“I want to go home!!!” My toddler wailed as I walked her up and down the aisle of the plane.
We’d been planning this family holiday, to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday, for what felt like forever. The entire family coordinated schedules, travel and location wish lists and kid’s school holiday schedules to make this happen. Believe me when I say this, that was a different level of crazy by itself.
As a surprise, my brother had the entire family’s flight tickets upgraded to Business Class. A fact that caused much excitement from the oldest (my dad) to the youngest (my toddler).
My daughter Z was beyond excited to have all her favourite people together and was on a high that even an entire bar of chocolate couldn’t have matched. The crowd at the boarding gate was laughing at her constant cries of “There’s the plane, mama. Follow me.”
And then we boarded. Settling into our oh-so-comfortable seats, I quickly pulled out my Kindle and kept it ready. After all, it was the middle of the night, Z was bound to sleep as soon as she’d had something to eat right? Right??
Sigh. This flight was my penance for all the times I held my head as a childless traveler and thought to myself, “Why can’t those parents do something to calm their kid down? Don’t they have any control?”
In short, NO.
No, they didn’t. I certainly didn’t. Tired, hungry and beyond aggravated at the flight attendant’s constant reprimand to keep her in her seat, Z decided she’d had enough.
“Do you want something to eat?”
“Something to drink?”
“Want to cuddle with Mama?”
“Can I read to you? Or tell you a story?”
“Your diaper is dirty. Let’s change it?”
“It’s really cold on the plane. Can I put pants on you?”
“Can I cover you with the blanket?”
“Ok, sweetheart. What do you want?”
“I want to go home.”
Right. The one thing I couldn’t manage considering we were God knows how many tens of thousand of feet up in the air in a flying metal tube with wings. And so, we flew. Pantless, clean diaperless, certainly cheerless and in this tired mama’s case hopeless. But hey, we were in Business Class. We had bigger seats and more legroom in which we could wallow in our exhaustion and misery.
To the other passengers on the flight who spent three and a half hours listening to a constant wail of “I want to go home,” I apologize. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart and on loop for however long it takes you to forget that trip. It will stay etched in my mind for a while yet.
And for everyone who’s asking what was on my mind that entire time? It wasn’t for her to stop crying or to stop yelling or to put on pants or to change diapers. At that point, all I wanted was to go home too!