Today was an incredibly exciting day for Briar; we were heading off on not one but two flights. I must admit that I cringed every time she’d shriek with excitement about the “holiday” we were going on, but how can you explain to a toddler that the occasion was sombre? We were travelling to Adelaide for the funeral of Warwicks Gran, known as GG to Briar and her other great grandchildren.
Although it was a sad occasion, I knew Briar would find joy in the journey and I’m confident her GG would have wanted it that way.
I’ve always been one to overpack, just ask my husband. My habit to take way too much got so bad when I became a mum, so now I plan each days outfit and pack the kids neatly in ziplock bags. That way Warwick can easily find a complete outfit without rummaging through the suitcase and it helps me keep in perspective how many items of clothing we’ll actually need. I do the same with my own clothing now, although I just roll and pack them as I don’t have the same need for plastic bags, nor do my clothes fit inside a little ziplock like baby clothes do!
I really believe that the best way to manage toddler tantrums is to prevent them, so I do the typical mum thing and never leave for a trip without bubbles, colouring books and a simple craft activity like pipe cleaners or a sticker book. Briar has also developped an obsession with “eggs”; the dreaded Kinder Surprise type. I’m really tired of buying plastic egg treats, but they market them to kids so well and it seems that they are on every check out and counter and the temptation is huge.
Not only are they everywhere in shops, they seem to be everywhere in our home and I am so tired of stepping on plastic eggs and the tiny plastic toys from within. Last week I was doing a clean up and kept finding empty plastic eggs lying around, made worse by the Easter season being upon us. So, struck by the impact these toys were having on both our hip pockets and the environment, I decided it was time I started making my own darn eggs for Briar.
I’m unsure if its just an Easter promotion but Kinder have released teeny chocolate eggs called Kinder Bon Bons. I bought a bag of these, put them inside the plastic eggs we already had and added to some of them some little toys from my existing stash. Going with the travel theme, I used a couple of little planes and trains that would excite a little child and were easy to play with in a small space such as on a plane tray table or whilst sitting in a pram.
Thankfully, the flights went really well and mums bag of tricks was not needed at all!
Briar had the window seat and I had some concerns she might be frightened by the noise and motion. Although she has flown before, it’s always been in my lap and never before has she had her own seat. However I need not have been concerned, she had a fantastic time and was so interested and excited by the take off and landing.
Gabriel was awake for much of the first leg of the flight, and in true Gabe style, he was no trouble at all. He gazed up at his daddy smiling and pulling faces.
We intentionally booked a flight with a long stop over in Melbourne so we could catch up with some of my mums side of the family. Two of her brothers, their wives and two of my cousins met us at Tullamarine Mcdonalds. Whilst it may seem an odd meeting place, it was chosen specifically to give Briar and my young cousin Hugh a chance to run and play and burn some energy. There were two slides in the Maccas play area so Briar was a happy girl.
It was also wonderful to introduce Gabriel to my family. Everyone got a cuddle and he slept through the entire two hour visit, snuggled in close to whoever was holding him at that moment. How lucky we are to have been blessed with this beautiful boy, I am just so grateful to have him.
Knowing we had a long stop over and the potential for a little girl starting to tire, I brought along an Easter fun pack for Briar and Hugh. As well as some Easter treats and an activity book, they each got a bouncy egg toy. The toys look exactly like a real egg but are made of rubber like a bouncy ball. Due to their shape, they bounce in crazy directions and both Hugh and Briar had a wonderful time playing together and chasing the eggs. Poor Uncle Jim had to fetch them each time the eggs bounced outside the Maccas play area and towards the car park or entrance.
After the kids were well and truly worn out, we headed back to the airport where Warwick’s parents met us at the Virgin Lounge. Briar was delighted to see her beloved Gran and Pa and so happy they were going “up in the sky” with us.
By this stage it was mid afternoon and Briar still hadn’t had a nap. She was on a high and over excited and I was anticipating a major melt down.
Instead, she surprised us all. Warwick sat beside her for the next leg of the flight (Melbourne to Adelaide) and Briar excitedly chatted through take off. Mid-conversation, the head dropped and she fell asleep in an instant. It was so unlike her but we sure weren’t complaining.
Both Briar and Gabe slept all the way to Adelaide and as we disembarked, Warwick looked at me and said “Well that went better than expected.”
We’d gotten through our first airline travel adventure with a toddler and a newborn and nobody even shed a tear!