Thursday, 31 March 2011

Travel with Toddlers, AKA When Will This Hell End?

Traveling to and from Paris this past week with just the Bambino (now 23 months) reminded me how difficult travel with toddlers can be.

The flight back was eleven hours.  He slept for two of those hours.

He's too little to be interested in movies or even the short cartoons that the flight entertainment programme has to offer kids (who ARE these under-twos who will watch TV for longer than three minutes at a time?  It's not that I'm against TV for kids that age.  Mine would just never watch that long!).

His picture books are too short to last more than a few minutes each.

His toys were nothing new.

And after his two-hour nap, he wasn't tired in the least.  In fact, he was fuuuuull of energy.

What kept him busy in the end?  Some French maman had the ingenious idea of bringing a bag of toy cars for her three-year old son.  The Bambino was thrilled to play cars with this older boy.  Phew.
In between running up and down the aisles, pulling peoples eye-blinders down, covering people's TV screens and generally being a complete nuisance, that is.

In the end, I played the completely laissez-faire, slacker mom and let him run around while I remained seated in my chair, enjoying games of Solitaire and Air France's version of Trivial Pursuit.

Until he ran into the Business Class cabin and started trying to wake people up in there.  The flight attendant didn't like that too much and "suggested" that I not let the Bambino run around by himself.  Fortunately, meal time was just ending at that point, so I looked at her innocently, pointed to the meal tray in front of me that had not yet been cleared away, shrugged my shoulders and said, "What can I do?  I'm trapped." ;-)


Esther and Brian said...

when i travel overseas with the twins (22 months was the last time), i bought with me some new books that they were occupied with for quite some time..and new toys- little, cheap did not work, either..but they were so busy with the rest of the stuff that it was just fine. on the way to europe was the easiest as it was during the night and they slept 6 of the 9 hours for sure, the way back during daytime was harder but again, bringing new things kept them busy. i generally don't like to see kids on the lose, even as a busy mom to 2-year old twins, but i sure understand that sometimes it's hard!

The Globetrotter Parent said...

Hi Esther (and Brian), I absolutely should have brought a few small new toys for the way back, something I neglected to do this time around. I think that 11 hours is also just too long to keep a small child occupied when the flight is over the day. I'm okay keeping him busy until we're flying over Sudan (about half way)!