I have battled Postnatal Depression, I have sat through gruelling job interviews, I have challenged myself beyond my limits… UNTIL I had to fly long haul from Dublin, Ireland to Sydney, Australia at 34weeks pregnant with a set of twins under the age of two.
...What did I do in my past life that was so bad that I have to endure such madness? I thought.
Well, I am here to reassure you, that despite extremely rude flight attendants I encountered, it’s not ALL that bad…
At 9:30am we had a flight from Dublin to Abu Dhabi that lasted eight hours, to follow was the longer fourteen hours from Abu Dhabi to Sydney- that was my biggest worry! Luckily, my eldest sister Amy was joining myself and the girls on the journey to help me out, how lucky am I?! I was readily prepared with a hand luggage bag for each twinny, which was filled with different types of activities.
I packed each activity into large zip seal sandwich/food storage bags. Which kept everything separate and easy to grab when we needed something new to amuse the girls with.
We had Peppa Pig sticker books, which killed one solid hour on the flight to Sydney.
We had Peppa Pig magnet books which also went down a treat.
We had travel size Peppa Pig magnetic sketch pad… There’s a pattern here…
My good friend Tara got the girls little doodle books with erasable pen, these were fantastic to keep the girls amused between activities.
I bought two small fishing tackle boxes and filled them with a wide selection of different snacks- mainly dried fruit (apricots, raisins, mango etc) and savoury snacks (broken up rice cakes, crackers, little pieces of biscuit etc). This held their attention for quite some time and they enjoyed nibbling at each little section of food and telling me what they had discovered.
I packed little plastic cotton reels and the girls took some time stringing them on to a shoe lace.
I also spent a fortune (on Paddy’s iTunes account) downloading Peppa Pig on to an iPad each for the girls, but the iPad didn’t seem to hold their attention at all, apart from allowing Amy and I to get breakfast the morning in Dublin airport before boarding the flight.
Colouring in books with twist top crayons were good to have.
If all else fails, annoyingly the window blind can amuse toddlers for a solid hour on a flight… Although not so good for us as we deal with twins fighting over said window blind.
As I was 34weeks pregnant on the day of travel, I had wanted to avoid having to walk the girls up and down the aisles of the plane, I’m much heavier and sore with this pregnancy, and I didn’t want to fall or trip and end up not being physically fit for the little rascals throughout the flight, so a good trick is to not entertain walking them up and down the aisles, they won’t know what they’re missing, and they can stand on the ground between seats, or unfortunately for you and other passengers, jump up and down on the seat to release some of that restlessness.
Luckily, flying with the girls without a stop over between the connecting flight was easier than I had anticipated. I experienced a lot of anxiety leading up to the trip and reassured myself by reminding myself that it’s one day out of my whole life… Until we pop home for a visit in the new year with two toddlers AND a four month old.
You really do just have to be a little bit nuts, eh?