Tuesday, October 30, 2007

flight pattern

And here we are in Canada. Although, when I say ‘we’, I’m really just talking about me and the spud as the frog, having spent 5 days in France doing Frog things without us is now back in London working. This means that I have been a single Mum for nearly two weeks now and it’s good that I’m on holiday because it’s the easiest way to explain all those extra bags. Under my eyes.

The spud has missed his Dad, rather sweetly, although this has taken the form of waking up several times in the night hoping that THIS time, Daddy will come. While this was bearable when we were at home and he was sleeping in his own bed, now that we’re on holiday in a cot-free zone he is sleeping in MY bed, meaning that he is looking for Daddy in my ears and on the ends of my nerves and while the Frog is sometimes to be found in those zones, sadly for us all he is currently otherwise disposed

The flight to Vancouver was a marathon 12 hours including a stopover in Calgary. There were other children his age on the plane and they all spent considerable amounts of time sleeping. Considering that we got up at 5am to catch the plane and it didn’t land until the equivalent of 9:30pm, the journey encompassed several times in which the spud might usefully have been expected to nap. This was not to be however as clearly aeroplanes are remarkable things and need to be explored on fairly exhaustive basis. So, we had aisle crawling. Relentless aisle crawling. And some aisle cruising as well, as he pulled himself up by the hair of sleeping passengers and uttered sweet nothings into their ears at fairly substantial volumes. We had a lot of exploration in the stewards area which is usefully full of metal things on wheels, lights, levers and various exciting, not to mention boiling hot and sharp things. We didn’t have much screaming but there was some substantial struggling.

The good part was that his ticket was only £25 return and he had his own seat – my lap. We got onto the plane rather late in the boarding process and our hapless seat-mate was comfortably ensconced with his i-pod and his legs stretched languidly into the aisle. As we walked down the length of the cabin, me clutching my bag, his bag and him, gaily slapping me about the face and repeating ‘Ah’ very loudly ever second or so, every eye on the plane attached to someone sitting beside an empty seat was riveted on us nervously. ‘Hello!’ I said gaily. ‘You drew the short straw’ as we pulled up alongside our hapless victim. Very sweetly, however, he turned out to be a British policeman now working on the force in Calgary and possessed of enough useful charm to get the stewards to move him to a new seat allowing the spud and I to have both seats to ourselves, without even HINTING that perhaps this was for his own benefit. I could nearly have believed that he would have been happy to share his seat with a 28-pound octopus and it’s woebegone mother for 12 hours if it wasn’t for the alacrity with which his i-pod went back on his head once he moved seats. That and the fact that he never looked us in the eye again.

Never mind. What’s 12 hours in the great scheme of our lives? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing at all. Although, it has taken us 5 days to get over it and have a full night of sleep and to celebrate we’re doing it again in 48 hours but never mind, it was, I swear, nothing.

We’ve been here 5 days now and have successfully managed to terrorise practically the entirety of our Canadian family either in person or over the telephone and, while I am certain they have all enjoyed parts of it, I am equally sure that they are all rather relieved to be seeing the back of us. We have been royally entertained and the spud has even consented to be babysat while I had a whole 2 hours of extra sleep. We’ve seen my 99 year old Grandmother successfully discharged from hospital, we’ve seen both of my parents and my uncle and aunt and the spud's uncle and aunt and the spud has been spoiled royally rotten by all concerned. It is, however time to go home.

For my part, I have never missed the Frog so much in all our days. I dearly, dearly hope he is ready for us.

22 comments:

BOSSY said...

You had Bossy at 'Marathon'. Whoa, Nelly, that's a lot of hours in a plane. You must be a SuperHuman.

Jennie said...

Oh my. My sympathies. Is this the part where I tell you that we drugged our boy in Kahlua (actually our doctor suggested it!!!) when we flew from LA to Hong Kong and again from Hong Kong to London? It was the humane thing to do. For all of us.

Elsie Button said...

my god, you are one brave woman. i am too scared to take betty on a bus into town on my own! hope it was all worth it - i am sure it was! Have a fun journey home...

