Posted by: 15specialneeds | July 12, 2010

Trying (Flying) times…

Aloha Dear Ones,

Well, it is so wonderful being able to experience visiting many beautiful places in the world and the excitement of an adventure often outweighs the worrying about airports and airplanes. However, I have to admit that I have a pretty high ‘worry’ factor about air travel. Last summer, we did not go very far, in fact we flew to Orange County, which is a 1 hour flight, and I flew it alone with the children – but just getting to the airport, forgetting to take the car seats out of the car as I was dragging luggage, stroller and children to the check in, was enough to make me want to ‘check out’! In February we had the dreaded flight to the UK to renew our visas, and we had no sleeping on the night flight out, Nathan being sick over himself and a fellow passenger’s foot, Luke in constant DVD watching or spinning a toy. It seemed like a crazy place.

So, after the 11 hour trip to the UK, a 5 hour trip to Hawaii on a plane seems really ‘do-able’! Our flight was at 9.10am – so we were up at 6am to get sorted and Maria took us to the airport – all very easy. The check in was quick and unlike many airports in the world, SFO gets families through in a way that a celebrity might get priority! There was no DVD watching in the car on the way to the airport as we needed to preserve battery life, and my sanity.

There we are, all excited and waiting, but there was a mechanical problem with the plane and our 9.10am flight eventually took off at 12.45pm. By 10.30am the DVD players were out! We managed to get seats together at the very back of the plane and Luke was great at ‘take off’ and landing in terms of seatbelt being on. Obviously strapping him to the seat is a bit difficult – but when the time comes he just seems to ‘do it’ and there is no crying. I guess the worst part of it all with Luke, is the fact that he is desperate to go to sleep, but he just cannot get to a place where this is possible. One of the funny little things he does, is when having a bottle of milk, is he will arch himself backwards in an attempt to lie straight on the floor, so cuddling him off to sleep just isn’t going to work.  It is also alarming to have him suddenly launch backwards. One of the difficulties for me is just the sheer physical size and strength he now has. He is 35lbs (16kgs) and strong.

Nathan went to sleep and we spread him over 2 seats and Luke played on the one remaining seat alternating between sitting on it and leaning on it, poking Nathan’s hair every now and then, while I stood or perched on the arm rest. I seemed to spend a lot of time in a really twisted and contorted position and my body actually ached the following day! Luke was also very clingy and Simon could do nothing for him. Luke has very few facial expressions but the intensity of his gaze at me when Simon is holding him while I disappear to the bathroom is intense!

Luke’s lack of motor planning also means that watching him bumble along the aisle of the plane an almost torturous experience. It can only be likened to watching a pinball in a pinball machine. I worry a lot about the poor child getting more stitches in his head by hitting it on a metal arm rest.  Can you imagine that at 33 thousand feet!

Later in the summer I am going to Orange County with the children, Maria and Rebecca and two of her friends. I have decided to stick them in the car and drive it!




  1. Bravo Rachel! After only one flight with Caitlyn when she was a baby, I have not tried flying anywhere with her….it was already very tough flying with my other two to Hawaii in April.


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