Sigh! The time has come (again). I will climb into a flight soon, toting my Louis Vuitton on one arm and my only child on the other. Having undertaken this herculean task a few times already, i feel sufficiently equipped to dole out some well meaning advise to my Mom-tribe out there. Feel free to roll your eyes vigorously at each one.
Warning 1- Allocate sufficient time prior to boarding and ensure you stock up on alcohol at the airport bar. Drink it neat and drink it quick. It will be your only friend during the 5-10 hours ordeal you are about to encounter. It might help you sleep, it could keep you in relatively good spirits and may stop you from questioning every single life decision ever made, leading up to the creation of said child. (Try not to drop or loose child, while semi-inebriated.)
Warning 2 – You will be greeted by the subtle grimace of the cabin-crew, as they direct you to your seats in the front of the economy section. You will also witness the (not-so subtle) groans and moans of all the passengers who have seen the child and are now cursing their misfortune at being seated within a 50-meter radius of you. You will have to try and ignore the glares of the Husband as he stares at the diaper bag, which is stuffed to the brim with a month’s worth of entertainment for the toddler (excess baggage, anyone?). Soon enough you will be settled into your seats and now is when you start to pray that the turbulence created by the child be mellow in comparison to any turbulence created due to air-pockets or clouds.
Warning 3 – The ladies on-board are basically divided into a two groups. The group of Mom’s who will judge you for feeding during take-off. And the group of Mom’s who will judge you for not feeding during take-off. Each is convinced their method is correct and will loudly “tsk tsk” at you, no matter what you finally choose to do. I have always (aggravatingly enough) received contradicting information regarding what is the correct thing to do, so i usually go ahead and stick to one specific modus-operandi : I do whatever the eff i feel like. Works like a charm.
Warning 4 – NOBODY on this flight will indulge you in any small-talk during the duration of the journey. Everyone is absolutely terrified if (once they become remotely friendly) they could be tasked with holding, soothing or God forbid, *shudder* even cleaning the baby. When purchasing an air-ticket, now most people wishfully consider the possibility of getting a free upgrade where they can enjoy some bubbly or getting the chance to chat up a cute air-steward. Lets face it, peeping into a poopy diaper just doesn’t figure on most people’s wish-list.
Warning 5 – Let’s face it. Your only hope of the child sleeping for a few hours during the journey, is by administering a quick shot of anti-histamine or some well-timed cough syrup. Use it without shame. Use it for your own sanity. Use it so that you are not banned by any particular airline for life. Use it so that you may be able to use the spa (toilet) uninterrupted for 5 damn minutes. Use it away from the judging eye of the Husband. Use it strictly under doctor or physician advise please (terms and conditions apply).
Good luck, go on and board that damn flight now and PRAY!