City Women

 |  July 29, 2011

Travelling is never easy or fun. It’s one big hassle, but unfortunately a necessary one! I make an annual trip back to the UK every year and far too often than not, the journey is full of incidence. This year, with a new baby in tow, was certainly going to be interesting.

No matter which airline I use, or where I sit on the plane, I can rest assured that I have the largest and rudest man in front of me who is intent on making my flight a misery! He will no doubt put his seat right the way back the moment he can and is usually a little bit smelly…his body odour wafting in my direction for 12 hours!

Last year, I managed to get into something of a disagreement with one of these loathsome creatures. Not only was his seat completely intruding on my (much limited) personal space, he then decided he would place his hands on my screen. When I asked him (politely) to remove them, he looked at me and simply said ‘no, it’s my chair’.

Once I’d recovered my composure from the shock of such blatant arrogance, I asked him again. This time he actually ignored me so I got the stewardess to ask him and he removed his hands for approximately one minute. We were no more than two hours into the flight and there was no way I could watch the TV through his dirty fingernails so I did what I do best and turned to my inner child. I spent the next 10 hours repeatedly kicking his chair. I might have got strange looks from fellow passengers, but I got immense pleasure from my behaviour.

Patience is certainly no virtue of mine and every time I travel anywhere, a dread takes hold of me whenever I see a baby on board. The mere thought of spending hours stuck in a cabin with a screaming baby is often enough to give me a headache.

Last week however, I was that frantic looking mother seated at the front of the plane with a babe in arms. Myself and Chas had prepared ourselves with the knowledge that travelling with a baby could be a bit of a nightmare and oh it was! We started off with a sleepless night in Bangkok and this seamlessly moved into a meltdown in the airport and led to a full on screaming fit on the plane.

While sitting there pretending that I had no idea whose baby my husband was walking up and down the plane with, I was desperately trying to figure out how to calm her. It was so bad that the stewardess even came to check if our baby was actually ill. After offering us some sugar (a seemingly completely random suggestion) she left us to our misery.

It got to the point after 30 minutes of full on screaming where we turned to each other in despair and gave up all hope. And then it happened…silence. Ella had finally worn herself out. She stopped as suddenly as she had started and was asleep in my arms. Out of complete fear of disturbing her, I didn’t move for the next three hours. Every muscle in my body seized up but there was no way I was risking another ‘episode’.

We finally made it to Heathrow and now have the joy of the return journey to look forward to! I’m tempted just to stay where I am…