Things I learnt flying solo with a toddler for the first time

  1. That I’m glad our first trip was low stakes – domestic flight, staying with friends. It cut down on the pre-trip anxiety dramatically.
  2. Which was useful because we flew out the day after term ended, after what had been a rough two weeks of accidents, illnesses and workload – in hindsight I would have given myself a day in between
  3. That Trunkis are a godsend (see below) – CJ was more than happy to ride his through the airport which meant one less bag to carry and that we could keep a faster pace when needed with me towing him along.

    CJ has this one (trunki.com)

  4. That toddlers do NOT understand their mummies being pulled aside to be wanded after going through the metal detectors; we had to have a discussion about how you do not tell off airport men who are just doing their jobs
  5. That I have pretty strict standards of behaviour and CJ knows it. I had to stifle my laughter when he side-eyed the kid kicking the back of the chair through the crack in the seats and muttered “Naughty” under his breath.
  6. That $19 Kmart chunky-knit snoods make fantastic emergency blankets for tired toddlers.
  7. That said sleepy toddler will be just about asleep until they announce in-flight service and then he’ll pop up like a meerkat with “Water? Chippies?”
  8. That I need to work on my upper body weights – air bridge issues meant we had to disembark onto the tarmac at Auckland. Carrying a handbag, two cabin bags and a toddler down one flight of stairs and then up another (he’s well behaved, but I’m not taking that risk on an airport runway LOL) was probably at the limit of my strength and I had DOMS the day after
  9. Which is probably also related to wrangling all our bags, etc, to and from cars & taxis. I probably looked like a hobo with both handbag and cabin bag strapped across my back, two suitcases, a car seat, a stroller and the Trunki balanced on the trolley with CJ riding on the handlebars. It was actually the most stressful part of the whole business 😂
  10. That people are inherently awesome – from the guy who played with CJ on the scales while I had to get tags for carseat and strollers to the random man who held the bags open so I could get the oversized items in their bags at the counter; from the awesome barista at Christchurch airport to the cabin crew who gave the little dude high fives. The two awesome people we sat next to on both our flights and the mother and daughter at our gate lounge who CJ regaled with his story of how we were going on a plane… People were just so kind and friendly and it really gave me confidence in tackling longer haul flights with CJ in future.

I know that I’m pretty lucky to have a ridiculously chill kid (for the most part – apart from when he throws a fit at having to give another kid a go at “driving” the snowmobile at the museum LOL) who understands there’s a time and a place for rowdy and then there’s times you have to behave. I sometimes forget that and so it’s good to have things like this to remind me. I’m definitely excited for our next adventure!

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