A couple of weeks ago we all flew up to Glasgow to spend the weekend at my mum’s house. I was really looking forward to it, but was dreading the flight for obvious reasons! I used to be cabin crew and so I love flying usually, but add a baby to the mix and it’s a whole different ball game!
Packing for the trip was unbelievably stressful and I was shocked to find we’d basically packed everything apart from the Sleepyhead, which believe, me I would have taken if we could have fitted it in a suitcase! Our flight to Glasgow left Gatwick at 7:15am, which we thought would be easier as Joseph would probably sleep a decent amount of time in the car and be less cranky, and for the most part we were right. Getting through security was something I was anxious about, but it was pretty quiet at that time and we went through the family section. One thing I was worrying about was having to fold down the pram to put it through the scanner but they just wheeled it through a gate and hand scanned it and we were through security in a couple of minutes.
Joseph had a little nap in the departure lounge and we got some hot water from Pret to heat up a bottle ready for the plane. Before that, I did a nappy change, but regretted it as I had to wait outside the one baby change room for about 15 minutes while a family of about 5 were in there! The room itself was quite tired looking but it had the basics needed.
We didn’t get to the gate on time to board first and we took so long folding the pram up that we ended up being one of the last to board, but this was actually a good thing as it meant holding Joseph for less time. I know from my flying days how many babies cry because of the pressure hurting their ears on take off and descent, so I fed him during take off. I’m not sure if it was that, or he just didn’t get affected by it, but he seemed fine on take off and was more interested in looking out of the window and playing with the safety card.
During the flight the cabin crew gave Joseph a flight log book signed by the Captain which was so cute.
He kicked off a bit towards the end of the flight so I tried to feed him again but I think he was cranky due to tiredness and being sick of being held for so long. However, distracting him with toys and things seemed to help and we were soon with my mum and on the way to her house. That night my mum looked after Joseph and we went out in Glasgow which was lovely. These nights where it’s just the two of us are so rare now it really makes you appreciate them!
The following day we drove to Loch Lomond, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I was also keen to take Nick there as he’d only previously seen cities in Scotland! The scenery there was just stunning and reminded us of when we lived in Canada.
We went to The Sea Life Centre which is just at the foot of the loch. I had read beforehand that it’s best not to take a buggy into the aquarium as it’s not the biggest, so I carried Joseph in the baby carrier which ended up being pointless as he preferred to be held. There actually were quite a few prams in there, but some bits were quite tight, and I can imagine if it was really busy you’d have a nightmare trying to get by people. Joseph seemed a bit nonplussed by the aquarium and I started to realise then that he wasn’t being himself. We noticed then that his first tooth had broken through, which I was shocked by as he hadn’t really made much of a fuss about it by that point.
The following day was spent in Glasgow, and we got to see my godmother, my best friend Amy and her boyfriend Chris which was lovely, but I felt quite bad that Joseph had spent pretty much every day out of the house the whole weekend, and he still wasn’t quite himself.
Then Monday came around and it was time to go home. Security at Glasgow Airport wasn’t as great as Gatwick as there was no family lane. I’m no stranger to waiting in queues at security, but with a baby it’s not ideal. However, he coped with it fine and we got through and had some breakfast. The baby changing facilities in this airport were actually quite nice and modern. Again, we got some hot water in the airport so we could heat a bottle up for the plane. We also fed him in the departure lounge which I think was mistake number one. We also gave him some calpol so it would kick in before the flight, or so we thought. He did seem relatively calm in the departure lounge, so I stupidly thought the flight would be ok.
This time, we boarded first, and once we were all onboard we were told there would be a delay to the flight. We ended up sitting there for about 20 minutes, and by the time we took off Joseph was in full meltdown mode (I’m talking defcon 1, full scale high pitched relentless wailing with tears) and refused any of our desperate attempts to placate him. Anyone who has met Joseph knows he is such a happy boy, so to see him screaming like this for so long was so upsetting and not what we’re used to. He screamed the plane down for 90% of the time, and nothing we did calmed him down. It also didn’t help that he had missed 2 naps (not for lack of trying) by the time we took off. I know people say ‘the other passengers on the flight would hardly notice’, but I just know some of the people would go home that night and say ‘god there was this baby who would not stop crying the whole flight’. If we had been on the plane alone I wouldn’t give a toss whether he was crying and would have handled it better, but the added stress of thinking we were annoying everyone just made it so much worse. The guy in front of us turned round and looked at us at one point, as if to confirm what he was hearing, as did the man next to me frequently, plus at peak crying the man behind us offered some ‘helpful’ advice, telling us to give Joseph a drink to help his ears. Yes thanks, random stranger, do you not think we’ve tried everything! We thought the ordeal was nearly over, only to hear the Captain announce that there was still 30 minutes of the flight to go. Joseph’s crying would just not let up and at one point another kid started wailing two rows behind us (probably set off by Joseph). Finally as we landed, Joseph fell asleep on Nick’s shoulder and the whole cabin breathed a sigh of relief.
