The beast gnaws at my leg and I am having a little cry at check-in. I give him another mentos and take a deep breath. It’s day 2 of no sleep and the second leg of our journey. I secretly hope for a sudden bout of deep vein thrombosis so I don’t have to do it.
Ok, so we’re going to Europe on holidays and it’s going to be amazing and we are very lucky blah blah blah. I know all this.
But right now I just feel utter terror. I’m scared of the beast. And he’s just about to sit on my lap in a confined space, jammed with strangers for 12 hours.
He stops biting my leg and starts spitting bits of mentos on the floor and squealing in between the spits. There is snot and mentos everywhere. His sister laughs, which makes him squeal louder and spit more.
The flight attendant says we may not be able to take his full bottle of milk on the plane.
So he throws it at her head with a completely dead pan expression and then laughs maniacally.
He’s not even 2 yet.
She laughs nervously and looks at the other hosties with a ‘red alert’ face. They have a live one.
On board, I strap him to my lap and he bucks like he’s at a rodeo and screams and scratches me. I’m trying to open a carton of milk and it seeps through to my undies. I’m also trying to shove gummy bears into his mouth but he spits them on the floor and his sister picks them up and eats them. I don’t even care.
The Phenergan didn’t work as he hated the taste and he spat it out.
I’m sort of hoping he bangs his head a little bit and goes to sleep.
But I feel sorry for him too because he’s really upset so I sing twinkle twinkle in a whispery, yet desperate way, over and over again and he just screams NOOOOOOO!!!!.
I make eye contact with no one.
My face is bleeding. I’m saturated in milk and everyone hates us. And we are still on the runway.
Up in the air, husband and I take turns trying to entertain the beast. But he only wants me. I take him on laps of the plane and everyone sees us coming and quickly looks away. Apart from the other parents, who are sweet but seem a bit smug as their kids are reading books and sleeping like angels.
The next 4 hours comprises of the following; going to the bathroom for timeout, where there is a lot of screaming and throwing of hand cream and toilet paper, and spraying of water. I emerge with wet hair, bite marks and cream all over my face and husband mouths WHAT THE FUCK? Peoples faces are agape.
Then we hang out down the back of the plane and I sing every nursery rhyme I know while he yells NO!
Baa baa black sheep have you any – NO!
Rock a bye – NO!
Row row row your – NO!
Finally we settle on The Grand Old Duke Of York. So I sing it 57 times.
He is trying to pull handles that for all i know will open a door and suck everyone out. But surely they wouldn't be so easy to open a small beast could do it? I don't want to take a chance.
Everyone is watching movies, snoozing and drinking hot drinks or sipping wine.
I skol a red wine and wear most of it.
The beast sticks his fingers into people’s drinks as we go past, takes teddy bears, pokes sleeping eyes and lies down in the aisle.
So we go to the bathroom again.
Then something amazing happens. He goes to sleep.
Husband and me quietly high five about 80 times.
I fold his huge body into the tiny cot. I gaze at him and I’ve never been so in love.
Everyone walks past and says how sweet he is. He really is lovely.
Then the seat belt sign comes on and the hostie tells me I must hold him on my lap while there is turbulence. I beg her. She insists. I stall, hoping the seat belt sigh will go off. It doesn’t.
He lies like huge ape on my chest as I feed him gummy bears and milk and watch the time until landing crawl from 6.18 to 6.14. It feels like an hour. 6.03 feels like 3 hours.
We watch Bob the Builder and I mouth all the words by heart. Husband has our daughter asleep on his lap and he needs to pee. We each have our own private battles.
Finally the beast goes to sleep again, after throwing a full bottle at a baby’s head.
I smile like a sad clown in the dark for the next 5 hours. Husband takes deep breaths and tries not to think about watery things.
We feel the plane tip forward ever so slightly and watch the sun turn the clouds blue and pink as we descend.
We hold hands. We made it.