Tak­ing baby steps to the big wild ride

Er­rands with kids a bless­ing com­pared with flight

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian.

WE’RE not go­ing any­where spe­cial th­ese school hol­i­days … un­less you count some wildly ed­u­ca­tional trips for the kids as they tag along to the bank, the post of­fice and the computer re­pair shop.

I’m ig­nor­ing the smug so­cial me­dia pho­tos from peo­ple on far-flung ad­ven­tures, opt­ing in­stead to re­call the tur­bu­lence of aero­plane travel with small chil­dren.

Of­ten it be­gins with the X-ray ma­chine at the air­port. If you have a baby, she’ll have dozed off at check-in in your chest car­rier but you’ll be re­quired to haul her out for screen­ing. She won’t sleep again un­til 10 min­utes be­fore land­ing.

Ea­ger-trav­eller lit­tlies in­sist on re­mov­ing and declar­ing all goods from their bags so se­cu­rity can clear their teddy, 14 cars and hor­rid pony toys – hold­ing up the ir­ri­ta­ble busi­ness guy be­hind, next to whom your fam­ily will in­evitably be seated later.

Board­ing, you’re met with dis­mayed looks from pas­sen­gers within a 3m ra­dius of your seats – but re­lief from other par­ents anx­ious to shift some of the heat when their own kids get un­ruly.

Set­tling in, your off­spring closely ex­am­ine the safety in­for­ma­tion card, mak­ing loud ref­er­ence to the possibility of the plane ditch­ing into the sea.

They re­lent­lessly fid­dle with ev­ery sin­gle but­ton, even­tu­ally re­pro­gram­ming the TV for the chap in seat 15C to Peppa Pig.

They pop up like meerkats from their seats to chat, again and again, with the peo­ple over the back.

They in­no­cently kick the chair of the lady in front. They lose all their Tex­tas, sul­tanas and small toys down the side of their arm- rest. They try to open the or­ange juice con­tainer be­fore you can get to it, re­sult­ing in an erup­tive splash and a sticky child.

They fight for the win­dow seat, fight for the aisle seat, fight for the iPad.

They read a sin­gle page of their book and de­clare they’re bored be­fore take­off, then shout ac­cu­rately but alarm­ingly, “We’re go­ing down!” on land­ing.

So, I’m quite con­tent to stay grounded dur­ing th­ese hol­i­days.

If get­ting there is half the fun, our fam­ily jaunt to the post of­fice is look­ing pretty promising.

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