We then had to get on a bus to the terminal (the fun never stopped!), and the moment we sat down Joseph abruptly woke up and started screaming again. It was such a howling cry, and he was looking at me through tear filled eyes like ‘why don’t you understand me?!’ I looked around at one point at the packed bus and found most of the people staring at us, one women giving us a pitying look. I just wanted to scream at them to stop looking at us. When we finally got back to the terminal and got him back in the pram, he fell asleep again and stayed that way until we were back in the car on the way home.
We decided to go straight to the cattery to get our cats instead of going home first, which added about 45 minutes on to our journey time (why we did this I have no idea). When we were about 30 minutes away Joseph started screaming again, so much so that we pulled over so I could try to feed him, which he refused. I then changed his nappy while he lay on the front passenger seat as I crouched over him (there was a massive suitcase on the back seat), but he kept slipping down the seat and getting upset. I then ran out of baby wipes (it was a code brown situation) so I had to do what I could with cotton wool. It was a ridiculous situation and I remember standing there thinking ‘is this what being a parent is’. We then got on the road again and got to the cattery. Once there the lady from the cattery informed us that our cats had fleas and she had noticed this 2 days before. Why she didn’t tell us this when she first noticed it instead of leaving them infested I’ll never know, plus they are indoor cats so they can only have got the fleas from her, but anyway. Once she applied the flea treatment we then had to drive home with Joseph still crying, one cat in the back, one on my lap, both meowing in distress, while we tried to figure out what the hell we were going to do when we got home, given that flea treatment takes 8-24 hours to kill fleas, I wanted to keep Joseph well away from them, and I had to treat the house with flea protection.
Once home we decided to keep the cats in the front room while I sprayed the carpets and bed with flea protection. These rooms also had to be ventilated for an hour, so we sat in the kitchen trying to sort Joseph out while the cats clawed at the door. Joseph calmed down a bit so Nick went out to the shops to get some food for dinner. I gave Joseph some calpol then fed him, which was going well and I was thinking finally this insane day was behind us until the cats frantic clawing at the door finally paid off and the kitchen door suddenly flew open. Both cats then ran into the kitchen, up the stairs, on to the bed and then into Joseph’s room. I ran up after them, with Joseph in my arms screaming at them to get out, trying not to touch them as you know, fleas. Finally I got them back in to the front room and sat down to feed Joseph again, but he was so worked up by this point that he wasn’t having it and started crying again. It was getting close to his bedtime at this point so I decided to set up the video monitor which we had taken to Scotland. Joseph would scream every time I left the room so I took him up with me and put him on the changing table while I set the monitor up. While doing this I accidentally knocked a (very light) plastic mirror off of a shelf which fell on him, resulting in an even higher level of crying and panicking from me like never before. I then promptly burst into tears and sat with him at the back door sobbing my heart out, feeling like the worst mum ever, at which point Nick got home to hear me in hysterics, which made him think something awful had happened.
Eventually we managed to get Joseph down to sleep and miraculously he slept about 10 hours that night. The next couple of days were pretty tough; he was in so much pain with his tooth coming through that feeding him was a constant battle, but finally after trying just about everything we tried Anbesol liquid which worked immediately and (fingers crossed) he has been ok since. Another tooth has since come through and the anbesol has worked a charm. He must have been in agony on that flight and was so overtired nothing would have helped apart from being at home in his own bed. Teething is so cruel and the worst thing is it is only the beginning! I just hope that now that we have been through this truly awful day, we will be better prepared for it the next time! It was one of those days where you say ‘we’ll laugh at this one day’, but I’m not sure we will!
Pic of Joseph’s first little tooth below for cuteness!