As you may have seen via Instagram, I’m currently vacationing in Singapore. It’s our first international family holiday and our first time taking both the kids overseas. Call me crazy or courageous, but I found out every quickly that like so many things that are worthwhile in life, flying with a toddler and a baby is both a challenge and a delight.
As anticipated, the toddler was actually a breeze. We don’t watch much TV at home so he thoroughly feasted on the in-flight entertainment, and he loved every bite of his aeroplane food. Thankfully, he was toilet trained before this trip so he stayed dry for the entire flight. I was surprised that I didn’t even need to access my ‘goodie’ (treats and sweets) bag!
The baby on the other hand, was more demanding. I packed a very well stocked bag full of baby goodies including 4 nappies but Olympia’s digestive tract decided to go on overdrive. Thankfully, the lady sitting next to me had spares, bless her cotton socks!
Even though Olympia had a bassinet, she refused to sleep in it. It did double as a meal tray though! And she did sit in it for 5 minutes while I fed her lunch and ate my meal. How does one get a baby to nap on the plane? Mine was only able to fall asleep in the baby carrier after I pranced up and down the aisles for half an hour. The upside? The exercise did help prevent me from getting deep vein thromboses. And the bassinet seat ensured that I had ample leg room.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom. You see, I didn’t expect to watch any movies, yet I managed to watch 3, thanks to subtitles (as Olympia kept pulling my ear phones out)… I was even able to sit down for an hour while the baby slept on me. Ah, the serenity.
But you know what the best part of travelling with kids is? You bond with so many people! The cool-calm-and-collected-pre-kids me would have been too aloof (and too glued-to-the-screen) to talk to any Tom, Dick and Harry, but when you’re desperately trying to get a baby to fall asleep on your bossom, and when said baby can’t stop smiling at everyone, you have all the time in the world to get to know people. It’s amazing how a flight can be both so transitory and so connecting.
I met a lady who was travelling to India with her family for her brother’s wedding, a paediatric dentist who was also trying to get her kid to sleep in her baby carrier, a couple who just visited Melbourne and was going back home to Singapore (the exact opposite of us!), and a beautiful air hostess who changed careers because she was bored of her 9 to 5 job. She addressed my baby by name every time she saw us and even recognized Olympia’s new outfit after lunch! Do all Singapore Airline hostesses pay so much attention to detail?
I must admit, having a very hands-on-father as a husband definitely helped. And whenever things didn’t go to plan, I simply smiled, and prayed, and smiled.
So, would I fly again with a baby and a toddler? Definitely! Because all things considered, it was pretty fly.