Some things are not meant to fly…
I am aware most people dread the infant wail more than anything on a long-haul flight. So it was with great trepidation that we faced our first ever flight with the twins. And it wasn’t a short one either. No, this was a monster at 26 hours (with a four-hour layover).
The warning signs were there early when the placid twin was throwing uncharacteristic tantrums at the airport long before boarding.
The proximity to planes seemed to have transformed two well-behaved bubs into wailing demons. Four hours into the first flight and we’re at wit’s end. It’s been non-stop screaming – not just crying – and I’ve nearly exhausted my entire repertoire of tips and hints for babies on a plane. All without success.
I say nearly because there’s one thing we’re yet to try. I’m opposed to unnecessary medication so pre-flight the initial suggestion of Phenergen was dismissed (Phenergen is an antihistamine that makes 99% of children drowsy and/or very sleepy).
However leading up to the trip I’d had unexpected surgery which limited my ability to pick up the girls, so I reluctantly reconsidered only to reject it once more after a semi-conclusive test where the girls seemed to perk up a little instead of get drowsy.
But desperate times call for desperate measures and when you’re at the end of your tether you clutch at straws.
However it turns out that my wife’s “Let’s give them the Phenergen – it can’t be worse than this” ranks right up there with Hitler saying “It’s only Poland – who’ll notice?”.
What’s worse than angry, screaming twins on a plane? Giving them hyped-up super powers and lots of energy. Yes, our girls are in that small minority that react the OTHER way to Phenergen.
Both of them.
After 30 minutes of joyful bliss they went into hyper-drive and screamed for another four hours all the way to Bangkok. Even worse screaming than before and our frayed nerves went to shredded.
Thankfully no Air Marshall arrested us and the plane somehow resisted the girls’ demonic energy. I’m even more thankful of the fact there were ten other babies on board, so despite feeling like everyone was hating us, realistically the pain was shared around.
At the end of the flight I was sitting rocking one of the girls, singing and studiously keeping my head low. If I can’t see them they can’t see me right?
But then something wonderful happened. An English businessmen – who had a seat in the same row a few seats away and who was one of the many whose eyes I’d been trying to avoid – came over as he was disembarking, tapped me on the shoulder, smiled and simply said “you did really well”.
I had spent most of the flight on the floor on the floor rocking backwards and forwards singing to at least one upset baby (feeling like I was going to end up in a padded cell still rocking and singing but to myself) but an understanding smile and a few words lifted the cloud of pressure.
And for a moment I managed to forget that this was only the first leg…