Travelling with a baby and more recently a toddler is certainly a lot different to jetting out just as a couple. The airport becomes more of an obstacle course than ever with milk to be tested, buggies to be dismantled and more baggage than you ever thought you would possibly need for just one week away.
And all of this is before you get anywhere near a plane. Having a 6 month old on your knee can be quite lovely, if you blank out of your memory the 30 minutes of non-stop screaming (yes, we were THAT family), but having a strapping 18 month old competing for the limited leg room is a whole other story. During those flights I remember watching with envy those people strolling onto the plane with just a handbag and having a couple of undisturbed hours to read a magazine or catch up on their book.
But this time travelling was different, it was easier. No buggy was needed, no special bottles or a bag full of nappies. My little boy was happy to walk through the airport holding my hand and was beyond excited to watch the planes through the window.
On the flight I became one of those people I have envied so much. He was more than happy to sit watching Lightning McQueen and didn’t really want Mummy disturbing him. As I sat sipping Prosecco with my kindle in my hand, I couldn’t help but feel sad. I suddenly missed those days of juggling everything on my knee whilst trying to keep O happy. I missed him needing me.
By the time the flight home came around O was exhausted after a lot of fun in the sun. He was grumpy in a way that I know only comes when he is overtired.
He wasn’t happy to watch the iPad, he didn’t want to eat his Snack Pack (that he’d spent the past 30 minutes demanding), he wanted Mummy. As I slid over onto his seat so he could curl into my lap I felt content. As his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep I just sat looking out of the plane window stroking his hair, happy.
It may not have been the most comfortable position to fly in but it didn’t matter. For that hour it was nice to have my baby back.