Now where was I?
Going on holiday
After the little run in with security I felt rather blessed that I was going anywhere at all especially as I was beginning to worry that the first night of my holiday was going to be spent detained at Her Majesties Pleasure...
Our plane is subject to a delay..of course..
Luckily not one of those sleep on the floor all night in the departure lounge type delays but enough of a delay to strike fear into the heart of any seasoned parent.
Alfie (on a loop for about an hour): "When is the plane coming Mommy?" "How long until we get there Mommy?" "How far away is it Mommy?" "Has the plane left to come and get us Mommy?"
Ryan: "I'm booooored...."
NotQuiteSupermom: "I know..let's go and get a lovely snack from that nice restaurant over there.."
Cue Mistake No 1.
While purchasing the extortinately priced snacks for my weary travellers, out the corner of my eye I spot a nice bottle of wine.
Just what I need to survive this ordeal...
(N.B. When I say "bottle" of wine I mean a half bottle. Obviously. I have kids with me. AND it is against FAA regulations to be drunk on a plane. But I also DONT mean one of those miserable mini bar/ aeroplane little ones with only 1 glass in because that would be pointless...)
Mistake No 2.
I purchase the wine and have a nice plastic cup full.
Suddenly life is starting to look good again. Inside my head I am humming Madonna's "Holiday" and Wham's "Club Tropicana." I may even have started to chair dance ever so slightly..
I engage the children in a very fun game of "I-Spy" and "If the other passengers were an animal which one would they be." It's very funny. Bordering on hysterical. I'm starting to believe that I may actually have become a Supermom. Wine is a marvellous thing....
Then Mr G comes up and gives me The Look. Normally The Look is reserved for after we have been out to dinner with friends and I have had a few lovely drinks and am looking for somewhere to go dancing/ the nearest casino to gamble in. The Look = "maybe you have had enough dear and should go home."
Mr G: "The plane is here and they are boarding."
Slightly sozzled NotQuiteSupermom: "Ooohh. Jolly good..(sniggering) Do you know the kids think that man over there looks like an American BullFrog?"
I make my way out onto the tarmac where the plane is waiting. Pushing a pushchair, carrying 3 x handbaggages, 5 x boarding passes stuffed in the pocket of my jeans, 3 x paper bags with snacks in and 1 x very precious bag with the Nectar of the Gods in it. Wobbling ever so slightly.
Cue Mistake No 3.
I always like to have a glimpse at the pilot. I think its important to check just who you have handed control of your life to for the next ? hrs. If I had a choice of pilot I would opt for Captain Chesley Sullenberger. He's the guy from the Hudson River crash. He's the guy I want flying the plane I'm on. What a great pilot.
Unfortunately as I sneak a look at the pilot I begin to have a "Doogie Howser Moment."
This is happening to me rather a lot now I am getting older. Captain Doogie Howser is also reading what looks suspiciously like a MANUAL.
I feel another glass of wine coming on.
At the steps I have to eject the kids from the buggies, stop the buggies tipping over with the weight of stuff I have hung on the back, stop the kids crying from the noise of the plane, fold down the pushchairs and then climb a near vertical set of stairs up to the plane carrying 2 kids, 3 x handbaggages, 5 x boarding passes stuffed in the pocket of my jeans, 3 x paper bags with snacks in and 1 x very precious bag with the Nectar of the Gods in it.
You try that a bit pissed.
At the top of the stairs a heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess greets us. Sullenly. Air travel ain't what it used to be.
We struggle to find anywhere to sit. There is no reserved seating on the plane so it's a free for all..
I manage to get a row with 3 seats for me, Ryan and Alfie. I have the baby on my knee. Mr G manages to find a seat about 10 rows ahead of us.
Now I know why he didnt want to pay extra to reserve seats.
Mr G gets out his book and reclines his seat. He turns around to give me the thumbs up.
I want to thump him. Or trade places.
But I smile sweetly and store this up for future use.
I get out 10 thousand Power Rangers, some comics, Top trumps, a painting set, colouring books, dolls, snacks, Connect 4 and pretty much the majority of our handluggage. I also get out my bottle of wine and have a sneaky small glass.
Ok. I can do this.
A zillion games of Connect 4 later...(no Ryan..4 in a ROW... ANY WAY you bloody want..oh..OK..you win....)
and I have started to scrutinize the bottle of wine on the little table infront of me. "Drink me" said the small bottle of wine. "No..because you might not be able to walk when you get off the plane" said the very persistent conscience of NotQuiteSupermom.
Luckily fate intervened..in the form of: Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess.
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Vot esss theess" (she isnt from around my neck of the woods...clearly.)
I look at her in a very bemused way. I know intelligence probably isn't super high on the job description (ouch!)..but really? Is she shittin' me? Surely she knows a bottle of wine when she sees one?
NotQuiteSupermom; "That is a bottle. Of white wine." (brief nod towards the kids) "For Medicinal purposes."
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "I vill take theess." *snatches bottle* "You must only take the wine that vee sell on de plane."
NotQuiteSupermom: *spluttering* "But those miserable mini bar/ airplane little ones with only 1 glass in aren't enough for me to cope with 3 kids by myself on a plane? And they cost £7 a bottle!"
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Vell. Thats is the price you vill have to pay."
And off she stomps with my bottle.
Later in the flight she comes round with the drinks trolley. Just as she passes me she says this:
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Tea? Coffee? Vhite Viiiiine?"
And she smiles (for the first time in the duration of the flight.)
A very smug smile.
At least she has a sense of humour behind that Heavily made up and not welcoming face. Either that or she is a complete and total bitch.
What really screwed me was getting off the plane.
I had to wake up our sleeping princes and princessa. Such a shame because they looked so lovely. AND they were quiet.
Mr G just legged it. With one hand luggage.
I was left with 3 kids. 2 of which cant walk as they are asleep. One is half asleep. I was also left with collecting from underneath our seats: 10 thousand Power Rangers, some comics, Top trumps, a painting set, colouring books, dolls, snacks, Connect 4 and pretty much the majority of our handluggage.
Having loaded up the hand luggage and strapped it across my body, donkey styleee, I realise I no longer fit down the aisle of the plane. I havent even added the kids yet.
At this point the "helpful cabin crew" decide to switch off the lights on the plane.
Thinking everyone had gone.
I am struggling.
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "The last bus is leaving now. They are all waiting."
NotquiteSupermom: *to herself* "Oh..are they really....? well they are going to have to SODDING wait then. OR I will have to BLOODY WALK TO THE TERMINAL. Do you want THAT on your insurance. Do You? Do YOU?"
Obviously what I REALLY said was: "Can I have my bottle of white wine now please? I think I might need it later......."