Last week we waved goodbye to a significant chapter of our lives – free flights!
You see it in the face of my fellow travellers (and prospective flight neighbours) – they are all internally pleading with the powers that be to NOT be afforded the seat next to me and my rambunctious child. Some will still be pleasant en route, some rare gems even resort to being helpful; but mostly, like the last candidate, visibly shudder as they slide apprehensively into the cramped airline chair adjacent to ours. He squeezed his eyes tight and forced a grim smile – and that was it, for the entire trip (which was delayed, en route, no doubt much to his immense displeasure). Sure it probably didn’t impress him when I accidentally doused us all with contents of Harrison’s juice, which must have aerated mid flight. Flipping the lid, it proceeded to spray as if a freshly corked bottle of champagne, right across Harrison & I, the portable DVD player, plus the seat in front. Apologising profusely as I mopped up the contents, he offered but a mere grimace in acknowledgement, and inched further away from our soaking selves.
Really we have been lucky. In the countless flights we have taken there are only three that stand out on the excruciating list. There was a solo flight from Brisbane that I had to make when my boy was 11 months old and I was suffering from a tummy bug and head cold from hell; the flight when Harrison was 15 months old and unable to comprehend my demands that he NOT kick the passenger seat in front, or scream, or wriggle endlessly on my lap in an attempt to escape the confines of our seat; and finally, there was a rather restless five hour journey back from Fiji where it eventually took Panadol to placate my agitated boy.