It's never fun being the parent of the toddler having a meltdown on a flight
I flew from Lisbon to Dublin with my one year old this week and well... it was an experience.
I had flown with her last summer, but she was younger and slept most of the way to Germany and back again.
This time around I was not so lucky.
She's now well able to throw temper tantrums to end all temper tantrums and myself and everyone onboard our recent flight found out about it.
We had barely taken off and she was screaming.
In fairness to her, our flight had been delayed and it was already quite a late flight for her anyway so she was exhausted. That did not make the screaming any less stressful though.
On top of having a massive fit on my lap she then tried to smack the people sitting in front of us repeatedly. I tried to get her to sit steady and have something to drink but don't ask me how but toddlers seem to have the magical ability to turn into slippery eels whenever they want their own way. She managed to wiggle out of my grip for her second attempt at assaulting the passengers in front of us. I saw them order vodka at one point and all I could think was ' I don't blame you'.
As much as I'd love to say 'ah kids will be kids' I can't. I was mortified, frustrated and drained.
We had spent hours travelling from where we had been staying to the airport and then had long wait after long wait, topped off with our flight arriving behind schedule.
All I wanted to do was get onto our flight and relax for the couple of hours it would take us to get to Dublin.
My daughter had other plans and even though I managed to bribe her to calm down with some Tayto at one point, she still spent most of the three hour flight howling like a banshee.
Her dad and I tag teamed who got to wrestle the angry toddler but no matter what food or toys we gave her she wasn't having any of it.
To be honest she went so berserk I'm wary now of even trying to bring her on the bus incase she kicks off in the same way. I definitely won't be flying with her again anytime in the next few months, that's for sure.
I think child free passengers sometimes think that the parents of screaming kids don't care how their child is behaving which isn't true. We care, and trust me we don't want to have to listen to a child scream for hours on end either. Between ears popping, turbulence and being confined to a seat for several hours, small children sometimes lash out and it's not easy having to deal with the fallout.
What makes it even worse is that I've actually researched and written tips on how to keep toddlers content during flights but no matter how prepared you are sometimes life just doesn't go your way.
It is never fun being the parent of the child having the meltdown on a flight but it happens and when it does it can wipe you out both mentally and physically. Saying that the only real fail safe tip I can give is try and rest yourself as much beforehand, just in case.
It wasn't all bad though, she did eventually fall asleep, you know, as the plane was landing. Not going to lie, if I could have joined the people sitting in front of me in having a stiff drink I would have.