam, and were weaned.
As usual, i am amazed at your fortitude.
on 10 January 2006 at 19:47
By the way I am VERY impressed with your ability to get from A to B involving a plane journey and with 3 young children in tow, I nearly have a nervous breakdown helping my fabulous grandmother to travel by plane.
I remember one incident where she told me very gruffly as we were leaving the house to go to the airport “Of course I have my passport!” Only to tell me at check in (after queuing for 2 hours) “Where’s my passport? Oh it’s in my drawer at home dear” ARGH! (I now look after all travel documents, bless her! ;o)
on 11 January 2006 at 10:01
Diva, that’s really sweet. It made me feel my age though because instead of thinking, I wish that I could do that for my grandmothers (difficult they are both dead), I thought “I hope that I have a granddaughter like that some day”. Most alarming.
on 11 January 2006 at 15:19
on 11 January 2006 at 20:11
The majority of my readers probably feel very fortunate that they don’t know me personally.
on 12 January 2006 at 09:47