Flying with baby


We flew back to Singapore today. Felicity was a little bit harder to travel with this time because she didn’t want to sleep, and was fussy for quite a lot of the flight. That meant I had to keep getting up and bouncing her for ten minutes, until she fell asleep, at which point I’d lay her down to sleep in the baby seat, which would magically induce turbulence, the seatbelt light would come on, and we’d have to gather her up again, which would wake her up, which would in turn eliminate the turbulence through some strange causal chain I really don’t understand, and then I’d have to get up and start bouncing her to sleep again.

This was at least good exercise: I’ve put on five pounds between the start and end of our trip. (Although a pound and a half of that was the gutblockingly heavy meal served on the plane: some weight gains are easier to counteract than others.)

I’m trying to figure out why Felicity didn’t react as peacefully to this flight as to the previous three. It may have been the turbulence, or the time of day, or that she’s older than she was, or that she was fed up with planes and wanted a break of more than two days between flights. Knowing which would simplify future travel planning. I did think we’d simplified our packing since we flew out of Singapore, but we still had just as many carry-on bags as on the way out, so perhaps nothing changes. At least we’d learned to put all the things we need into one bag, rather than distribute them across three bags and two different overhead lockers. I also remembered to keep Felicity’s toy with me, so I could use it to distract her when she was feeling upset, rather than leaving it in the overhead locker, unavailable exactly when it was most needed. I learnt something from the Singapore:London flight…

Because I don’t have the mental capacity to concentrate on my child 100% of the time, I also watched Olympus Has Fallen on the in flight entertainment. Well, it was in flight, at least. Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down are two films with the same basic plot (Bad People Capture The White House) but the latter plays it for laughs whereas the former is horribly grim and gory (especially for a 15 rated film). It also has very stupid American soldiers, who fly their helicopters straight up to an automated anti-aircraft battery (while it’s firing on them) and then seem surprised to fall to a fiery doom. White House Down is on the same roster of films as Olympus Has Fallen on BA this month, as if they wanted you to be able to compare two identikit films and spot the differences. The main difference, of course, is that White House Down is fun to watch. If you’re paranoid about Koreans rather than the military-industrial complex, perhaps you’d like Olympus Has Fallen more.

There are two problems with flying BA from London to Singapore. First, the plane is packed (as they’re flying a lot of people on to Australia) so we risked not having bulkhead seats. BA will allow people with small children to reserve those seats for free, earlier than regular passengers, but because we were using points to pay for our flights, Felicity didn’t show up on our booking, which was great fun at the check in desk, even if it did get sorted by the time we reached the gate.

The other problem is that the flight was full of people complaining about BA, which felt a bit rich as they’d chosen to fly with them, and groaning and griping when you don’t get exactly the seat you wanted/the plane doesn’t depart exactly on time/you can’t stand up and begin rummaging in the overhead lockers while the plane is taking off doesn’t help the mood of anyone stuck for twelve and a half hours with you in a metal tube.

Still, we survived just about intact, even with very little sleep (a 7:15 scheduled departure time was hard for all three of us, and a 90 minute delay just made that tougher). Now we have to see if I’ll survive a day back at work tomorrow.


2 responses to “Flying with baby”

  1. Glad you got back OK and hope you recover soon from your meal.

    Last night I dreamt that I was flying out somewhere with a 5 year old and a 3 year old. We were airside when I suddenly ended up in a hotel for no apparent reason. When my back was turned the 5 year old and the 3 year old had somehow filled the room with enormous amounts of their toys and belongings and I had 30 minutes to somehow pack it all up into luggage again before flying.

    I blame it on you and your Christmas puddings.

    I used to find that a flight back was usually harder with a baby/small child. I can’t think of any reason why this might be though.

    • They’re not my Christmas puddings, I’m just looking after them for future generations 😉

      My hope is that flying back is harder because you’re not on holiday any more. If it’s actually because of the direction of flight, then we’re going to have an amusing time in San Francisco at the end of November.

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