Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boys on a plane

On Saturday we are leaving for our holidays. Four weeks of fun, family and friends. Oh, and lots of flights. 8 in fact.

First stop is Johannesburg (2 and a half hours), where we'll be staying with the lovely family who made friends with Joaquim and me during our 6-week stay in Milpark hospital and made us feel human again. Joaquim is besides himself with anticipation at being reunited with his "best, best friend", 10 year-old Mekyla. Sebastian is unaware that anything is up. I'm wondering just how chilly it will be (it's mid-winter here, down South) as I have no closed shoes and can just about remember what it feels like to have cold feet.

Then we'll be stopping-off in London (10 hours) for three days, followed by a week in the Alps in France (2 hours), another brief stop in London (2 hours) and ten days in Portugal (2 hours) before flying back to Pemba via London (2 hours) and Joburg (10 hours plus 2 and a half hours). That makes 33 - count them - hours in a plane with two children under 5. (I wanted to take the train to the Alps but our tickets would have come to almost 1 grand, and on Ryanair they cost 280 quid. That's how easy it is to take the environmental option.) Much as I am ardently looking forward to the holidays, in fact Joaquim and I have been crossing the days off the calendar for getting on for 2 months now, this prospect is slightly scary. I have plasticine. I will take a couple of books. I will buy some cartons of juice. Our portable DVD player is - alas - broken. I'm a bit wary of sedating them as Joaquim is unbelievably heavy to carry. Any winning tips?

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At 5:59 am, Blogger MoziEsmé said...

What fun! Having traveled with my then 12-13 month old to the US and back from Mozambique, all I can say is I hope there is extra space on the flights and that your kids want to sleep the whole time!

BTW, my playdough got confiscated in the US by security there. No problems at Heathrow, though, so maybe you'll be okay.

But they did confiscate my sealed bottled Pedialyte at Heathrow, so you might have problems getting juice through security.

Other ideas - puppets from the motion sickness bags. Igloos from the ice in the complimentary drinks. On the long flight, they may give you a survival pack that is fun to play with. A note pad and crayons. And memorize lots of fingerplays and motion songs.

But if your kids are like mine - all the ideas get used up in the first (SHORT) flight, and then you've got to survive the long one by winging it!

At 8:33 am, Blogger OvaGirl said...

Mmm the dvd player was pretty good to us. Also I had some very light thin books (like the Mr Men books) to read on the plane. I took little cheap toys wrapped in paper so that they could be introduced at intervals and there was the fun of opening the package plus a new toy etc. I still think this is a good theory but it didn't work for us! I took Tricky into the bathroom and let him play in the sink, wetting hands etc.good luck!

At 6:26 pm, Anonymous Ms. Four said...

I just started following your blog--I love the pictures of your fantastic home! I'm an American expat in Cairo with an interest in Mozambique. I just highlighted your blog for my post for "Blog Day," and I'm supposed to let you know. So, now you do.

Here's my post:


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