Monthly Archives: August 2013

Looks like we made it

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Note to self: do not get on a budget airline with a 5 year old and two almost 3 year olds again unless you are a) desperate b) guaranteed two rows of seats c) drunk/on prozac and with a ready supply of top ups for a 6 hour flight.  Actually make that 8 hours if you add the 2 hour delay.  I was not impressed with Jet2’s generous, “apologies for the short delay” at the end of our flight when I was borderline sobbing from exhaustion.

The most important thing is that we made it, we are now safely ensconced in the loving warmth of my family in a slightly damp part of the UK.  Gone is the terrible 80% humidity and 35 degree temperatures of Tel Aviv, for the next couple of weeks at least.

To be honest the flight, which I had been dreading to the point of denial since I booked to bring the childers alone for the summer hols, was better than expected.  Apart from a short period of complete over excitement from number 1 son and a slightly hysterical moment when I couldn’t spot no. 2 son in the departure lounge it was really only the terrible boredom and discomfort of 6 hours in the air with 3 little ones that had me verging on hysteria by the time we landed.

Here are some of my top tips for travelling by air with multiple small children: 

– dress them in the same coloured t shirts for easy distinction in a busy airport

– bring the small shoulder pouches their Israeli grandmother made them and stuffed with distracting crayons, plasticine, miniature notebooks, stickers, puzzle books and tiny toys.  It’s a genius idea that kept them busy for at least 45 minutes (which sounds like a little but it was 45 minutes I wasn’t juggling/entertaining them)

– Food – in small packages that takes time to open as well as eat.

– Pull up nappies – despite spending at least 1/6 of the flight at the toilet (3 small children all needing the loo at different times results in a lot of door holding and hand washing), I put the little ones in nappies rather than carry a billion changes of just in case clothes.

– Wipes – where would a mother be without environmentally unfriendly wipes?

– Water – don’t dare ask the cabin crew for a drink of water each time your child requests one.  Jet2 cabin crew on the whole aren’t a happy bunch, (although a couple on our flight were thankfully the exception) so pressing the call button at any stage is inadvisable.

– Check the DVD player is charged and NOT LEFT ON when you leave the house.  If you make the effort to carry a DVD player plus DVDs thereby taking up half your carry on luggage you should at least be sure it will work. Doh.

– Make sure you can work the borrowed laptop you are using as another form of children’s entertainment.

– Make sure the earphones you have brought for the children’s entertainment work.

– Make sure that if you have messed up all electronic forms of entertainment that YOU  are armed with a few thousand talents to ensure peace for your fellow passengers.

– Wear shoulder pads and a cushion in your trousers.  This helps protect you when one son falls asleep across 11/2 of your 3 chairs and you and the twins share a chair and a half between you (because no-one wants to sit on the 1 remaining seat on the other side of the aisle)

– Make friends with your fellow passengers.  You WILL need their help and you don’t want their hindrance (thank you to the lovely extended family sitting near me.) 

– Make friends with the cabin crew, even if it means talking through gritted teeth – why are they so grumpy?  Having befriended the lovely Ryan on our flight he let myself and the twins hang out in the galley for a much needed change of scene.

– Breathe.  Sometimes its easy to forget and hyperventilation at altitude with 3 dependents is inadvisable.

So, we made it, here we are.  I am very very happy to be home and even happier that I will be doing the return journey with my husband.  Phew.

 

 

Take My Advice

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19861986.  The year of the Chernobyl accident and the Challenger space shuttle disaster, Reagan was President of the US and Margaret Thatcher was the UK’s PM.  Scrunchies in the hair and acid wash jeans, hair sprayed flicks and very bad perms – on both sexes. Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, that was 1986.  I was 14, in High School in the North West of England.

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I stumbled upon a chat show recently which I had automatically dismissed because it is hosted by Amanda De Cadanet and is called ‘The Conversation’.  If that’s not enough to put you off then I don’t know what is.  When I flicked onto it one evening I was seduced by the calibre of her guests, all A-listers, and that alone was enough to keep me watching to find out why they were being interviewed by an ex ‘it girl’ – how little did I know of A.D-C’s A-list friendships.Conversation

I would be lying if I said I loved the show, some guests are way more interesting than others and sometimes the bare foot, crossed legged love-ins are nauseating but what I do love is the last question she asks her guests at the end of each episode, ‘ what would you tell your 14 year old self?’

It gets me every time.  What would I tell my 14 year old self? Grow out the perm, any snog at the school disco is not better than no snog at all.  You are not, nor ever will be cool (and that’s OK), so quit while you’re ahead. Hmm so much worldly 40 year old wisdom I could pass to that poor gawky 14 year old, not that she would listen because what self respecting 14 year old listens to anyone over 18?

I have seen 8 episodes of the show so have asked myself this question at least 8 times and I still don’t have an answer.  I’m loathed to admit that there might just be quite a lot of the 14 year old me still ruling inside my head.  I certainly haven’t come to any Zeitgeist of spirituality with a deeper understanding of ‘the self’ or the role of women as most of Amanda’s guests seem to have done.  Frankly when it came to Miley Cyrus expounding on the ways of the world and her advice to women I did dry heave a little.

In my opinion, Amanda’s guests have two things in common, success and confidence. So I’d like to tell my 14 year old self; you’re great, you’re smart, you’re beautiful. You’re cool, you’re funny, you’re talented.  You’re loved, you’re lucky, you’re healthy, you have choices.  Even if only half of these were true a little bit of self confidence goes a really long way.

So today’s question to you is, what would you tell your 14 year old self?

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