I was somewhat dreading flying with a one year old this time. It’s why I kept suggesting Spain as the perfect destination for our half term break. The Other Half convinced me that 31 degrees of warm and sunny weather in Abu Dhabi would be worth the 7.5 hours on a flight and when he eventually said he’d look after the baby for the WHOLE journey, I thought it would be a good idea too. I’m not evil enough to make him actually do that, and he knows it too, but it was the nice little con I needed to convince myself that all would be ok and our sometimes loud baby would be completely non-annoying to other humans seated in economy class.
Our grand plan was to keep him awake and very active at the airport as soon as we’d checked in and it meant letting him crawl about and explore wherever he wanted. We had good intentions to change him from his jail bird babygrow into proper clothes but then figured there might be more crawling on the plane, so why not keep him in his stripy suit until we were almost ready to get off
The flight there was surprisingly good. He had a good 3 hour nap perfectly timed around when lunch was served and we all managed to get a good snooze in too. He then spent the remainder of the time “chatting” to the passengers behind us, makings “calls” on the inflight entertainment system remote control and looking out the window. We all heaved a huge sigh of relief as we got off the flight and felt a lot more assured about our flight back.
Flying with a one year old on the way back was a tiny bit different. We were unfortunately seated near a man who seemingly hated babies. He glanced over at us anytime he thought the baby was being too loud, stared for a bit, and then shook his head in frustration and sighed loudly. Baby E obviously didn’t realise what was going on, obviously, but we administered his dummy a lot more than usual just to keep him silent. Two hours in and I was starting to get a bit stressed out with shakey head man who would look up like an annoyed meerkat at every baby squeak, until the Other Half, who has a far more scornful scowl than me managed to get shakey head man to stop his huffing and puffing. I eventually realised that shakey head man was getting annoyed at other passengers around him too anytime they were slightly too loud or fidgety. To him, all these fellow passengers were ruining his back to back movie time. As luck would have it, the man in front of him called a flight attendant over to recline his stubborn seat back. Both he and the flight attendant put more than a bit of welly into forcing the seat back, as shakey head man looked on horrified. It did eventually recline to the whatever the man in front of him desired and shakey head man spent the rest of the flight outraged. I predictably thought of various perfect responses to his passive aggression about a day later and wished I had gone over to him to stop him getting a potential repetitive strain injury in his neck. It doesn’t put me off flying with kids but it’s made me realise that I look forward to the impending family / adult only areas on flights so that we can all be happy in our noisy / quiet areas.