“Oooh, thanks, we’d love to. Bye” *puts phone down*
I sit silently on the stairs, head in hands.
Oh. M. G.
What HAVE I gone and done now?
A few days later I send an email to confirm.
I’ve really gone and done it now. That’s it, there’s no turning back.
Or…was there? *raises right eyebrow in contemplation*
Then the anxiety started kicking in and I was starting to think that I absolutely, most definitely couldn’t go through with it.
Several days of heart palpitations later I got ‘The Look’ off my mother. You’ve probably had one (or a few) of those yourself: the disapproving look which requires no words…but says everything. But she decided to go in for the kill and I got the words too. “So, you’d deprive your child of something just because YOU don’t want to do it”, she said disdainfully.
It wasn’t a matter of not ‘wanting’. It was a matter of whether I could go ahead with it AND ensure I could look after Hannah at the same time. And anyway, Hannah didn’t have a clue what was happening….so, in effect, I wasn’t actually ‘depriving’ her.
I just wouldn’t be providing her with an opportunity.
It’s a bit different.
No, actually, it’s completely different.
It was time to get pro-active, get positive and fight the fear. So I decided it was time to bring out the big guns…
Bach’s Rescue Remedy!!!
…my little bottle of liquid magnificence…
Then the day came. I’d spent an almost sleepless night fretting, but I was determined this thing wasn’t going to beat me.
I chanted my mantra in the car on the journey there…”I am a powerful woman…I am in charge of my own destiny”…well no, actually I didn’t, I just gave myself a good talking to.
Hannah and I arrived at the airport and joined the queue.
I dislike planes. I dislike airports. I feel uncomfortable in crowds. I get anxious in confined spaces and I. HATE. FLYING!!!!!! (despite the fact that I’ve flown around the world).
So I was really looking forward to today. Not.
But, despite all that…
Hannah and I were off to find Santa.
He’d BETTER not let me down…or there’d be REAL trouble!
After checking in and undertaking all the (rather important!) security procedures, I took great comfort in clinging onto Hannah’s wheelchair (now freshly swabbed for narcotics and other dodgy substances) in order to keep me upright as we then completed the journey to the gate where Hannah and her friend Phoebe met Spiderman…
And then Hannah tried taking his eyes off…
…but he didn’t seem to mind too much…
and then she met Superman…
But she didn’t try taking his eyes off…
The wheelchair was then deposited in the boot…actually, I know airplanes don’t have ‘boots’ but it sounds better than ‘the hold’. I carried Hannah tentatively up the steps into the plane…holding her in a vice-like grip so she didn’t spontaneously throw herself backwards (as is often the case) and kill us both, praying and trying very hard not to pass out all at the same time in my state of heightened anxiety.
I’m rather adept at multi-tasking these days.
And once I’d settled Hannah in her seat and strapped ourselves in so tightly that our lap belts almost stopped the blood flow to our legs, a calm came upon me. It was either divine intervention or the excessive amount of the aforementioned herbal remedy that I’d consumed earlier…or just sheer resignation that if I got off the plane now they’d have to get the wheelchair out of the boot and delay a plane stuffed full of excited children and a couple of overly enthusiastic grown-ups!.
I’d been worried about a lot of things and especially how Hannah’s ears would fare being in a pressurised cabin, and as she started to panic on take-off I activated “Operation Mama” and rapidly reached for my artillery…the HUGE bag of food and drink I’d packed. Within minutes the child had been distracted and placated and all was well with the world.
BOOYAH! Mission completed.
And once we’d reached our optimal height, Santa and his reindeers landed their sleigh on the roof of the plane…how cool is THAT!?!
Then, he magically appeared inside the plane…and boy, he doesn’t know how lucky he was by not letting me down that day!
Unfortunately, Hannah was completely oblivious to the fact that Santa had arrived. Or, indeed, who Santa actually was. Ah well, never mind.
I was slightly disappointed that Rudolph and his homies had decided to stay on the roof. Apparently.
The flight lasted about an hour and once we’d landed – back to the exact same place we’d set off from! – Santa and his helpers gathered to meet each child and present them with a gift…and Hannah’s was MAHOOSIVE!…
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I believe that every life experience can be used as a learning curve.
So, what’ve I learned from this?
- That I still abhor flying…with a passion. We’ll stick to Cornwall, thank you very much.
- I managed to cope. Rather splendidly, if I say so myself.
- That if I ever go on a plane with Hannah again, I’ll have to either (a) schmooze a VERY wealthy person who owns a private jet and hitch a ride or (b) reserve seats at the front of the plane, or if that can’t be done (c) constantly apologise profusely to the passenger in front when Hannah repeatedly pulls down the tray, kicks the back of the seat, chews and then launches the laminated security instructions, messes with the arm rests and all manner of other anti-social stuff.
- I need to ration my cabin baggage – drastically! I’d packed two bags for an hour’s flight. Ridiculous.
- I must check up on my stockpile of rescue remedy.
- That Hannah needs a specialist harness for any future flight…a lap belt will SO not suffice.
- That changing a disabled child’s nappy on a plane would be a logistical nightmare.
- That airport parking fee’s bring me out in hives! – £37 for a day!!!! – SHEESH! COME. ON. GUYS!
- That my kid was an absolute superstar on the day and (I think) she enjoyed herself, so that made my day.
So, big thanks go to The Legacy Rainbow House and Days of Sunshine for giving us the opportunity to find Santa and to the Jet 2 staff…oh, and to all the helpful airport crew on the ground and in the air….and most definitely to the nice security lady that didn’t send me to prison because I’d forgotten that there was a half-bottle of antibacterial hand gel nestling covertly in the bottom of Hannah’s changing bag and didn’t declare it when I should have (so sorry about that!) and to the pilot…yes, mustn’t forget him…BIG thanks go out to the pilot.
…and to Santa, obviously!
…and MOST DEFINITELY to the makers of Bach’s Rescue Remedy (this is not an endorsement…just a very humble thank you) for saving my day, yet again!
Right everyone, I think that’s me done for this post.
Thanks ever so much for stopping by.
Until next time
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This post is dedicated to Lyndsay and Mark (lovely lovely, LOVELY couple) who both looked out for Hannah and I on the day – thanks guys! (and Mark carried my ridiculously over packed bags for me *swoon*) and to Hannah’s friend Phoebe, for just being utterly delicious…and SO NOT dedicated to “Larry Let-Down” (sorry, private joke, but she’ll know who she is, won’t you Louise?!)
And big congratulations goes out to Snugglyfeets and her partner (Mr Snugglyfeets) on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl…SO happy for you. x