Early morning flights with kids.
A quick snapshot of single dad travel:
Wake up to the sound of 12yr & 7yr olds already hyperactive and getting dressed.
Cajole 3yr old from bed and quickly dress in warm clothes before he realises what is going on.
Cuddle / sooth 3yr old who has realised what is going on, whilst loading remaining items into car. 7 and 12yr old already buckled in and expressing concern on timing.
Drive out of street with false smile, singing ABC2 songs and generally pretending to be super excited. 3yr old not buying it.
Stop for petrol due to previous incompetent planning. Concerns on timing again raised by 12 and 7yr old. Discussion shut down quickly with aplomb.
515am – 600am
Drive erratically due to lack of sleep and having to mediate fights about touching and other annoying behaviour between half asleep siblings.
Park car at airport in drizzly conditions. Sigh. Organise follow the leader youngest to oldest and resume super excited veneer.
Check in. Spend majority of time convincing 3yr old that suitcases are not being stolen and will be returned on arrival. Unsuccessfully.
Customs. All hell breaks loose.
12yr old has bag opened and steel camp cutlery, meant for airport breakfast eating, retained and marked for disposal. Tears imminent.
Strict customs officer demands 3yr old remove beanie to be scanned amid serious security concerns.
3yr old dutifully has meltdown of the century at said beanie removal. People gather and begin to cue behind us.
Whilst wrangling newly emerged 3yr old spawn of the devil through body scanner, multiple times as flailing arms keep hitting the machine, 7yr old has bag opened and scissors found in pencil case. Tears flow readily.
Frustration finally wins out and severe tone of voice employed as a solution is devised. People looking sympathetic as they pass. Embarrassment now adding to frustration.
3 and 7yr olds soothed and relatively happy as 12yr old returns from leaving cutlery in car, after successful negotiations with custom officials. Craft scissors allowed as part of deal.
Breakfast. Not much talking.
Separate children fighting about space and feet touching on cafeteria seating. Order more coffee.
Board plane. Surprisingly with no issue.
3 and 7yr old asleep. Feeling of invincibility creeping in.
This is normal family travel. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!