Jen said...

Yikes! Twelve hours of Dylan on a plane would be worse than "Snakes On A Plane"(the movie) and that's bad. You deserve a medal, or at least an extra bag of airplane pretzels. I'm sure the Frog missed you both as much as you missed him. The house had to be eerily quiet!

Ivanna said...

"So, we had aisle crawling. Relentless aisle crawling. And some aisle cruising as well, as he pulled himself up by the hair of sleeping passengers and uttered sweet nothings into their ears at fairly substantial volumes."

That made me snort my coffee! :)
We are only as brave as one transatlantic flight every two years...Beyond the trip itself, which I have mostly blocked out, there was also the standing in the immigration line post-flight, holding your daughter with a giant black eye, which, of course she got running down the aisle during a bout of turbulence....

DJ Kirkby said...

How did you get to Vanc in 12 hours including a stop over? Why do any flights I am on always take at least 12 1/2 hours to reach Vanc?! Whodja bribe? Hope Spudders sleeps all the way home. Travel safe.

ilana (Helen) Pengelly said...

I'm sitting home alone giving out the goodies whilst my lads terrorize the neighbours -- Trick or Treat, smell my feet give me something good to eat -- is the refrain of the decade. Wait for it.... someday you too will sit home alone while the Spud goes out in drag trailed by the Frog. You can see their costumes at pengellypastimes.blogspot.com which is no where near as funny as yours but has more photos to commend it instead.
Blessings & Wishes for an uneventful flight home
Helen

Driving With the Brakes On said...

I now feel woefully inadequate as a mother for even wispering a complaint about taking a 1.75 hour flight with my children! Mom of the Year goes to you again!

So glad you had a wonderful trip, and that your grandmother is now out of the hospital - no doubt seeing Charlie helped a bit with that. The Frog may have loved the peace and quiet, but I can almost guarantee he missed the chaos and noise even more!

Hoto said...

WTF??: "We’ve seen my 99 year old Grandmother ..., we’ve seen both of my parents and my uncle and aunt and the spud has been spoiled royally rotten by all concerned."

Love from All Concerned...

Joni said...

You brave, brave soul! Taking a small child on an airplane--frogless, no less--on a transAtlantic flight. Whew.

Many happy returns...and a happy reunion with the frog!

Hoto said...

ok...I take it back

Sparx said...

Bossy, I'll settle for super-awake right now! Nice to see you!

Sparx said...

Jennie - Kahlua! But that's what I drug MYSELF with on long-haul flights. Hmmm... must try harder, clearly! Good to see you, will drop by soon.

Sparx said...

Elsie - you're not that scared, you took her to London! I may not do that again, actually. Good to see you!

Sparx said...

Jen - I suspect the frog had a great time eating pizza and not having to change nappies. Perhaps he missed us a little... good to see you!

Sparx said...

Ivanna - a black eye? Oh man, you win for worst time... and yes, that customs queue is a difficult one, particularly if they don't bring the buggy to the plane and you have to carry the little treasure all the way through... good to see you!

Sparx said...

DJ - really? Where are you? Direct flights are about 9 hours usually. Hm. Unless you're flying by camel, of course. Thanks for the perk on your blog, am going to post it up soon. Good to see you!

Sparx said...

Hi Helen! Cool costumes, the boys look great - I love the cape pinned to the curtain to make Callum look like he's flying! Yours is great, you're so talented. Great to see you!

Sparx said...

Driving - 1.75 hours is still a long time to struggle with a baby! I've complained about flights shorter than that on this blog so don't feel bad! Good to see you, will visit soon.

Sparx said...

Hoto - phtphtphpthtphpthtphtph

Sparx said...

Joni - thanks hon, much appreciated! Good to see you.

DJ Kirkby said...

No seriously I kid you not, 12 1/2 hours from Gatwick (or is it Heathrow?) to Vanc, usualy on Scare Cananda, who do you fly with? I always take direct flights as gawd knows I wouldnt want N3S to have an excuse to wake up before we get to Vanc!