15 September 2012

Flying high with a toddler

Last year we flew overseas to my island home for a relative's destination wedding. It was also Tauren's very first aeroplane adventure and boy did we strike out on this very eventful flight - both ways! I thought the worst that could happen would be, he wanted to run up and down the aisle. This is normal for me, I've been on flights since I was a child (always in my seat) and remembered children even then doing this. As a Parent, I can see why. Have you ever had to hold a very determined and strong toddler during a flight? It's best to let them stretch their legs and meet new people. However, the looks we got from other passengers made me think otherwise.

During the first flight, at night, I held Tauren as best I could. He would kick the seat in front and apologies were made. Eventually and thankfully, he fell asleep. When we landed and other passengers started to disembark, suddenly our toddler threw up on me. Okay, I can deal with this it was part of our normal routine on land too. Tauren had reflux issues.

It was the flight back that would have people talking! Throughout the whole flight our toddler son would cry and fight to get out of our seats. Mistakenly, we thought the noise would be the worst of it. We gave him Panadol to calm him down as he was becoming hysterical. For a blessed twenty minutes all seemed fine... until Tauren threw up on himself, then his Father, then himself, then on me - three times!

I could deal with the whole situation because that was basically our home life most of Tauren's second year. It was a female flight attendant that was shocking. I was literally drenched in vomit, and as I was quite embarrassed from the obvious smell, I had asked one female flight attendant if she could please enquire with a fellow female passenger, if it was possible for me to buy from her a sarong I had seen draped over her lap. The flight attendant blatantly refused and suggested that maybe the sarong could be a gift or a souvenoir from her trip. I told the flight attendant, I would be very happy to pay twice the value and of course, on landing I'd offer her a replacement sarong too. The flight attendant was ridiculously uncooperative. So I returned to our seats and sat in my rinsed but still smelly clothes for the remainder of the flight humiliated and embarrassed. Leo was holding Tauren and couldn't believe how unhelpful she was.

It was a male flight attendant who came to us afterward and told us of similar flights he had encountered with his own children. He recommended Phenergan and made us feel less uncomfortable with our situation. He also made me think twice about writing a complaint against the useless female flight attendant that refused to help me. As soon as the plane touched down at Sydney Airport we bolted out of the plane. Grabbed our bags as quickly as we could and cleaned up in the Parents Room. That first shower when we arrived home was bliss.

Although we had packed three outfits for our toddler and the usual 'baby bag' items, we should've also packed an outfit or two for ourselves. Every flight since we've always made sure to do just this. Thankfully, those flights are only interstate like our recent trip last week to the Gold Coast. At just over an hour per flight, Tauren is more than happy to look at pictures in the magazine, play guessing games and wave to the passengers behind us.


  1. Ohhhhhhh...what a story! I felt your embarrassment and frustration and so on! How incredibly rude and inconsiderate of that female flight attendant. That must have been SUCH a helpless feeling.

  2. p.s. That photo of Tauren is adorable!!!

    1. It was definitely memorable. I just realised that this pic was taken just before Tauren had his hair cut in preparation for our Spring/Summer.


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