So. We are back home. Or, rather, “home”, as until just over a week ago, we had never set foot in this house. Which could have been a recipe for disaster, but frankly, by the time I’d finished with 26 hours’ of travelling with my belly and the kids, I would have embraced, and lain down in, a garden shed. In a previous post I compared air travel with my children with travelling with spider monkeys (or goats, or cats), but now that they’re older, I’m revising that post, as follows:
Overnight Air-Travel with Bump and Offspring: An Observation
Take one mean dog, and one crazy cat; put them at either end of short, hard, park bench, with yourself in the middle.
Place another park bench immediately in front of you - preferably one which contains at least one shrieking / leaping / hyper primate - and one immediately behind you. This should ideally host a nervous kangaroo.
Into a small sack stuff several dozen gerbil. Add a venomous snake. Close it securely, leaving only the smallest bit of wriggle room. Strap the sack tightly to your abdomen, in such a way that you are unable to bend over – or indeed move, at all. If at any time the chaos in the sack wanes, poke it with a stick.
If at any time the spitting snarling cat and dog desist from spitting and snarling at each other, poke them with a stick.
DO NOT ALLOW THEM to go to sleep until they have each been awake for at least 20 hours. Then ensure that they both fall asleep simultaneously on top of you.
Do whatever it takes to suddenly, urgently, need to pee at the exact moment that the beasts fall quiet.
Sit still for 5 hours, ignoring the pain in your bladder, the kicking from the kangaroo, and the thumping / leaping / bellowing from the primate, and occasionally glaring at your sleeping co-parent (conveniently seated on a bench some distance from you*).
At the end of this time, shake your sleeping animal neighbours awake – this will take all your strength and effort – and poke the gerbil / snake sack back to life. Then drag the howling animals off for a two-mile walk, unwrapping them from your leg every couple of metres.
With any luck, by the time you get to the final 2 hour-leg of your never-ending journey, the animals will be wild-eyed with energy, and won't sleep for another 17 hours.
You’ve made it! Welcome “home”.
(*In his defence he did offer to sit with the kids. Which I accepted. Then promptly changed by mind, figuring that 10 hours with snapping toddler neighbours was preferable to 10 hours with stinky fat drunkard neighbour. In retrospect I was wrong. Stinky Fat Drunkard promptly fell asleep, and didn’t spit, snarl or lash out once.)