We survived! Not just yesterday's shenanigans, but the last week of utter chaos. And finally, I am sitting in my sister's spare room, in Montreal, having not lost anything important in transit (including my sanity), having not spent too much money (except for buying a car on Sunday), and having not slept too much in the last 48 hours (my little Lilypops has now decided to start waking again in the night - boo).
Originally, Lily and I were not going to Canada... my sister and little nephew were going to come to us. I love my sister dearly, but we joke that she wimped out. Something about flying with a 3 year old being stressful, was her excuse. So yesterday at half 2 in the afternoon, Lily and I boarded AC flight 865 from Heathrow to Montreal. I can't harass Stephie that much for not coming to see us as she did pay for our flight.
I don't enjoy flying. For me, its a bit like making a long trip on a glorified bus... except with free booze! To say I was anxious about flying with 12 week old Lily, was a bit of an understatement. Control freaks (like me) don't like the unknown!!!! I wasn't stressed about the flying part, I just wanted to be in control of how it was going to go, which on a plane full to the tits (only one empty seat on the whole freakin plane) of scientist on their way to some conference in Montreal, is next to impossible. I just wanted to get my own way! I wanted Lily to sleep when she was supposed to. I wanted to be able to walk the aisles when I wanted to. I wanted to be able to get to the loo when I wanted to (there is something uncomfortable about a stream of people cueing for the toilet and blocking is aisles... they have nowhere to look and they feel like they need to talk to you). None of which were really going to happen.
I lost the plot and had a mini-meltdown at the boarding gate. The desk crew must has thought I was a nutter. I already felt claustrophobic (the thought of fussing a screaming Lily for 7 and a half hours, with every Tom, Dick and Harry staring at me and whispering to the person beside them 'Jeeze, what a rubbish Mum. You'd think she could get her baby to stop screaming') just tipped me over the edge a little - I was already teetering, anyhow. But like everyone had said, the flight crew were lovely. They let me on the plane early so I could stash all my junk and get organized - mentally and physically.
Lily cried for the first 3 hours (which really is nothing compared to some of her colic marathons). She did pause for a little break, right when the meal arrived. She snoozed in the Sky-cot just until the flight attendant took my empty tray away. The sling came is so handy, as I would expect that I sent the better part of 5 hours walking, bouncing, swaying and singing with the little lady in the gap just in front of row 34. I cant remember how may times I did 'The Ant go matching" or "Little Green Frog Song". I reckon it was more for my benefit than hers, as it made me feel like I was actually doing something useful.
She was shattered, and finally did have a proper sleep, and I was able to put her in the sky-cot for an hour and a half. I still, however, didn't manage to watch a film or anything, as I was afraid (irrationally) that with the headphones in, I wouldn't hear her (like that was ever going to happen...) and then everyone else would, and then start the whole 'Look at the Rubbish Mum' stares again. So instead, I popped one headphone in and listened to music on my phone. Wouldn't you know it, Just as I was starting to feel like I was under control, Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone came on (the song Lily was born to), and I start crying again. Bloody wimp!!!
The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. Lily cried, I paced... and in the end we all arrived in one piece.
Everything was going so well. The pram arrived up front after being gate checked, and we were off through the terminal, expecting to breeze through Customs and Immigration and be on my way... Ummm, NOPE!. I'd like to retrospectively give the Immigration agent, who so thoughtfully decided to mark my card with some secret code that forced me to be summoned into Customs 'search and destroy' centre, the big V!!! THANKS!!!!! I think the Customs agent couldn't quite figure it out either and took pity on me (obviously knackered, pushing pram in front of me, and dragging a huge wheelie suitcase behind), and just looked at my passports, thought of asking me to get Lily out of the pram, then thought better of it, and then let me go.
We had made it! Phew!
Im really looking forward to the next two weeks. I haven't been home in 2 1/2 years. My parents arrived last night. Its my nephews 3rd birthday today. Kai arrives next week too. So much to do, so many places to go. I can't wait!!
Lily has earned her first pair of flight wings (a little sticker for her memory book) and her first trip to Canada has now officially begun.