For any toddlers out there considering an overseas trip with grown-ups, here is my fail-safe guide to flying with parents:
1. Pack a goody bag – It’s unfair to expect your parents to sit still for the whole flight, so be prepared with a bag full of goodies to distract them. Failing that, try chewing and then spitting out your yogurt raisins – they love trying to catch them before they stain the plane seat.
2. Keep hydrated – with all that cabin pressure and altitude, it’s important to remind your parents to keep hydrated. A really effective method is to try to drink from a water bottle that’s too big to hold properly, dribble some out, hand it back, ask for it again and repeat. They’ll soon snatch it from you and take a swig themselves.
3. Don’t bother with an in-flight meal – unless you really need to. We ordered one for mummy and daddy, but they kept getting in the way when we tried to eat ours. I had to refuse my meal, then cry because I had refused it, spill some orange juice, throw beans down my t-shirt and refuse to eat anything other than a block of cheese before they’d back off and let me dine in peace.
4. Encourage them to use the toilet – if you’re on a long-haul flight this is particularly important – everyone knows it’s not good to hold it in. A great way to do this is to do a number-two, about 20 minutes into the flight. They will whip you into that ridiculously small cubicle quicker than you can say “pass me a wet-wipe”.
5. Let them roam – anyone knows that to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis on a flight, you should keep moving. Make sure your parents get out of their seats but squirming out of yours. If they try to restrain you, cry. If this doesn’t work, employ the fool-proof tactic, floppy-limb-syndrome. You know the one I mean – go limp when they try to pick up up…works a treat. You’ll soon be roaming the aisle with them in hot pursuit.
6. Don’t worry what other people think – easier said than done, but you can’t expect your parents to be quietly contained for the whole flight. Let them know it’s ok to kick back and enjoy yourself, make noise, poke the head of the man in front of you and cry when you have to keep your seatbelt fastened. Ignore those looks from other passengers…they’re probably only jealous of the noisy fun you’re having.
* Image courtesy of care2.com