...I knew this and yet I still booked the tickets, made the plans and packed our bags. Straight away I started thinking positively 'of course my usually boisterous, noisy and excitable toddler will become a calm, quiet and easily distracted young man the minute we step on the plane'. These thoughts stayed with me right up until we stepped into the check in line and I had to see the 'oh oh' expressions on my fellow passengers faces when they saw my little man bouncing around the departure terminal. Instantly I was defensive, glaring back as if I could silently communicate to them that parents and children have just as much right to travel as they do and this will be much more stressful for me than it will be for them. I do this glare until my husband (my lovely husband who helps me with my bags and reassures me that everything will be fine and then gets to escape home for a week of peace and quiet....and a huge list of 'to do' while we are away) reminds me that we were once these 'oh oh' people quietly sighing when seeing an energetic toddler about to get on our plane.
So for better or worse we get on the plane armed with a portable DVD player a never before seen sticker book filled with dinosaurs, trucks and diggers and a pile of favourite DVD's and my toddler amazes me with his restraint and ability to stay awake hours after his bedtime. Although the three hours seemed to drag on forever we finally arrived at our destination with little of the expected stress and a new confidence that we could turn around and do this all over again a week later.
After a lovely break catching up with family and friends we get back on another plane, sweetly smiling at all of our fellow passengers to reassure them that they would not be disturbed by my darling boy only to have him throw biscuit crumbs all over our very understanding neighbour, scream an hour before landing 'no more plane mummy' over and over again until falling into a deep sleep that he then had to be traumatically woken up from the minute we landed.
On the upside we survived our trip and are happy to be home and even happier knowing there are no more trips booked for a while yet!