April 26, 2011

Holland 2011 : Surviving the flight TO Amsterdam

Category: Baby Milestones

Oh how the flight journey seemed like something from a distant memory now!

To say that it was the worst flight ever would be exaggerating, but I would be a terrible liar to claim that the flight journey went swimming well either. Knowing how Spud will refuse to go down without a fight, I guess it helped that I set my expectations right — I expected nothing pleasant.

In fact, I had wholeheartedly anticipated that Spud will do what Spud does best at cranking it all up to for her parents to bear the brunt of evil, evil stares from the rest of the 200 + fellow passengers on board.

When we found out that there were at least 4 or 5 other babies on the same flight to Amsterdam, we were hoping that somewhere in that sea of passengers therein lies a set of weary parents battling an inconsolable screaming baby throughout out the flight. In the same breath, we were secretly hoping there’d be another child who’d be crankier than Spud, just so that Spud would look better.

Lo and behold! The only screaming baby’s voice we heard was that of Spud’s. A Dutch family who was seated right next to us was travelling with 2 kids and a 10-month old in tow, and I honestly have not seen a baby as calm as the summer sea throughout the journey. There was also not a peep from the other babies and little tots on board.

Perhaps, the only consolation was that she did not scream her guts’ out throughout the entire journey as expected. In fact, she kept herself busy for a good two hours after take-off; amusing herself with the motifs on the wall of her bassinet. She was quite a handful still then, but managed some decent 4 hour sleep IN.THE.BASSINET after dinner was served (and, as a result both Silver Bullet & I managed to catch some winks too). She got cranky when she woke up. For some odd reason too, she suddenly got extremely clingy to me and got super upset when I passed her on to Silver Bullet (this has not happened in a long, long time since she was 3 months old). It was really weird that she did not want anyone (and anything for that matter) but me. So when I had to go pump, Spud was not too happy and started wailing her guts out like she had been tortured.

You should have seen Silver Bullet —pacing up and down the narrow aisle of the plane trying to soothe his cranky daughter who crying at the top of her voice for at least 15 minutes solid! The poor guy was helpless as nothing he did could calm her down. And oh! The looks he got from the fellow passengers…if only eyes could shoot daggers. Only when he passed her on back to me after my pumping session did she calm down. He gave her back to me feeling dreadfully dejected.

Soon after, she managed to take another few hours of sleep (but not without a struggle of course!). She whole-heartedly rejected the bassinet and chose to koala-bear-cling me instead for the several hours which she dozed off. By the time we landed, she was perky, on high alert, but visibly bushed.

The car trip from the airport to the home of my parents-in-law was a little too trying for her since she was confined to the child seat. Just about 10-15 minutes away from their home, she let us know how displeased she was at everything thrown at her that she threw us a major fit.

I can’t quite remember how the day went after that, except that both Spud and I took a very long 1 half hour nap after her morning bath.

Throughout the trip, we ensured that we maintained some of her routines – morning bath, naps, evening wash-downs and bedtime rituals, as well as trying our best to make it as “normal” as we could for her.

For the flight trip itself, it could also have been a lot worst if not for the antihistamine which was prescribed for her cold. It also helped a lot that the KLM’s flight stewardesses were all quite helpful, friendly and almost sympathetic to us travelling parents.

Long live Antihistamine!


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