It was always a plan to go visit my partner’s parents in the UK, so they can see and experience their grandchild for a month or so. We decided to do that in the offseason when flight tickets would be a bit cheaper and so that he would be relatively older and do better on the plane. Especially considering that I can’t just pop out my boob and feed him because of the breast rejection conundrums.
The journey to UK was a bit of a struggle but not too bad. I was hoping that he would sleep before the flight in the pram, which didn’t happen because the airport environment wasn’t boring enough to sleep. So we had a quite tired baby. Despite that, he was more or less ok during the flight, very patient, we showed him some “In the Night Garden” to distract him, and eventually I even managed to rock him to sleep in my arms.
A family sitting right in front of us was not doing so well – there was a 2 to 3 years old child which was throwing ridiculous tantruns, crying very loudly all the time, fighting his mum, and the mum even slapped him a few times. Hard to watch that was. Also, after visiting the toilet with him once, she refused to take him to toilet again and insisted (loudly) that he pees in his diaper. Several times he shouted at her: “mamma tu kaka!” (Mum you’re shit!). Mother of the year, people! I have no idea how my child was able to sleep through that drama show. A cue what to not turn into with my own child. I really hope my child/me never become like that.
After the flight, the rest of the journey was not too bad, he fell asleep in the pram, waking up only on the train and when we needed to put him into a carseat in a taxi. In the end of the journey I was happy with how patient and good our child is. Through all that he barely had anything to eat either, so bravo, baby, good job!
Now, after six weeks of visiting, the journey back home to Latvia was ahead of us. That meant an hour on the bus, then 15 minutes on a train, then about 20 minutes on another bus to the airport, 2 and a half hours on the plane, and finally, about 15 minute ride in a taxi to out flat building.
This time, not everything went as smoothly. On the first bus ride, it wet all well until 10 minutes before arriving to the train station, as our child threw up all over himself and his clothes, including, his snowsuit. He had eaten right before leaving home. I needed to go to the train station’s toilets to find a changing room and clean him up, put new clean clothes on. As a result, we missed our train. Luckily, we got permission to use our tickets on the next train, which was only half-hour later – not too bad. Train journey went well, it was only a short one. On the bus to the airport he was fussy but the Night Garden helped and we arrived successfully. After checking in our suitcases, I decided to feed him some banana&oats smoothy from a sachet, which he gladly ate.
Going through security was a bit frantic, as the lines there were rediculously long and our plane had started boarding early, but it all ended well, as everybody from our flight were called in to go through first.
As we were handing over our pram to the staff, seconds before getting on the actual plane, guess what – my sweet little child, who was all playful just minutes ago, threw up again. It even went in my hair a bit, even though I had braided it, so it wouldn’t be in the way while travelling. This time the child was wearing a warm hoody jacket, which we took off, shoved it in the little storage bag under the pram, and the kind people of airport took the pram away.
With our baby snuggled in a blanket, mildly smelling of puke, we got on the plane. Beginning – not too bad, baby was still in relatively good spirits, but got more and more restless and cranky because now he was both hungry and tired. After sipping some water, he threw up – again. Only this time it was just a bit of water that came up, and we were prepared, with a small towel handy to clean up any mess. We had some of my breastmilk with us in thermal bags, hoping it would still be relatively warm, but no, it had gone cold, baby didn’t want it. Good thing we also had a bottle of ready made formula, so we asked the staff for help, got a cup of hot water to warm it up, poured it into a bottle and – praise Jesus – the baby drank it and slipped into a relieved sleep. A sigh of relief from us too.
He woke up a couple times, crying because of being uncomfortable, but after this point, the rest of the journey was fine.
On the taxi journey he was awake and in a good mood, so we finally arrived home, which we missed so very much! It was about 4am Latvian time when baby finally could go to sleep in his own bed.
Each of the filghts were a bit crazy, each in its own way, stressful for both the baby and parents. Going places, near or far, are not easy for us, so I envy the parents who do it all the time like it’s a no big deal. However, things could be much worse. Me and my partner listened to a podcast by Yoga Girl called Flight From Hell – that sounded pretty hilarious and aweful. I think we could be classified as easy travellers after hearing that podcast.