“Every time I think I might sit down for 10mins & have a go, I’m off travelling again!
Like every trip, whether it be a weekender or a three monther, the stress always starts to build about 4-5 days out. We go through the normal mundane conversations about departure time; the ‘nice to get away time’, then the ‘lets keep it real but safe time’. So despite these conversations well in advance & all the good talk about the 6 p’s ( Piss poor planning = piss poor performance) that we will all be running for that bus come game day!! The other conversation that gets more serious with every excursion is the ‘ we have to cut down on carry on luggage babe’ talk. I have been a keen advocate of this debate, ever since I have taken an interest in other travelling families carry on luggage. I’m always amazed by the lack of everyone else’s carry on. Why do I end up with the 4-5 small bags of wife assured ‘ must have, can not live with outs’ on these plane trips. I have to put this in perspective for you all, we have to catch a bus for 10mins then a train for an hour change trains then another train for 1hr15mins. So I have to move all this luggage including the pram ( The mighty P&T) 4 times before I reach the check in desk! And these are Swiss trains so they wait for no lagging packhorse.
I travel on planes quite often for work. I am the annoying bloke that waits until their name is called before I will get out of my seat next to the gate before I will walk on to the plane. Add 1 wife & 2 small children, I become the other annoying bloke that is hovering around the gate waiting for that golden pass announcement of ‘ those passengers requiring assistance & those with small children’. I starting wigging out if the kids stray more than an arm reach away. My wife looks at me with the ‘ what has gotten into you’ look. My wife will tend to let the children stray out of the arm reach just to see the extra bead of sweat run down my brow. I try to explain, as funny as this maybe to you, see all these bags I have hung over my shoulders and the backpack hung over my spine, they need to go somewhere. Unless I get pole position in this line I will have them spread from the back of business class to the adjacent aisle, the less than ideal situation. Now, why am I like this? I can not tell you. I am not sure whether it has happened to me or I have witnessed it happen to some other poor unsuspecting ‘pack horse’. At the peak of my excitement I normally cover the plan to get on & seated 3-4 times with my wife. Every time I ask her to repeat the plan to me, she cracks up laughing?!?!?
Before we go too much further, there a few of you mums jumping up & down by now. I am quite aware you pack the bags for the holiday & the commute to the destination, thinking of every possible incident & building a safety factor of 1.5 to ensure that you will never be left short with nappies/undies or rice crackers. This little memoir is purely written from a bloke that thinks he is hard done by but knows he is not, & wouldn’t change it for the world!!!
OK so we made it onto the plane. The hardest part for me is over. Now we only have 24 hours of plane travel to go! It took us approximately 3.2mins after levelling out to make our row of seats looked lived in! Once the hosties were up & about the lead hand came through the cabin & stopped to welcome us on board. He made a particular effort to lock eyes with my wife & reiterate to her how hard it was to be a travelling mum. After a 2 min spiel I had to interrupt & ask my wife ‘ Who am I? Casper the ghost?’ . I guess this unsung hero type story was inspired by the lack of recognition from the lead hand. A little ‘ I noticed you struggled with all those bags quite well’ would of sufficed!
This particular blog picked up its name from the mighty ‘ Thunderbolt’ of Dream world. One of the greatest rollercoasters of the 80’s & 90’s!!! This flight was a close second. It had everything. It had tears from a 2.5 year old because………….who knows?? It had the tears of an 8 month old like clockwork every 2 hours for food, it had some particular feisty conversations between father & mother about……….who knows? It had tears of laughter from mum & dad because dad had 3 false starts with the seat belt light??????? I have no idea what the other passengers were thinking of us. I did take a few minutes to survey the other parents & there didn’t appear to be any similar behaviour?! Although when we got to the far end of the journey, some of the passengers were brave enough to compliment us on our sons behaviour. I’m not sure by highlighting this they were emphasising the parents lack of order, or the look in our eyes they were not brave enough to say otherwise!!!
‘We made it’ as our oldest son would say! Not quite we still have that last little walk from the plane to the arrivals area to get through. Now due to the generosity of the airlines to our children I have managed to pick up another 2 shoulder bags to carry or not to carry depending on how the oldest son is feeling at 10 metre intervals. I keep looking around to see if the hostie’s are watching this, as a small victory to them for having loud children on their flight!!!! All in all 30 hours from door to door. Dad did make it, possibly with 1 or 2 bulging discs but he is smiling none the less, & with an even more stauncher view towards carry on luggage!!! My only victory for the flight was claiming that I didn’t fit in the toilets with the youngest bloke to change his nappy. Although I didn’t try it ,at 6’ 3” it is quite clear it wouldn’t be an option!!!!
Lets hope that we capture all this stuff in an ‘After action review & lessons learned’ meeting by the bbq to implement some changes for the return journey. Coming soon!!!”
Huge thanks to Jeremy our awesome Dad blogger – talking for dads out there! Can’t wait for his next installment!