I go back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne fairly often. Sometimes I get lucky and I don’t bring my kids, other times I bring them with me as we miss the fam.
Because you all know how much I love Tiger Airways and their cheap deals, I usually suck up the terrible service and hidden fees and pay for baggage as it still usually works out much cheaper than the competition. Now, I’ve got one kid in nappies who crams food into every orifice at feeding time, so I need about 10 kilos of extra clothing to last a week. Plus nappies, wipes, bibs, sleeping attire, toys and a bag for the plane in case he shits himself mid flight. So let’s say 45 kilos of crap (and that’s packing lightly for kids).
But before I’ve even made it to the tiny seat on the plane I’ve have had to wrangle car seats, a trip to the airport (the baby likes to puke in the car on the way up those curly ramps), expensive parking of some kind and then the dreaded $5 airport trolleys that are un-fucking-steerable and only useful for about 20 metres. Usually I’ve got one kid on a bag with wheels and the other one strapped onto me. My bags will almost always be falling off the trolley and sliding to the side because that’s what bags like to do. Nobody will ever offer to help me either because they are all off to fucking Hawaii or Thailand or some other great place that we’re not going to.
The misery starts to settle in.
Check in is usually fairly painless (unless, like me, you are filled with curiosity at the check-in staff’s really obvious plastic surgery), but then I’ve got to get myself through security. Having a small child strapped to you sends off alarm bells. I am after-all, a very obvious suicide bomber type. It’s like they know I’ve got a child full of explosive material. And they are right, just not the type of explosives they are looking for. The security guys look me up and down suspiciously (even more suspiciously if I have been unfortunately fragranced by a shart from my spawn) and the other kid is likely to have bolted at this stage. This will no doubt create a high-alert while everyone tries to find my other weapon of mass destruction.
I struggle to hold my shit together as solo travellers shove their little blue trays in front of me and avoid all eye contact as they brazenly jump the queue and give a silent “fuck you” as they do it. It’s usually at this stage I like to do a light crop-dusting for everyone behind me, so they back the fuck off. I can blame it on the baby so I’m totally confident with this crafty move. Beans the night before? Don’t mind if I do.
Once we’ve finally gotten through the security conveyor belt, I will be asked to step aside and remove my shoes and open up my bag. Because most drug-smuggling, shoe-bombing, suicidal terrorists look exactly like me. It happens EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME. When I tell them it happens EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME, they tell me that everyone says that. They swab me and check through the mountain of kid paraphernalia in my bag of bombs and then decide I am safe. Now, I’ve got to pack it all up again, strap the baby back onto me and make sure the other one hasn’t stuck her finger in the blades of those giant fans they have at the end of security.
Now it’s time for FOOD. Airport food costs a BOMB. That’s where security should focus their attention, the food court full of fucking bombs. $6 water, $9 croissants or $8 muesli cups. Times that by 3 and you’ve said goodbye to $50 minimum. I usually lose another $20 on shitty magazines that I won’t actually be able to read on the plane. Remember that one Tiger Air? Magazines are quite heavy, so I suggest you stick them in your back pocket and tell those weigh in bitches to back the fuck down.
Once I’ve hauled arse to the check-in gate it’s time now to stand there like a chump for another half an hour until they call the desperate looking souls toting too many kids to board. But that’s after the “Queue Jumpers” who are idiots that pay extra money to board first. On the same fucking plane they’ll be jumping up and down in before it’s stopped to get off. These are a special breed of asshole that will flick you a look that says “Eew, kids”. Keep a close eye on these ones, and make sure you repeat the crop dusting as you shuffle past and wipe your arse over them as you squeeze down the narrow aisle. If you’ve got a puker, now is the time to unleash.
By now I am ready to murder someone as my neck has been pulled and the shoulders are starting to ache too. I’m hot (but I’ll be freezing soon), holding too much shit and over it already. By this point I’m wondering how much I really love my family and if this exercise is truly worth it.
And it isn’t. Nanny and Poppy can get on the plane next time and come to us. Because until I can afford First Class, or a Nanny to deal with this shit for me, I’m staying home.
You know what saves me when I travel with kids? A Trunki Bag. I get so many comments and it staves off the feelings of doom.
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